Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to denote not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression is closely related to, yet distinct from, the concept of freedom of thought or freedom of conscience. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on "hate speech". This is because exercising freedom of speech always takes place within a context of competing values.
The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the right to freedom of speech as "the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression". Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law.
I am taking a poll. I have a curious question, and I would be interested to hear what your opinions are on the subject. It seems to me that, the more globalized we become and the smaller the earth is, the more we communicate across broad spectrums through the Internet, text messaging, Facebook, My Space, etc., and the more we are able to exchange ideas, the more afraid we are to speak our minds.
An idea is a form (such as a thought) formed by consciousness (including mind) through the process of ideation. Human capability to contemplate ideas is associated with the ability of reasoning, self-reflection, and of the ability to acquire and apply intellect, intuition, inspiration, etc. Further, ideas give rise to actual concepts, or mind generalizations, which are the basis for any kind of knowledge whether science or philosophy or impulsiveness.
In a popular sense, an idea arises in a reflex, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the idea of a person or a place.
An opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something which it is either impossible to verify the truth of, or the truth of which is thought unimportant to the person. It is an assertion about something especially if that something lies in the future and its truth or falsity cannot be directly established e.g. induction. An opinion is not a fact, because opinions are either not falsifiable, or the opinion has not been proven or verified. If it later becomes proven or verified, it is no longer an opinion, but a fact.
In economics, philosophy, or other social sciences, analysis based on opinions is referred to as normative analysis (what ought to be), as opposed to positive analysis, which is based on scientific observation (what materially is). Historically, the distinction of proven knowledge and opinion was articulated by some Ancient Greek philosophers. Plato's analogy of the divided line is a well-known illustration of the distinction between knowledge and opinion.
Ideas and opinions – we all have them. And because we are all different, our ideas and opinions are different. It is the differences of ideas and opinions that keep everything fresh. Without death there would be no life, and without ideas and opinions there would be only stagnation.
Of course, we all love the company of people who are just like us. “You eat your morning cereal with yogurt instead of milk? So do I!” *heh*. However, as I cruise around the blogs, I find all sorts of ideas and opinions that are antithesis to mine, and conversely, those are the blogs I enjoy the most. I enjoy hearing the ideas and opinions of folks who think differently than I do. I find it refreshing.
As most of you know by now, I occasionally like to voice my ideas and opinions. When I do, please don’t get your knickers in a twist. I was raised in a household where debates and differences of opinions were not only welcomed, they were encouraged.
To get back to my question, (my poll), do you find, the more we communicate with each other, the more we are becoming more afraid to express our ideas and opinions, or less afraid? If I do not agree with you – for whatever reason – or you do not agree with me, do you take it personally? I don’t mean to sound preachy, I really am interested in what you have to say on this subject. You’re all very intelligent people.
Do we really have freedom of speech? Freedom of thought? Freedom of ideas? Freedom of expression? Or have we all turned into Winston Smith?