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Question: Which of the following is the limit statements below and including which should be punished by the state (or otherwise justifiably responded to with violent force) and statements above which should be allowed?
I don't like people with blue eyes. - 3 (3.9%)
People with blue eyes have a negative impact on society. - 0 (0%)
The world would be better off without people with blue eyes. - 1 (1.3%)
I think people with blue eyes should leave the country or kill themselves. - 1 (1.3%)
I approve of people doing something (or "People should do something") to push against those blue-eyed scum. - 3 (3.9%)
I approve of people going out and killing those blue-eyed scum. - 5 (6.6%)
You, [specific person], should go and kill five blue eyed people right now. - 9 (11.8%)
If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins. - 24 (31.6%)
All of the above should be legal. - 30 (39.5%)
Total Voters: 75

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Author Topic: The free speech poll  (Read 7375 times)
bb113
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February 16, 2012, 11:04:43 AM
 #41

No - you give up your freedom when you suggest that someone kill your girlfriend.  Free speech does not include planning murder.  By the time you are handing over the payment, you have left your rights to free speech and free movement long long behind and depending on where you live, you may also have lost your right to life.

So do you the take side effects of this type of law into account at all? Or is it just you don't like that someone threatens someone else so there should be a law against it?
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February 16, 2012, 12:36:56 PM
 #42

And it seems the plurality here believes its fine to pay for killing a human being. 

What it seems is that you have some serious comprehension limitations - and they are not language related.

If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins.    - 13 (35.1%)
All of the above should be legal.    - 15 (40.5%)


Combined total of 75% believe it should be legal to pay for a killing. 

No... the poll is about being able to make the statements.

75% of people believe you (Hawker) should not receive a violent response since you (Hawker) just made those statements.

I think you messed up with the numbers here a bit.
Only 36% of people suggest that everything of the above should be legal, not 75%.
The rest 64% suggest that certain statements and all below (except the last one) should be banned/punished.
So the second to last statement which offers the payment is OPPOSED by 64% of voters here.

This topic is interesting, what if we consider freedom of speech as the method to spread the information about the intent of an individual.
So basically by allowing a person to communicate freely about offering a payment for killing blue-eyed people we let the society know about his intention and allow it (society) to handle the situation in a non-violent way (I support ribuck here).

So would it be better if that person would secretly made an offer and no one would ever know why blue-eyed people are getting killed?
Also is there difference here between public speech and free speech? If I make an offer to somebody by sending coded messages is it still a free speech?
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February 16, 2012, 01:01:25 PM
 #43

So do you the take side effects of this type of law into account at all? Or is it just you don't like that someone threatens someone else so there should be a law against it?

To threaten an innocent is a violation of the non aggression principle. It is unethical, and the use of force to repeal the threat is ethically justified (whether it is the best approach is another question).

A criminal contract proposition is pretty much a threat against the victims of the contract.
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February 16, 2012, 01:06:44 PM
 #44

This topic is interesting, what if we consider freedom of speech as the method to spread the information about the intent of an individual.
So basically by allowing a person to communicate freely about offering a payment for killing blue-eyed people we let the society know about his intention and allow it (society) to handle the situation in a non-violent way (I support ribuck here).

So would it be better if that person would secretly made an offer and no one would ever know why blue-eyed people are getting killed?

Please, keep in mind this whole topic is pure intellectual masturbation. No sane person would ever publicly propose an assassination contract. It would either be anonymous or entirely done in secret.

That said, I believe the reasoning you're making applies against "disgusting" speeches in a sense. Like, let racists express their racism, so we can identify and avoid them, for example. In this case I believe many would do it publicly.
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February 16, 2012, 03:10:32 PM
 #45

You might want to add something about making it legal to take out a fire and life insurance policy against the blue eyed person you would offer to pay to have killed.

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February 16, 2012, 03:27:18 PM
 #46

You might want to add something about making it legal to take out a fire and life insurance policy against the blue eyed person you would offer to pay to have killed.

The poll is about speaking words. Why does everyone want to make it something else.

Words are not unconnected to the world we live in.  The words "I will pay you 200 Bitcoin to kill my girlfriend" are not the same as "Wow I love ponies." 

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February 16, 2012, 04:31:11 PM
 #47

Words are not unconnected to the world we live in.

I never suggested they were. I simply said that the poll is about speaking words, not actions.

Edit: Except of course, the action of speaking!

And the words "I will pay you to kill someone" are examples of words that have consequences.  If you say them, and all goes well, you get someone you dislike killed.

And 72% of the people who voted are ok with that being legal.

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February 16, 2012, 05:02:47 PM
 #48

And the words "I will pay you to kill someone" are examples of words that have consequences.  If you say them, and all goes well, you get someone you dislike killed.

And 72% of the people who voted are ok with that being legal.

You seriously have comprehension issues. Look again, only 34% of people voted for "None of the above".
All others think you cannot propose a criminal contract.
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February 16, 2012, 05:10:16 PM
 #49

And the words "I will pay you to kill someone" are examples of words that have consequences.  If you say them, and all goes well, you get someone you dislike killed.

And 72% of the people who voted are ok with that being legal.

You seriously have comprehension issues. Look again, only 34% of people voted for "None of the above".
All others think you cannot propose a criminal contract.

Code:
All of the above should be legal. - 15 (33.3%)

They voted for ALL of the above to be legal.  

Code:
If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins. - 18 (40%)
Add the 40% who think that ordering a killing is fine to the 33% who say that its fine as are all the other options.  Thats 74%.

Correct me if I am wrong.  



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February 16, 2012, 05:12:43 PM
 #50

You're still looking at the poll wrong.

I voted for: If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins.

The reason is because I believe THAT is the kind of speech that should be banned.

Everything above it, well, whatever. Some of those other statements are more disturbing than others, and the "you should kill..." statement would make me take some sort of non-violent action, but those statements above my choice shouldn't be crimes for speaking them.

But saying "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins" SHOULD be a crime. To say that (IMO, perhaps not legally as far as the definition goes) is attempted murder.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
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In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
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ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
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The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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February 16, 2012, 05:23:06 PM
 #51

You're still looking at the poll wrong.

I voted for: If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins.

The reason is because I believe THAT is the kind of speech that should be banned.

Everything above it, well, whatever. Some of those other statements are more disturbing than others, and the "you should kill..." statement would make me take some sort of non-violent action, but those statements above my choice shouldn't be crimes for speaking them.

But saying "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins" SHOULD be a crime. To say that (IMO, perhaps not legally as far as the definition goes) is attempted murder.


I see. Hmmmm.

Code:
You, [specific person], should go and kill five blue eyed people right now. - 6 (13.3%)
If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins. - 18 (40%)
All of the above should be legal. - 15 (33.3%)

So on your reading, 33.3% of the voters are OK with offering to pay someone to kill, and 40% are OK with instructing a specific person to kill.

Thanks for clearing that up.

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February 16, 2012, 06:35:40 PM
 #52

You're still looking at the poll wrong.

I voted for: If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins.

The reason is because I believe THAT is the kind of speech that should be banned.

Everything above it, well, whatever. Some of those other statements are more disturbing than others, and the "you should kill..." statement would make me take some sort of non-violent action, but those statements above my choice shouldn't be crimes for speaking them.

But saying "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins" SHOULD be a crime. To say that (IMO, perhaps not legally as far as the definition goes) is attempted murder.


I see. Hmmmm.

Code:
You, [specific person], should go and kill five blue eyed people right now. - 6 (13.3%)
If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins. - 18 (40%)
All of the above should be legal. - 15 (33.3%)

So on your reading, 33.3% of the voters are OK with offering to pay someone to kill, and 40% are OK with instructing a specific person to kill.

Thanks for clearing that up.


OK with, no. Think it's not automatically a crime, correct.

The 13.3% choice, as I said, is disturbing, in part because of the trickiness of it. If it's something said by a mafia boss to one of his hitmen, then the implications are much different (i.e., criminal at that point) than if it's something some frustrated racist says to a friend to see what the reaction is (and I don't know where you live, but from my perspective, criminalizing that speech outright in some parts of the US will only lead to a lot of wasted resources, good intentions aside.)

If I heard someone say that, I'd immediately try to determine how much of it was a jest. Even as a 4chan-level childish "joke" it warrants a response, but if the person is serious (but has no power to compel or attempt to incentivize [specific person] and no ability to profit) then some more serious non-violent action is warranted.

I totally get someone thinking that the statement should warrant a potentially violent response on its own. I just think it's too much of a grey area to ban the speech itself as speech; the repercussions of the banning would be worse than the speech itself would tend to be.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
...
ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
...
...
The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
ribuck
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February 16, 2012, 07:09:29 PM
 #53

If it's something said by a mafia boss to one of his hitmen, then the implications are much different
It's very different. In your example we're probably talking about a contractual undertaking rather than "speech".

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February 16, 2012, 07:11:34 PM
 #54

Sorry for spoiling your poll by intentionally ticking the wrong box.  Grin

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February 16, 2012, 07:23:49 PM
 #55

I see what you mean westkybitcoins.


bb113
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February 17, 2012, 12:23:32 AM
 #56

I've been thinking about this poll quite a bit.

I think the key element missing in this poll is specific intent.

Can a statement alone have specific intent?

Is saying, "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins," always conspiracy to murder?

Is there a possibility, no matter how slim, that the statement could be made in a way that is not conspiracy to murder?

I don't think the answer is always black and white. This is why we have trials.

It is easy to forget that laws are often later used for reasons beyond the scope of their original purpose. I think it is important to include this "misuse" factor when determining what laws should or shouldn't be on the books. Not to mention the possible waste of resources in tracking down every asshole who threatens someone on the internet. Law is not morality.
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February 17, 2012, 06:29:51 AM
 #57

I've been thinking about this poll quite a bit.

I think the key element missing in this poll is specific intent.

Can a statement alone have specific intent?

Is saying, "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins," always conspiracy to murder?

Is there a possibility, no matter how slim, that the statement could be made in a way that is not conspiracy to murder?

I don't think the answer is always black and white. This is why we have trials.

It is easy to forget that laws are often later used for reasons beyond the scope of their original purpose. I think it is important to include this "misuse" factor when determining what laws should or shouldn't be on the books. Not to mention the possible waste of resources in tracking down every asshole who threatens someone on the internet. Law is not morality.

Hmm... I didn't mention law!  Wink

Also, I agree with everything you said. Oh and I believe you are looking for "unintended consequences". There was a quote I read somewhere that talks about taking care when passing laws, because while the current group in power may be doing it for the good of society, there is no guarantee those in power in the future will have the same good intentions. If I can find it, I'll update this post.

You seemed to be framing it using legal terms (specific intent, conspiracy to murder). But yea, all laws will have unintended consequences. Just because you don't think anyone should be allowed to do something doesn't mean you need to think there should be a law against it.
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February 17, 2012, 06:59:25 AM
 #58

You might want to add something about making it legal to take out a fire and life insurance policy against the blue eyed person you would offer to pay to have killed.

The poll is about speaking words. Why does everyone want to make it something else.
These are contracts. Words can be contracts, recorded, and be judged by your peers. This poll is meaningless. I offered a fix that would make it somewhat useful, but was ignored. I think most people will refuse to accept this poll as it is so full of fallacies, it's utterly ridiculous and would be dismissed by any serious ethics discussion.

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February 17, 2012, 07:22:47 AM
 #59

I haven't taken this poll because it is a loaded question much like "Do you still beat your wife?" There is no good option answer.

I think you might be missing the point. It's a poll to see where your morals think free speech should be limited at.
I believe that expressing opinions and calling to action are two different things. If a highly charismatic person suggests murder (like Charlie Manson) it is worse than someone that offers a bounty for murder which may or may not be taken. So both are equally bad and have been punished. Not liking people is not a crime, just irrational. Irrational people can be a problem, but they are not often criminals.

I think it should be reworded as such:

Question:    Which of the following statements do you believe is the limit at which should not be punishable by the state and anything below which should?
I don't like people with blue eyes.
People with blue eyes have a negative impact on society.
The world would be better off without people with blue eyes.
I think people with blue eyes should leave the country or kill themselves.
I approve of people doing something (or "People should do something") to push against those blue-eyed scum.
I approve of people going out and killing those blue-eyed scum.
You, [specific person], should go and kill five blue eyed people right now.
If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins.
None of the above.


I think maybe english isn't your first language? That is what the original question asked (besides "the state" part).

I'm not sure how you say no serious ethics discussion would include this question when it's meaning was interpreted by the majority of people to be exactly what you proposed. There was just a miscommunication between the OP and you due to the (apparently) ambiguous wording.
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February 17, 2012, 02:06:16 PM
 #60

Just because death threats are banned those not mean you have to hunt down everyone making threats over the internet ..
But too allow someone to yell out at a marked place: "I offer 200 bitcoin for each blue eyed person you kill. Contact me for your payment pluss proof."  I just don't see how that is "free speech".
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