Difference Between Freedom Of Expression And Freedom From Harm

1723 Words7 Pages
Freedom of Expression vs. Freedom from Harm One of the greatest controversies of our contemporary world is the one between the ideas of freedom of expression and freedom from harm. On the one side of the spectrum, the idealists of freedom of expression are proud of their irreconcilable attitude toward any attempt of putting any restriction on freedom of expression. The ideal of freedom of expression, therefore, aims for the absence of any restriction of any kind notwithstanding its context or content. This is the position of the Dutch press, for instance, in the controversy over the publication of the caricatures on prophet Mohammed. This is an extreme position through which one plays the role of the irreconcilable defender of freedom. Now, the easiest way of defying this position through the dichotomy of theory and practice is simply cheating. Arguing, “the unrestricted enjoyment of freedom of expression is not applicable to our realities” is equivalent to saying, “you are theoretically right, but our original practices do not present any luxury to enjoy freedom fully.” Henceforth, the ideal thesis of the freedom of expression remains untouched while its status of effectiveness is damaged as inapplicable to social reality. At this point, the theory is simultaneously made capable of responding to the damage it takes by turning itself into a self-fulfilling prophecy, a revolutionary or reformist program calling for a change of the present realities. Now, instead of taking
Open Document