[Reblogging]. A short essay on the natural right of free expression

Freedom of expression is a natural human right.

People who truly believe that must realize that it goes both ways.

An author, for example, who rages at me for being an alleged bully, is exercising their natural right of expression. If I lampoon that author in a blog, I'm also exercising the same right (plus, lampooning is considered 'protected speech' in the US).

I don't think that people who make circular arguments about who is permitted to express whatever idea really understand the pure concept of free expression.

God only knows how many people have died, been tortured, or otherwise suffered fighting for free expression. Aside from criminal acts, free expression can't be limited by society and still be considered free expression.

Authors and artists have suffered horribly throughout history in the battle to be allowed to express themselves freely. Intellectually honest artists are morally obligated to accept any and all criticism (short of criminal or defamatory criticism). They should welcome it with open arms because their kindred artists have been fighting for that right for all of human history.

With free expression comes the opportunity for debate. From debate comes the exchange of ideas. The exchange of ideas brie g's about better ways of doing things. Doing things better improves our quality of life.

With seven billion voices on the planet, the majority of whom have internet access, no one is going to be able to control how citizens of free societies express themselves.

Let people say what they will; write, paint, sculpt what they will. Encourage it. Embrace it. Or be drowned out by the voices of free expression.