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Freedom of speech

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Norms, not just laws

While it is important to protect freedom of speech from the government, it is also important to have a norm of free speech. It does not matter that you will not be punished legally for saying something unpopular, if you will be punished by social ostracism.

(see On Liberty)

Truth through clash of opinions

It is by attempting to refute or support an idea that you truly understand its truth. An uncontested opinion is not one we can be confident is true.

People often claim to believe things, but they are not 'living beliefs' that they ever question, or update. Mills:

They are not insincere when they say that they believe these things. They do believe them, as people believe what they have always heard lauded and never discussed. But in the sense of that living belief which regulates conduct, they believe these doctrines just up to the point to which it is usual to act upon them.

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Last modified 2019-08-16 Fri 16:27. Contact