You are (probably) wrong

Why is free speech important? There are many areas for which it is important, such as political discourse, but here I would like to focus on one specific aspect: knowing and the need for constant challenges to our knowledge. There are many ways in which we can end up holding a mistaken belief and one does not have to look far into the past to find examples. As orthodoxies get established quickly, the freedom to question and hold (perceived) wrong views is essential for advancing the state of knowledge. To illustrate this point, let us consider the difficulties of knowing.

You are (probably) wrong

Is Nudity a Form of Free Speech?

Recently, I was banned from Facebook for 24 hours, because I posted the above photo. The model is Sophie Dahl for Opium perfume, and I think it’s a beautiful picture. Apparently Facebook disagree. This got me thinking about nudity and free speech. Was it a form of expression that I posted this nude photo? Was it a form of expression when Sophie posed for it? Should nudity be protected in the same was as free speech?

Is Nudity a Form of Free Speech?

Is Free Speech only for the Able and Educated?

Freedom of Speech is the right to express opinions without censorship, constraint or punishment. It is also the right to challenge those opinions. Advocates of free speech suggest that permitting all views to be heard, allows these views to be challenged, while silencing particular opinions and denying them a platform, does nothing to discredit them. Additionally, the concern is that restricting controversial ideas may actually serve to draw attention to them, and can often result in support for their aggrieved proponents.

Is Free Speech only for the Able and Educated?

The Fiction of Absolute Free Speech

When one engages in a discussions of free speech and censorship, it is inevitable that someone will bring up the idea of free speech as an absolute right. There are many variations on the theme, be it that academic freedom is absolute or that free speech is a human right. These profession of belief are taken as conclusive argument, often in an angry voice.

The Fiction of Absolute Free Speech

Statement on the motion to clarify the safe space policy

After 5 weeks of deliberation, discussion, drafting and redrafting we have submitted a motion to clarify the safe space policy to the senate of the University of Manchester Students’ Union. The Safe Space policy’s aims and intentions are commendable, yet recent experience has highlighted that the wording of the regulation leave room for arbitrary interpretations …

Statement on the motion to clarify the safe space  policy