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The Neuroscience Of Free-Speech

By Freya India Ager writing for Areo


From the article,

How is it that some people feel energised by the thought of fierce debate and keen to have their beliefs challenged and their minds potentially changed, while others appear unwilling to listen to even the most benign differences of opinion, even regarding the experience as violent or oppressive? What makes some of us free speech absolutists, while others demand ever more limits on language? For those of us who believe that freedom of speech is foundational to a democratic society, it’s all too easy to ascribe malicious intent to those who argue otherwise. We’re certain of their intentions: right-wingers who refuse to engage with progressives must be bigoted and authoritarian; while any leftist who exhibits such intolerance is probably an ignorant snowflake intent on bringing western democracy to its knees. But what if a person’s stance on free speech—her willingness to tolerate opinions she doesn’t like—is linked to her brain function, and how she perceives the world? Perhaps opposition to free speech is less based on malevolence than on mindset.

Read the full article at Areo