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The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the

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The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 14:00
The ―paradox of tolerance‖ admonishes us that tolerance of the intolerant leads to intolerance. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the constitutions and laws of Western European democracies that adhere to the principle of freedom of speech all heed the warning of this conundrum and do not afford legal protection to extremist speech.

While in Western European democracies, the speech of non-democratic extremists has been successfully outlawed, in the United States the first amendment right to freedom of speech has been interpreted to encompass radical oration. The traditional justifications of this American stance originate in the belief that speech is entitled to greater tolerance than other kinds of activity. They are based on the belief that speech itself is valuable, and thus ascribe positive value to a very broad range of speech.

According to the classical model, freedom of speech serves an indispensable function in the process of democratic self-government. From this perspective, the free speech principle need only protect political speech, comprised of all the facts, theories, and opinions relating to any issue on which the citizens must vote. Proponents of this view insist that even extremist views cannot be concealed from voting citizens, if these views bear on any public issue before them.

Protection of free speech serves the collective self-interests of a self-governing society made up of all rational, equal, and fully participating citizens who take their civic duties seriously. The fortress model is built on a foundation of pessimism, individualism, relativism, and self-doubt. At its deepest level, the fortress model values freedom of speech as a necessary precondition to the discovery and preservation of truth, but even at this level the function of speech remains primarily negative.
From this perspective, the government and a majority of the people pose a great danger of intolerance. In spite of the high probability that their beliefs will eventually prove to be false, it is argued, people nonetheless tend to feel certain about them and, consequently, feel justified in requiring others to conform. Thus, the fortress model‘s prescription for combating the tendency to censor nonconforming views is to overprotect speech by providing a broad ―buffer zone‖ that encompasses extremist speech because its protection substantially diminishes the probability that inherently valuable speech will be suppressed.

The fortress model is ―built on a foundation of pessimism, individualism, relativism, and self-doubt.‖ Based on information in the passage, each of the following statements is a view held by those who believe in the fortress model of free speech EXCEPT:

A. extremist political speech should be prohibited because it threatens democratic government.
B. freedom of political speech is necessary in order to protect democratic government.
C. a ban on extremist political speech raises the probability that more important political speech will also be banned.
D. the government is unlikely to permit political speech that it finds objectionable unless the law prevents it from curbing political speech.
E. the government should ensure that extremist speech, as long as it is political, is protected

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
A

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Re: DIFFICULT- +700 RC [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2012, 15:40
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maybeam wrote:
The fortress model is built on a foundation of pessimism, individualism, relativism, and self-doubt. At its deepest level, the fortress model values freedom of speech as a necessary precondition to the discovery and preservation of truth, but even at this level the function of speech remains primarily negative.
From this perspective, the government and a majority of the people pose a great danger of intolerance. In spite of the high probability that their beliefs will eventually prove to be false, it is argued, people nonetheless tend to feel certain about them and, consequently, feel justified in requiring others to conform. Thus, the fortress model‘s prescription for combating the tendency to censor nonconforming views is to overprotect speech by providing a broad "buffer zone" that encompasses extremist speech because its protection substantially diminishes the probability that inherently valuable speech will be suppressed.

Based on information in the passage, each of the following statements is a view held by those who believe in the fortress model of free speech EXCEPT:

A. extremist political speech should be prohibited because it threatens democratic government.
B. freedom of political speech is necessary in order to protect democratic government.
C. a ban on extremist political speech raises the probability that more important political speech will also be banned.
D. the government is unlikely to permit political speech that it finds objectionable unless the law prevents it from curbing political speech.
E. the government should ensure that extremist speech, as long as it is political, is protected


Thoughts on each answer:
  • A: Fortress model supporters consider speech a necessary evil. They protect extremist speech just to be on the safe side (see highlighted text). They DON'T think extremist speech should be prohibited. This answer is not consistent with the fortress model.
  • B: According to the passage, "the fortress model values freedom of speech as a necessary precondition to the discovery and preservation of truth." This answer choice isn't exactly the same as the fortress model description in the passage, but it's not obviously wrong like answer A.
  • C: This is explicitly stated in the final sentence of the passage. It is consistent with the fortress model.
  • D: According to the passage, "the government and a majority of the people pose a great danger of intolerance." This is consistent with the fortress model.
  • E: According to the passage, extremist speech in general should be protected according to the fortress model (see highlighted text). This is consistent.

Considering all of that, I would choose answer choice A.
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Re: The paradox of tolerance [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2012, 07:40
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IMO answer is A.

The last statement says " is to overprotect speech by providing a broad "buffer zone" that encompasses extremist speech because its protection substantially diminishes the probability that inherently valuable speech will be suppressed."
This means that believers in fortress will want to encourage extremist speech rather than " prohibit" it.
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Re: The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 22:19
I could just eliminate E.....not able to choose 1 out of remaining 4 :(

how to solve such complex inference questions..pls suggest.
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Re: The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 23:32
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I solved this question by making it immediately relevant to me personally. I rephrased the question to "Americans believe all of the following EXCEPT:" I understand that this is not at all a perfect translation, but even my limited knowledge of history tells me that we're basically talking about the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution (and why Americans are so defensive about it) in this passage. (B), (C), (D), and (E) all seem consistent with how Americans (i.e. fortress-model believers) are described in the passage. (A) seems glaringly off-base, so I chose (A).

Furthermore, (A) and (E) are nearly polar opposites, so it's unlikely that they are BOTH views held by fortress-model believers, and that means one of them is probably the correct answer.

(By the way, I'm not sure this particular explanation is helpful unless you're American...but the "making it personal" strategy is still a useful one sometimes.)
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Re: The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 03:12
rjacobsMGMAT wrote:
I solved this question by making it immediately relevant to me personally. I rephrased the question to "Americans believe all of the following EXCEPT:" I understand that this is not at all a perfect translation, but even my limited knowledge of history tells me that we're basically talking about the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution (and why Americans are so defensive about it) in this passage. (B), (C), (D), and (E) all seem consistent with how Americans (i.e. fortress-model believers) are described in the passage. (A) seems glaringly off-base, so I chose (A).

Furthermore, (A) and (E) are nearly polar opposites, so it's unlikely that they are BOTH views held by fortress-model believers, and that means one of them is probably the correct answer.

(By the way, I'm not sure this particular explanation is helpful unless you're American...but the "making it personal" strategy is still a useful one sometimes.)




Thanks Ryan,

You are right; I'm not American and therefore it didnt help much :(
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Re: The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 05:07
I really didn't understand the passage... could still select 'A' as the answer because it is the odd one out . All the other choices support freedom of political speech whereas 'A' does the opposite.
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Re: The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2014, 10:00
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Re: The paradox of tolerance admonishes us that tolerance of the   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2014, 10:00
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