Theme 2

Freedom of expression is a key value in a pluralist society and in the development of secularism. Restrictions on free expression – both formal and informal – are common features of religious privilege and discrimination. The modern secularist movement in the UK first emerged in reaction to restrictions on critical speech about religion and the state
In these resources students will explore a variety of legal, philosophical, political and moral viewpoints on freedom of expression. They will contrast and critique different theories on the limits of free expression through thought experiments, exercises and real world examples.

The key questions in this theme are:

  • What is free speech?
  • What is blasphemy?
  • What is hate speech?
  • Should there be limits to free speech?

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