From the Irish Times in December ➤ Not every harmful or undesirable behaviour needs to be legally regulated.
|By David Thunder|
The Government has indicated that it intends to strengthen and expand the scope of existing hate-speech legislation, as “one element in a wider suite of measures across all areas of government which are designed to address hatred and intolerance”.
The ostensible motivation behind legal measures against hate speech is laudable. Who, after all, would deny that “threatening, abusive, or insulting conduct. . . intended or likely to stir up hatred”, to use the language of the 1989 Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, is noxious and undesirable?
Yet it does not follow from the fact that a behaviour is harmful or undesirable that it should be legally regulated. There are many forms of socially destructive behaviour that are not regulated by law. For example, we do not legally enforce courtesy, gratitude, sincerity, sobriety or charity.
Read more @ The Irish Times.