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Nicholas Shackel The Fagility Of Free Speech Summary

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Critical Response Nicholas Shackel argues in his article “The Fragility of Free Speech” that “false notions” have caused people to lose understanding of what free speech really is. He believes that even if they do not agree with a specific opinion, it still needs to be respected. Shackel also discusses what is protected and what is not protected by freedom of speech. Once speech becomes violent or instigates violence, it is not protected. Shackel is frustrated with the creation of laws that limit free speech because, without free speech, we are not truly free. While Shackel’s argument about the “fragility” of free speech is hard to refute, the overly emotional and aggressive tone, Shackel’s contradiction of himself, and his lack of evidence for his claims cause his argument to falter. Excessive use of emotion and aggressive tone weakens Shackel’s argument. I will admit that some people may find an aggressive tone convincing enough for them, but in Shackel’s case, he falls short of being moving or convincing. In Shackel’s conclusion, he says “you may not like the idea that the instant of birth doesn’t draw a morally significant boundary between a permissible and impermissible killing, but so what? What makes you so important that your dislike, your violent disagreement, your outrage means that no one should hear this opinion? Obviously, nothing at all.” Shackel’s fervor does nothing more than turn his article into a rant. By using this tone, it is difficult to tell if he
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