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Should obscenity be regulated?

mtguy8787

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From wikipedia:

Under the Miller test (which takes its name from Miller v. California [1973]), speech is unprotected if (1) "the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the [subject or work in question], taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest" and (2) "depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, contemporary community standards,[14] sexual conduct defined by the applicable state law" and (3) "the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value".[15] Some subsidiary components of this rule may permit private possession of obscene materials at one's home.[16] Additionally, the phrase "appeals to the prurient interest" is limited to appeals to a "shameful or morbid interest in sex".[17][18]
United States free speech exceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

~~~

Examples like yelling Fire! in a crowded theater represent a clear and present danger. Obscene speech, on the other hand, presents no such thing.

In the case of obscenity, the court has ruled that the speech is unprotected, merely because it goes against community standards, and is deemed to have no value.

Such speech harms nobody.

In a supposedly free society -- how is this justified?
 

ttwtt78640

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From wikipedia:



United States free speech exceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

~~~

Examples like yelling Fire! in a crowded theater represent a clear and present danger. Obscene speech, on the other hand, presents no such thing.

In the case of obscenity, the court has ruled that the speech is unprotected, merely because it goes against community standards, and is deemed to have no value.

Such speech harms nobody.

In a supposedly free society -- how is this justified?
Your own link contains this answer:

The basis for this exception is that justices have believed that obscenity has a "tendency to exert a corrupting and debasing impact leading to antisocial behavior".
Much like the justification for limitting public nudity, carrying of guns or public alcohol consumption. It ruffles the feathers of the majority and they decided to make it into a crime.
 

Sisyphus

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WCH

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From wikipedia:




United States free speech exceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

~~~

Examples like yelling Fire! in a crowded theater represent a clear and present danger. Obscene speech, on the other hand, presents no such thing.

In the case of obscenity, the court has ruled that the speech is unprotected, merely because it goes against community standards, and is deemed to have no value.

Such speech harms nobody.

In a supposedly free society -- how is this justified?
It shows lack of tact, civility, intelligence and manners. In certain cases, like damning God or using the N word, it's even considered more vulgar by some. IMO.

I suppose it's more accepted among friends rather than in a business, on-line or mixed company environment.
 

mtguy8787

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Your own link contains this answer:



Much like the justification for limitting public nudity, carrying of guns or public alcohol consumption. It ruffles the feathers of the majority and they decided to make it into a crime.
The question wasnt how judges justify it -- the question was directed at the community.

Do YOU believe it should be regulated?

Why?

Do you or do you not believe in free speech?

It shows lack of tact, civility, intelligence and manners. In certain cases, like damning God or using the N word, it's even considered more vulgar by some. IMO.

I suppose it's more accepted among friends rather than in a business, on-line or mixed company environment.
So in a country that supposedly embraces free speech, people should be forced to conform to standards of tact, intelligence, and manners?
 

Sisyphus

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The question wasnt how judges justify it -- the question was directed at the community.

Do YOU believe it should be regulated?



Why?

Do you or do you not believe in free speech?




So in a country that supposedly embraces free speech, people should be forced to conform to standards of tact, intelligence, and manners?
Because it needs to be an adult choice, and children need to be protected from obscene things. Ergo, no strip clubs next to grade schools. That sort of thing.

I believe in free speech, but not unlimited expression. No yelling "fire" in a crowded and non-burning theater. That sort of thing.
 

WCH

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The question wasnt how judges justify it -- the question was directed at the community.


So in a country that supposedly embraces free speech, people should be forced to conform to standards of tact, intelligence, and manners?
People can do what they want but, from the outside looking in, it ain't pretty.
 

Risky Thicket

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People who are not able to curse well shouldn't do it. They should however be allowed to just as anyone else should be allowed to speak freely. As far as mixed company that is quaint but sexist. As my grandfather once said, "If women can do men's work they can take a man's cussing." I believe most women would agree.
 

ttwtt78640

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The question wasnt how judges justify it -- the question was directed at the community.

Do YOU believe it should be regulated?



Why?

Do you or do you not believe in free speech?



So in a country that supposedly embraces free speech, people should be forced to conform to standards of tact, intelligence, and manners?
In a perfect society one would have little need for laws dictating acceptable social behavior and I prefer as few laws as possible, yet if it is legal then many will push that "right" to the absolute limit - screaming obscenities in public, playing load music and doing anything possible to incite others to pay attention to their worthless selves. I view it as legal taunting, leading up to what many would call "fighting words" which clearly affects others. As a compromise we have laws to diffuse those situations and need some guidelines as to what exactly defines such a "public nuisance" violation.

http://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/2000/2020.html
 

specklebang

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I was a plaintiff in the SCOTUS case triggered by the Helms amendment.

The final ruling was that indecency was permitted and obscenity was not. They couldn't define obscenity but they said they'd know it when they saw it.:roll:

Is that ridiculous? Of course it is. But that's the law and there is no such thing as "free speech".



From wikipedia:



United States free speech exceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

~~~

Examples like yelling Fire! in a crowded theater represent a clear and present danger. Obscene speech, on the other hand, presents no such thing.

In the case of obscenity, the court has ruled that the speech is unprotected, merely because it goes against community standards, and is deemed to have no value.

Such speech harms nobody.

In a supposedly free society -- how is this justified?
 

mtguy8787

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Because it needs to be an adult choice, and children need to be protected from obscene things. Ergo, no strip clubs next to grade schools. That sort of thing.

I believe in free speech, but not unlimited expression. No yelling "fire" in a crowded and non-burning theater. That sort of thing.
I already mentioned yelling Fire -- which represents a clear and present danger. This is a completely different issue from obscenity.

Not allowing strip clubs next to schools is not an issue of free speech. Please stop conflating irrelevant examples with the topic at hand.

If you want to protect your children from obscenity, then do so.

This is not a justification for limiting others from speech that you consider obscene.
 

mtguy8787

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In a perfect society one would have little need for laws dictating acceptable social behavior and I prefer as few laws as possible, yet if it is legal then many will push that "right" to the absolute limit - screaming obscenities in public, playing load music and doing anything possible to incite others to pay attention to their worthless selves. I view it as legal taunting, leading up to what many would call "fighting words" which clearly affects others. As a compromise we have laws to diffuse those situations and need some guidelines as to what exactly defines such a "public nuisance" violation.

California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) 2020. Public Nuisance—Essential Factual Elements :: Justia
Obscenity and public disturbance are two separate issues.
 

Sisyphus

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I already mentioned yelling Fire -- which represents a clear and present danger. This is a completely different issue from obscenity.

Not allowing strip clubs next to schools is not an issue of free speech. Please stop conflating irrelevant examples with the topic at hand.

If you want to protect your children from obscenity, then do so.

This is not a justification for limiting others from speech that you consider obscene.
Why do you hate free speech?
 

Hard Truth

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NO. So-called obscenity does has a political/social message, that is why some people don't like it; they disagree with the message. Political/social messages should, and usually do, have the highest level of 1st amendment protection
 

ttwtt78640

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Obscenity and public disturbance are two separate issues.
:lol: :doh Did you even read the link that I provided? One is not likely to be arrested for privately using profanity. :roll:
 

mtguy8787

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Why do you hate free speech?
wtf are you talking about?

:lol: :doh Did you even read the link that I provided? One is not likely to be arrested for privately using profanity. :roll:
This discussion is about the SCOTUS ruling that obscenity is not protected -- not the likelihood of being arrested for it.
 

ttwtt78640

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wtf are you talking about?



This discussion is about the SCOTUS ruling that obscenity is not protected -- not the likelihood of being arrested for it.
That is a distinction without a difference, is it not? If you cannot be arrested/fined/jailed then what right have you lost? We have a right to own land yet that right is contingent upon paying taxation to the gov't to keep said land - you will get your "due process" as the gov't will prove that you did not pay them their "rent" on time and simply take your land. Many rights are not without "reasonable" restriction even if they "harm" no other, like simply owning land.
 

joko104

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I wouldn't mind if the duct taped Lewis Black's mouth shut. His entire "comedy" routine is just shouting out the F word. Most juvenile pointless crap, just annoying at best, and particularly from some ancient old bastard who acts like shouting that out is cool and enlightened.
 

Captain Adverse

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It shows lack of tact, civility, intelligence and manners. In certain cases, like damning God or using the N word, it's even considered more vulgar by some. IMO.

I suppose it's more accepted among friends rather than in a business, on-line or mixed company environment.
Perhaps, but it does you no real harm. In fact, if it offends you you can inform the person and then indicate if he/she does not tone the language down you will cease to participate in the conversation. Or you could just walk away.

Because it needs to be an adult choice, and children need to be protected from obscene things. Ergo, no strip clubs next to grade schools. That sort of thing.

I believe in free speech, but not unlimited expression. No yelling "fire" in a crowded and non-burning theater. That sort of thing.
Regarding your "children" comment, YOU have the duty of protecting your child. All you have to do is:
1. Walk the child away while...
2. ...explaining to the child why that kind of language is a no-no.

The words themselves have not harmed the child.

Regarding "yelling Fire!" in those circumstances? That type of "free speech" creates a clear and present danger of harm, by causing an immediate panic leading to injury. Of course if people could only learn to control their panic reaction, (like soldiers and other professionals are trained to do) even if there were a fire they'd likely get out without injury.

I wouldn't mind if the duct taped Lewis Black's mouth shut. His entire "comedy" routine is just shouting out the F word. Most juvenile pointless crap, just annoying at best, and particularly from some ancient old bastard who acts like shouting that out is cool and enlightened.
You don't need "duct tape;" simply turn the channel and don't attend his live performances.

Free speech should only be limited if it causes a clear and present danger of immediate harm. In all other cases words only have the power YOU give them to offend you. In such cases you can simply edit it out and move on with your life.
 
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Thoreau72

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Obscenity cannot even be defined. How can it be regulated?
 

nota bene

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I remember going into a restaurant with my little kids and their sounding out the huge F-bomb printed on the back of this jerk's t-shirt. I hadn't found my voice yet...but I have now. Exposing little kids to sexually explicit and foul stuff isn't right. Not that you don't see evidence daily at People of Walmart of how common this is.
 

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Their are places where people can be as obscene as they wish and places where they cant its wrong when it comes freedom of speech but there needs to be places where it is limmited like where children may be present . The bar or Atlantic city is where people should say what they want without judgement not a public area like a park .
 

WCH

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@Captain adverse...

To me it's just another youthful vice that one needs to correct. IMO, to be taken seriously in most circles, profanity should be minimized.
 

mtguy8787

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That is a distinction without a difference, is it not? If you cannot be arrested/fined/jailed then what right have you lost? We have a right to own land yet that right is contingent upon paying taxation to the gov't to keep said land - you will get your "due process" as the gov't will prove that you did not pay them their "rent" on time and simply take your land. Many rights are not without "reasonable" restriction even if they "harm" no other, like simply owning land.
what you've lost is protection from the government deciding to make some new legislation to penalize it.

Unlike taxes, which are arguably reasonable, I have still seen no good argument as to why it is reasonable that obscene speech should not be protected.
 
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