Have we reached the limits of free speech?


Man Made Super-Flu Could Kill Half Humanity

A virus with the potential to kill up to half the world’s population has been made in a lab. Now academics and bio-terrorism experts are arguing over whether to publish the recipe, and whether the research should have been done in the first place.

Have we reached the limits of free speech? Discuss.

5 thoughts on “Have we reached the limits of free speech?”

  1. Government should not be involved in funding scientific research nor be able to engage in censorship (unless said research and/or censorship is solely for national defense purposes). Given that the government partially funded the research that led to this super-virus’ development, the government now needs to show that the funding was on the grounds of national defense if it wants to proceed with censorship. If it can’t do that, but can show objectively that publishing details about the virus constitutes a national threat, then heads should roll and a legal restraint put on government’s ability to fund non-defense related research.

    I agree with the linked article’s point that:

    “The very same data, if made available to the scientific community, could potentially allow humanity to prepare for an H5N1 pandemic, which Fouchier’s study has shown to be far more probable than was previously believed.

    Clamping down on freedom of information in the scientific domain may in the end leave us defenseless against the flu, should it arise naturally.”

  2. Reed –

    There are a number of senses of the word ‘free’.

    Being ‘free’ of the Law of Identity – nature’s laws – is an anti-concept, as is the idea that something can come out of nothing.

    Being ‘free’ to think (or not), and from the coercion of other men, are perfectly valid concepts.

  3. An anti-concept is an unnecessary and rationally unusable term designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concept. The use of anti-concepts gives the listeners a sense of approximate understanding.

    Free speech – The question you should ask is “free from what?”

    The answer I think you should get is “free from unjust suppression”.

    Justice is the concept and “free” whatever is the anti-concept.

  4. Here is an example of a virtuous man keeping his science secret for the sake of humanity.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

    “The first sketches of a submarine war ship were created by Leonardo da Vinci. He kept these sketches a secret becuase he did not want war to be more scary and violent than it was before.”

    he was not ‘forbidden’. He maintained his right to remain silent.

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