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The ―paradox of tolerance‖ admonishes us that tolerance of the intoler

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The ―paradox of tolerance‖ admonishes us that tolerance of the intoler  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 394, Date: 16-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


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 nondemocratic 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.

1. Which of the following scenarios, if true, would most weaken the argument contained in the paradox of tolerance which ―admonishes us that tolerance of the intolerant leads to intolerance?

A. Islandia‘s government has decided to outlaw extremist political groups in order to protect its democratic political system.
B. Islandia has a non-democratic government, despite its suppression of extremist political groups.
C. Islandia‘s government became democratic only after extremist political groups were outlawed.
D. Islandia has had a stable democratic government for decades, even though it has never outlawed extremist political groups
E. Islandia has tried and failed repeatedly to have a stable government



2. All of the following actions have been put forth by one or another group in this country as being of value in our society. Which actions would violate a principle of the classical model of free speech?

A. Banning an individual from making derogatory comments about various ethnic groups
B. Banning an individual from yelling ―fire‖ in a crowded movie theater
C. Banning an individual from claiming that the government should be voted out of existence
D. Banning an individual from making false statements about a company‘s products
E. Banning and individual for abusing his parents



3. 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


Originally posted by GmatWizard on 23 Oct 2018, 21:29.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 16 Oct 2019, 09:55, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (1037).
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Re: The ―paradox of tolerance‖ admonishes us that tolerance of the intoler  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 21:33
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Topic and Scope

- The author discusses two justifications for free speech in America:
the classical model and the fortress model.

Mapping the Passage


¶1 introduces the ―paradox of intolerance.‖
¶2 gives examples of countries that have taken the paradox into consideration by
banning extreme speech, and argues that the United States tolerates even extremist
speech.
¶3 introduces a justification for the defense of extremist speech: the classical model.
¶s4 and 5 introduce another justification: the fortress model.
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Re: The ―paradox of tolerance‖ admonishes us that tolerance of the intoler  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 21:35
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Answers and Explanations


1)

Take a moment to review the paradox and its implications before attacking the choices. The paradox essentially states that free speech should be limited at its extremes when the extremes could contribute to eliminating free speech. Looking for an answer choice that weakens the implications of the paradox turns up (D): The paradox states that extreme speech weakens stable government, a point weakened by a scenario in which extreme speech and stable government coexist.
(A): Opposite. Outlawing extremism to protect democracy would be in line with what the paradox recommends.
(B): Out of Scope. The paradox deals with democratic governments, and so this doesn‘t apply.
(C): Out of Scope. As above; the paradox deals with how democracies should act towards free speech. Since Islandia wasn‘t a democracy when it outlawed extremist speech, it falls outside the scope of the paradox.
(D): The correct answer
(E): Out of scope.

2)

Review the classical model in ¶3, paying particular attention to its scope. The classical model argues that political speech should be protected, whether it‘s extremist or not. While three of the answer choices deal with non-political speech, only (C) deals with political speech that the classical model would propose to protect.
(A): Out of Scope. ¶3 says that the ―free speech principle need only protect political speech,‖ while (A) would be non-political.
(B): Out of Scope. As above, yelling ―fire‖ wouldn‘t be political in nature.
(C): The correct answer(D): Out of Scope. As above, discussion of a company‘s products doesn‘t deal with politics.
(E): Out of scope, as described above.

3)

Review the fortress model before eliminating answer choices that match with what a proponent would believe. The fortress model argues that extremist speech should be protected because more harm is done in banning it than in allowing the speech itself. While three choices reasonably follow from this, (A) contradicts the main point of the model in general: free speech shouldn’t be banned.
(A): The correct answer
(B): Opposite. This fits not only with ¶s4 and 5, but also with the general idea of both models: free speech has to be protected in order to protect democracy.
(C): Opposite. This is mentioned in the passage.
(D): Opposite. This follows from the argument that ―the government...pose[s] a great danger of intolerance.‖
(E): Opposite. This clearly follows from the passage.
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Re: The ―paradox of tolerance‖ admonishes us that tolerance of the intoler  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2019, 09:55
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Re: The ―paradox of tolerance‖ admonishes us that tolerance of the intoler   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2019, 09:55
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