HAT Forum: The Charlie Hebdo massacre

HAT Forum
Location: The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St. just north of Wellesley, Meeting Room 304
Date & Time: Saturday Jan 17, 11:00 to 13:00
Proposers: Richard Dowsett & Dick Combeer

The staff of Charlie Hebdo paid the ultimate price for the magazine's editorial stance and its refusal to stop satirizing their chosen targets in the face of firebombs and mounting death threats. Unfortunately, several innocent bystanders also paid this price and the repercussions spread out from there with world-wide impact. 
  1. What is the value of satirical media (Jon Stewart, Charlie Hebdo, Private Eye etc) to society? 
  2. What are the costs to civil society? 
  3. Should we impose limits to certain forms of satire to try to lessen the costs? (i.e. hate speech provisions, libel, slander, defamation?)
  4. Could a Charlie Hebdo type attack happen in Canada? Would their form of satire even be permissible in our society under our laws in the first place?
  5. Are you satisfied with the response of the various media to this event and their ability to bring focus to the key issues? What biases do you detect and what are the sources of their biases?
  6. How do your humanist principles inform how you view this event? Would they have lead you to do the same things in the many roles or act very differently?