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Freedom to not listen.

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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MedMae
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 9:46 am

Freedom to not listen.

#1 Post by MedMae » May 22nd, 2008, 12:08 pm

I read this post: Call to prayer.

The imam is using freedom of speech to justify his argument and that made me think: What about my freedom to not have to listen to them?

We have a concept of free spech which we all think should be defended but should we not also defend the freedom to not HAVE to listen?
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Parapraxis
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#2 Post by Parapraxis » May 22nd, 2008, 1:30 pm

I think there is probably a "time and a place" to exercise one's right to free speech. I certainly would recommend anybody trying to make a serious point to go out on the streets armed with a megaphone and effectively rant at the passers-by. I do believe in the right to not listen, and am reminded of the whole controversy surrounding Jerry Springer The Opera, as one of the frequently cited counted-arguments to whose who suggested it should be banned is that nobody was being forced to watch it. The option was there to view it, if one wanted.
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Moonbeam
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#3 Post by Moonbeam » May 28th, 2008, 12:33 pm

It's an interesting question. Do we have the freedom not to listen to canvassers who drive round neighbourhoods telling us how to vote at election time? I'm not sure what legislation covers this kind of thing and what such people are allowed to do but I'm sure if megaphones were used regularly in this manner (eg every day or every few days) there would soon be some sort of clampdown on it.

The proposal by Oxford Muslims is one call to prayer, once a week on a Friday afternoon. To be honest, I'm not sure that I would find that a nuisance. Nor can I say that I think it hurts anyone to have to hear it.

What I am opposed to is the imposition of an alien culture on an English city and that is much harder to legislate against.

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jaywhat
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#4 Post by jaywhat » May 28th, 2008, 2:44 pm

I would not find it a nuisance if it were in Oxford. I would find it a nuisance in Huddersfield.
I would definitely find it a fearful nuisance if, following the thin end of the wedge argument, it were to become 5 times a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year for the rest of my life.

Fia
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#5 Post by Fia » May 28th, 2008, 5:36 pm

I get cross with church bells disturbing my enjoyment of the Archers omnibus.

Maria Mac
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#6 Post by Maria Mac » May 28th, 2008, 11:25 pm

I don't like any intrusive noise but I agree with Andy that there is a difference between church bells and someone wailing through a megaphone. Some church bells seems to go on and on, however, and are bloody annoying. I think they should be allowed as part of our traditions but restricted to those times when nobody is listening to anything good on the radio. I don't think muslim calls to prayer should be allowed at all. Tell them all to keep an eye on the clock instead.

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Alan H
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#7 Post by Alan H » May 29th, 2008, 7:51 am

Fia wrote:I get cross with church bells disturbing my enjoyment of the Archers omnibus.
That's a tough call... :D
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Fia
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#8 Post by Fia » May 29th, 2008, 5:10 pm

Maria wrote:I think they should be allowed as part of our traditions but restricted to those times when nobody is listening to anything good on the radio.
How about 07.50 mon-fri: Thought for the day? :smile:

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Lifelinking
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#9 Post by Lifelinking » May 29th, 2008, 8:24 pm

I think they should be allowed as part of our traditions but restricted to those times when nobody is listening to anything good on the radio. I don't think muslim calls to prayer should be allowed at all.
I suspect these remarks were rather 'tongue in cheek' Maria, but thought I would mention in a very friendly way that I disagree. I am not sure what 'our traditions' means. If we extend tolerance to noisy Christian Bells, I can see no reason why such tolerance should not be extended to other faiths.




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Lord Muck oGentry
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#10 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » May 29th, 2008, 9:09 pm

I can't see that this has anything to do with freedom of speech. It looks to me more like one of those tedious disputes between neighbours in which one party very much wants do do something that the other regards as a bloody nuisance. Drum-kit practice, say. :)

If there is a peculiarly humanist approach to it, I imagine it would be to insist on two points. First, no religious desires get weight simply because they are religious. Second, no desires are discounted simply because they are religious. That leaves plenty of room for both sides to have their say.

I would take much the same approach to the question about bell-ringing and the call to prayer. Since neither gets any weight for being religiously inspired, they have each already had exactly as much consideration as they deserve by virtue of being religiously inspired: none. That leaves other factors to decide the question. I happen to prefer bells, but only because they are familiar. If the call to prayer becomes part of the national background sound, then it too will have become familiar.

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Alan C.
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#11 Post by Alan C. » May 29th, 2008, 9:31 pm

Are you aware of "The Angelus bell" in Ireland? It's sounded three times daily, and everybody is supposed to stop what they're doing for a minute of reflection and prayer.
This is a very short video spoof, of the "Angelus Bell. Enjoy.
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Lord Muck oGentry
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#12 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » May 29th, 2008, 9:41 pm

Just got back from a fortnight in Ireland. I can't say that I noticed the Angelus bell at all. Besides, the people were far too busy building houses and painting them yellow to take any breaks. :)
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

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Lifelinking
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#13 Post by Lifelinking » May 29th, 2008, 9:51 pm

I quite like the sounds of Carillon in towns and cities across the Netherlands. But I suspect if you lived right next to it you would either have to become oblivious to it or be driven quite insane.

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bobchurchill
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Re: Freedom to not listen.

#14 Post by bobchurchill » June 4th, 2008, 6:16 pm

In "free market" speech, sellers have the freedom to sell to anyone, but not to advertise everywhere and anywhere, let alone to force people to buy. But in "free speech" speech any restriction on where people "advertise" their views immediately looks suspect. It's a weird little disanalogy between commercial and social freedom.
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