Chapter five of our study book comprehensively examines the question of civil liberties. Civil liberties are a very significant pillar for a modern civilized society. The chapter runs through roots of liberties, first and second amendments, rights of criminal defendants, and the right to privacy and concludes by examining the path toward reform in the light of civil liberties and combating terrorism.
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I found the chapter to be quite enlightening and significantly relevant in the current society. There are some issues that I found detesting; for instance, under the right to privacy, issues of homosexuality were brought up. I have reservations on the issue of homosexuality and do not believe that America should be tolerating it since America is a nation whose foundations were laid on Christian values by the founding fathers. Generally, the whole chapter was thought-provoking, with most sections eliciting deep reflections.
One of the subsections which caught the attention of my reflection was the one on freedom of speech and the press. In my private moments, I tried to imagine a society without freedom of speech, but I found that to be quite strange. In my imagination, I could not see how a society could survive without freedom of speech – I mean, how can someone deny you the right to speak your mind?
As I reflected deeply on such a society, it came to my attention that such societies do not exist in the utopian world but in this real world that we live in. If I am to argue from what I watch in international news, some governments have severely limited the freedom of speech that their citizens live in fear. That was a bit striking to me – we are sharing a world where some people have to mind what they speak; otherwise, they face the authorities.
I also took some time to reflect upon the freedom of the press. The reflection on freedom of the press was even more, scaring to me. I walked my thoughts around the world, stopping for some time in countries like China, North Korea, South Korea, and the Middle East, which has been experiencing serious uprising. I also went through some of the famous scandals on earth and was very surprised by the observation that I made about the role that the press played in unraveling them. Actually, it is correct to say that we owe our freedom due to the freedom of the press.
The thought of the iron triangle came up at this moment, and that clearly confirmed to me that freedom of the press was such a huge issue and so significant that we can not let anybody whatsoever touch it. My reflection swept me to the bible saying, my people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge; the press brings us vital information which helps us as a people and society to make vital decisions. If the press is not free, then the information fed to the society will be customized to fit ideologies that may not benefit society. This is actually the reason why countries whose leaders are dictators do not experience freedom of the press.
The freedom of the press and speech is vital for the propagation of dignity and democracy in a society. It is significant that these freedoms are protected from any form of infringement.
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