The Bath University Debating Society invited an alleged neo-Nazi called Claire Khaw to a debate on feminism. after complaints were made by students, the Society decided to retract her invitation. However, this event put into stark contrast the rift now sitting within the student body between those who believe radical views should be expressed on campus and those who do not. bathimpact contributors John Heath and Eve Alcock debate.
JH: Free speech in itself is a means of distilling some resemblance of ‘truth’. The political theorist John Stuart Mill said “We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”
EA: I will begin by saying that I believe free speech is important. It encourages debate and furthers knowledge, yes. But there is a line between free speech and hate speech, and the right to the former does not automatically give you the right to the latter, nor does it entitle you to a platform.