When you speak I think you should be free to say anything. That means there are no repercussions that involve anything other than more speech back. You can say horrible things, and a person may not wish to be around you any more, and that is fine, but to use physical force against anyone for simply saying a thing you disagree with is immoral.
I could say I dislike men or women, and the response should be at harshest others disagreeing with me verbally. I’m allowed to say and feel anything, as are you. However if you take me away and imprison me for my opinion you’ve broken my autonomy. You have no right to do that unless I’ve broken your own autonomy.
You are also free to cease your interactions with me. That is your choice, but that doesn’t mean you have the moral high ground to stand on when I’m wrong in your opinion. We all have opinions, and they differ greatly between us. You do not have to listen to me, nor do I have to listen you, ever. You don’t even have to agree with me right now. But if you think it is alright to punish a person with more than a non-physical reprimand then you have gone beyond yourself. You only have the right to do with as you wish to yourself, that is of course unless your autonomy is at risk of being broken.
Is your autonomy broken when the majority of people disagree with you, and you have no say in how to live your life… YES! Of course it is. If you don’t have the ability to choose what you can do with your body, or how to live your life, you are being used by others.
I may think it is stupid for people to refuse to take vaccines that have proven their worth, but it is their right to decide to do it or not. Some may find birth-control abhorrent, yet is it not the woman’s body? They are not forcing you to take or not take these things, therefore they aren’t breaking your autonomy. However with vaccines there is an argument for herd immunity. But individuals still have the right to refuse. You could cease interacting with those people, and you can refuse service to anyone. If you do that too much you will not have anyone to call customers though, at least I would think so. It is hard to tell if a person has been vaccinated, but that is a chance we take with everyone, as anyone could be sick at any time.
In the end there should be no laws about speech. We should be free to say anything, and take our medicine when we say something horrible. There are already repercussions for acting like a fool, and that is ostracization. If you are unliked for your opinions then you will have no one to share them with. That is the risk and reward for saying anything. Say good things, gain people to hear your voice, say nasty and hate-filled things, and lose any worth you had before.
Choose your words well, they represent you far more than what you look like. They are more powerful than anything else we do. They shape the world into a place where others can converse, or they can cause great evil. You are responsible for them, and you must be your own guardian.
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Update – 1,055 words written today.
“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”
― Oscar Wilde
– Steven Oaks
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