Here is yet another reason why scientism (governing through science) is a bad idea, An article in the New York Times is purpoting to use “science’ to demonstrate that the idea of free speech is not good. The article attempts to justify censoring speech that might be harmful on the basis of scientific studies that show that more than stick and stones can break your bones, apparently words can as well.
In between assorted claims that President Trump is a threat to Freedom of the Press, the New York Times decided to publish a case for abolishing Freedom of Speech.
Once again the media shows that it represents the greatest threat to the First Amendment.
The editorial, “When Is Speech Violence?” is a microcosm of today’s leftist insanity. There are the spurious appeals to science and claims of victimhood wrapped around a hot take that inverts reality while providing ammunition to the worst intersectional extremists on the left.
Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life.
Your body’s immune system includes little proteins called proinflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation when you’re physically injured. Under certain conditions, however, these cytokines themselves can cause physical illness. What are those conditions? One of them is chronic stress.
Your body also contains little packets of genetic material that sit on the ends of your chromosomes. They’re called telomeres. Each time your cells divide, their telomeres get a little shorter, and when they become too short, you die. This is normal aging. But guess what else shrinks your telomeres? Chronic stress.
If words can cause stress, and if prolonged stress can cause physical harm, then it seems that speech — at least certain types of speech — can be a form of violence.
Here’s your safe space argument wrapped in pseudoscience.
The First Amendment doesn’t have a “stress” clause. And this is exactly why it exists. Totalitarian movements can always find plausible seeming excuses for censorship. That’s why the First Amendment bans them from even attempting the exercise.
And once you begin arguing that any speech that causes “chronic stress” can be outlawed, you are adding a heckler’s veto in which speech has to meet the lowest common denominator of the most easily disturbed. The metric is no longer what you said or intended to say, but how your random leftist safe space creature feels traumatized by it.
“This question has taken on some urgency in the past few years, as professed defenders of social justice have clashed with professed defenders of free speech on college campuses. Student advocates have protested vigorously, even violently, against invited speakers whose views they consider not just offensive but harmful — hence the desire to silence, not debate, the speaker. “Trigger warnings” are based on a similar principle: that discussions of certain topics will trigger, or reproduce, past trauma — as opposed to merely challenging or discomfiting the student. The same goes for “microaggressions.”
And where exactly does that end”?
July 16, 2017 Daniel Greenfield In between assorted claims that President Trump is a threat to Freedom of the Press, the New York Times decided to publish a case for abolishing Freedom of Speech. Once again the media shows that it represents the greatest threat to the First Amendment. The editori…
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