I Don't Agree With Flagging

Flagging is never right in my view. Never ever.
Flagging is a direct attempt at censorship. That said, I can understand why people feel the desire to flag some posts and comments.
I don't think that people should be prevented from saying anything or to put it another way; I don't think there is anything a person can possibly say that warrants flagging.
No matter what kind of odious, disgusting opinion a person holds, I believe they should have the right to say it. If it really is odious and disgusting they will be fairly quickly told so and with vigor. There are two benefits to this. One, they are left with no illusions about how that opinion is generally viewed, and two, it robs other people of both the knowledge that such views are indeed held by some people and the possibility of learning why such a view might be held.
There are many views that most people find both strange and repulsive. Let us consider one here.
Let us presume we are dealing with an individual who is arguing that rape is usually the fault of the victim. Essentially the: "she was asking for it" position. While it might be tempting to simply try to shut down a person like this I think that doing so is both anti-free speech (and yes I believe free speech should not have limits or caveats) and removes the opportunity to see how such an opinion is come to. It may be nothing more than woman-hatred or it may be a view that has actually been considered. If it is the former, it can be ignored for being nothing but an expression of hate but, if it is the latter, it presents the possibility of changing the mind of the person who holds or, if nothing else, at least providing the opportunity of seeing and showing the faults in the thinking that leads to it.
This is a tame example of just how inflammatory some opinions can be.
No matter how bigoted or offensive an opinion or view may be, either people have the right to express how they feel or they don’t. I think even “hate speech” should be protected by free speech. The only exceptions I would make to this would be speech/images whatever that may be harmful to children. I do not believe that adults should be protected from the reality of the world we live in and certainly nobody has the right to not be offended.

Inevitably when such rules like “hate speech” exist or such tools like flagging exist they will be used by the majority to suppress the minority. Something which tends to be obvious to atheists when they see old religious doctrines which would qualify easily as hate speech not only not being suppressed but actively promoted. If you need an example of this just consider the anti-gay position of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and how freely these positions can be expressed on mainstream media.
Imagine if I were to claim that being black was “immoral” or an “abomination” and was trying to prevent black people from having the same rights as everyone else. I would be an instant pariah in the media and would be instantly silenced. Rightly so, it is tempting to think but as I say, when such silencing occurs it is inevitably inequitably applied. It also removes the example of disciminatory thought. It removes the oppertunity for people who may be tending to racist ideas to see just how odious and false such sentiments can be. Sometimes the publication of offensive ideas can be the most devestatingly effect means to reduce the attractiveness and influence of these ideas. Again, consider the religious person trying to defend their anti-gay bigotry by claiming their are merely trying to protect the institution of marrige. What could be more undermining to that attempt than to loudly draw attention to the more honest and hatful position that such people actually hold.
GoodReason GoodReason
31-35, M
Aug 11, 2010