“Free Speech: Should There be Limits?” is the topic of a panel discussion to be held at the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island on Sunday, June 21 at 11 a.m. The society is located at 38 Old Country Rd. in Garden City (at the western end of Old Country Road, between Mineola Boulevard and Herricks Road).
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France earlier this year, as well as other attacks on the media in all forms, including online, the question has come up about whether there should be limits on the right to free speech—and who sets those limits? If we limit cartoons, as offensive as they may be to some, what’s next? Is suppression of First Amendment rights ever justifiable? When? Should the media be more sensitive to the cultural issues that may offend others? Should people on social media, e.g., Twitter/Facebook, be allowed to say whatever they want? Where’s the line between free speech and hate speech?
The panelists are health writer Liz Seegert, philosopher David Sprintzen and ethicist Arthur Dobrin.
Liz Seegert has spent more than 30 years reporting and writing about health and other topics for print, digital and broadcast media. Her primary beats currently encompass aging, women’s health, chronic disease and health policy. She is a coproducer of HealthStyles, on WBAI-FM, NYC and a Senior Fellow, Center for Health, Media & Policy, Hunter College.
Seegert’s work has appeared in numerous national and local media, including Consumer Reports, The Los Angeles Times, Women Magazine and New America Media. She has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University and a master’s in social policy, from Empire State College, State University of New York. She is a member of the boards of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island and of the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), a national organization that supports the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism.
David Sprintzen is the founder and served as the cochair of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, an organization that for 36 years has advocated for affordable housing and health care, decent and well-paying jobs, ecologically sustainable economic development, social and racial justice, and a more effective democracy. Dr. Sprintzen is professor emeritus of philosophy at Long Island University. He is the author of four books, including Critique of Western Philosophy and Social Theory and Camus: A Critical Examination. He is also a longtime member of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island.
Arthur Dobrin is leader emeritus of the Ethical Humanist Society, where he served for 33 years and professor emeritus at Hofstra University. He presently teaches courses in business and media ethics at Hofstra and blogs for Psychology Today. He is the author of 22 books, including Ethics for Everyone, The Lost Art of Happiness and Teaching Right From Wrong. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya.
There is no charge for this event and reservations are not required. For information, call 516-741-7304.
—Submitted by the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island