- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
- Landslide hits Indian village; 150 may be trapped
- Albania bank loses $7M in theft; police arrest 2
- Gov. Mike Pence irked as Obama sends illegals to Indiana on sly
- Israel, White House say Obama phone call to demand cease-fire was fake
- Nancy Pelosi: Deporting kids un-Christian, sends them ‘into a burning building’
BOOKS: Freedom to offend
Question of the Day
“Free Speech” leans heavily on the philosopher John Stuart Mill’s 1859 classic “On Liberty” to supply the justification for freedom of argumentation and expression. Mill’s arguments boil down to three propositions. First, truth matters. Second, the best way to get at truth is to allow a serious and open contest of ideas. Mill likened this to a marketplace, although it seems closer to a college seminar. Third, the government is only really justified in regulating us if do we violence to others - or intentionally stir others to violence.
Mill thought free speech precious because it would maximize the happiness of society. Many who came after Mill have pointed out that his utilitarian calculus doesn’t really add up. Freewheeling speech may lead people to the truth, or it may move them in the other direction. Ultimately, freedom of speech - with its implied and unpopular right to cause offense - matters because freedom matters.
Jeremy Lott is author of “The Warm Bucket Brigade: The Story of the American Vice Presidency” and editor of Labor Watch.
TWT Video Picks
Get Breaking Alerts
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Feds sue Pennsylvania State Police over women's fitness tests