Jens Frank wrote:
So I might say "You are an asshole" and you
me for it in the US?
Than our legal system has quite other
priorities than yours. The German constitution begins
with the words:
Die Wuerde des Menschen ist unantastbar.
Meaning something like:
The dignity of man is inviolable.
The American view would be that restrictions on insulting speech, or
hateful speech, are a violation of human dignity.
There was a very interesting process
some years ago between a soldier and a pacifist
who has said "Soldiers are murderers". The
decision of the court was: If you say it as a
general statement targeting more to "war" than
to a specific man, it's protected by the right
of free speech. If you say it to the face of
an soldier, meaning him personally, than it's
an insultation and violating the soldiers
dignity. The pacifist won the case since it
was a sticker on his car and therefor not
intended to a specific soldier.
(I think we're becomming off topic, but it's
an interesting difference between the US and
Germany I wasn't aware of)
Yes, this is off topic. And it is interesting.
I had no idea that a person could be sued anywhere in the world for
calling someone an asshole. Americans are litigious enough already,
god forbid if we could sue people for _that_! :-)