Just a holding posts for a thought that is going to need development.
Defending free speech whilst not supporting providing a platform for that speech, is perfectly rational and moral. I’ve said a fair bit before about real limits to free (potentially offensive) speech.
[Most elaborated here, and most recently referenced here.]
The recent Germaine Greer example is prompting plenty of talk about student unions rejecting speakers – all the usual “rational” suspects (*) weighing-in. We need to distinguish between plain ignorance – failing to appreciate what someone is saying and why – and fair blockage of providing a platform depending on the actual / intended message. (The recent Greer case is a former example. But there have been several others recently, Maryan Namazie, Hirsi Ali, etc at various points on the spectrum.)
[(*)The increasingly one-dimensional Dawkins included – in extract:
@RichardDawkins – A university is not a “safe space”. If you need a safe space, leave, go home, hug your teddy & suck your thumb until ready for university.
@psybertron – @RichardDawkins @bencobley Quite the opposite. Education [should provide] a safe space where students can take risks without retribution.]