Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What’s the point of having “freedom of speech” if we don’t have “freedom of thought”?


"What impacts me the most is that 
we always have talks, and rightly so, 
about freedom of speech. 
Obviously we have to have that freedom, 
but what we should really have, first and foremost, 
is freedom of thoughts. 
Why do I care about freedom of speech 
if I can only come up with stupid things to say? 
What’s so important about freedom of speech, 
if you can’t even think, 
if you don’t have your own criteria, 
if you aren’t free to think by yourself? "

Emilio Lledó - Spanish philosopher.


This was one of those reflections that gets deep into your head and doesn´t go away. It’s so deep, true and valid and has become so much relevant in the society we're living in nowadays, where social networks have given anyone a voice that can be as strong and powerful as one desires.

And I have covered this topic on my blog a couple of times before. "Let's make a responsible use of our voice in social media", "Popularity and influence in social media: Create your own voice” and also this one," Social Media: Who is responsible? The ball or the player who kicks it?"

Always revolving around the same premise: Use always your own judgment, think about the value of things you’re posting and sharing, stand out from the crowd by the value of those things and share always on a responsible way.

And the topic lends itself for a very deep reflection: Are we making a good use of the tools we have available? Or are we simply becoming repeater antennas, which disseminate information without even knowing what it is about?


Are we really adding value to conversations? Do we really have the capacity to make the world a better place?


As Emilio Lledó says: "What is freedom of speech, if you can’t even think by yourself with common sense?"

It’s worth to remember the saying: "More dangerous than a monkey with razor".


Throughout history there have been many situations in which human beings’ nature has made clear that depending on people’s discretion and their ability to think properly, good things can happen, but also terrible things.

For example, scientists discovered atomic energy. If they had followed the right approach, if they had been able to think properly, this amazing energy could have been used only to do good things for mankind. What have we used it for instead? For the creation of mass destruction weapons.

If we go a little bit further, our ancestors discovered fire. They may have taken it calmly and use fire for benign purposes such as heating cold nights, scaring away dangerous animals, brightening dark nights, and so on. However, they also found out they could use it to burn the neighboring villages and to hurt their peers.


Without proper discretion, even the most advanced technology can become your worst enemy.


Hence the saying: "More dangerous than a monkey with razor" because the razor blade itself can be used for good things, like giving you a wonderful shaved, for example. But put the same razor on the hands of an individual without judgment and you’ll see the atrocities that can be done with it, starting by taking peoples’ life.

Never forget that, on top of everything, the most important rule is to do things with discretion. And to make things this way, we must develop the ability to think by ourselves, according to our own criteria and following our own path.

Freely expressing yourself doesn’t mean you shout the first thing that comes to your mind.


And unfortunately that’s what we see happening more often: individuals who simply open their mouths because they have the freedom to do so, but only say not-making-sense things, nothing to add value, or even to help those of us listening to live a better life.

That's where I think they are making the big mistake: They're sharing solely to be visible but not to be remembered by what they have said.


It is not simply about being visible, but also to be remembered by the things you say.

That should be our motto and the best reason guiding the freedom with which we use our ability to express ourselves: that what we said is valuable enough to other people so they keep us always in their minds.

Let’s get the most advantage out of the opportunity offered to us by available platforms nowadays to express ourselves with total freedom, but let's always do it judiciously.

Keep in mind that "Why do we need to have freedom of speech if we are only going to say stupid things?"

An interesting reflection to always bear in mind.

Thanks, Emilio Lledó, for your words.



Here you have the links to the posts I mentioned to you above.
Popularity and Influence in Social Media: Create Your Own Voice
Social Media: Who Is Responsible? The Ball or The Player Who Kicks It?
Let us Make A Responsible Use Of Our Voice In Social Media.



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