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From the psychological aspect, there are many people with implicit attitude, prejudice, cognitive distortion, etc. The common factor is that they are unwilling to consider the possibility that their belief may be wrong, and if someone isn't convinced of what they say, they will either rage or dismiss. The only way to stop them is, as far as I know, via social pressure. For illustration, please watch the movie 12 Angry Men.

Now, would doing such a thing violate freedom of thought? If they say "it's my right to not listen to you", then would it be wrong to keep asking them to provide logical arguments, regarding their explicit statement to not continuing the conversation?

From Universal Declaration of Human Rights | United Nations:

Article 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

The definitions of harassment and stalking, as in my understanding, involve the disrespect of the actor to the receiver's well-being (or happiness, or quality of life). However, in this case, the opposite is true: because the actor respects the receiver's well-being, therefore they have to do this. If they don't do this, then they are in fact not respect the receiver's well-being. Otherwise they wouldn't need to do this at all.

This photo can help illustrate this. The anti-mask protest is stopped by medical staffs.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on psychology.stackexchange.com Mar 14 '20 at 14:58
  • @BlueDogRanch how does this question belong to that site? It's about understanding/interpreting the human right, which is a legal question?
    – Ooker
    Mar 14 '20 at 15:28
  • Is this in the context specifically of a deliberating jury? Or is it just some guy in the street who is free to leave?
    – D M
    Mar 14 '20 at 16:22
  • @DM For the sake of convenience, let's call the person who tries to convince is "he", and the other person is "she". She is free to leave, and he just follows or convinces other people to convince her, until a reasonable reason is spoken out.
    – Ooker
    Mar 14 '20 at 16:32
  • If you keep asking them to provide rationale, even when that person has said that they do not want to continue the conversation, this crosses the line into harassment and will likely result in your arrest. People (mostly) have the right to hold a belief without being required to justify it to your satisfaction, and pressuring somebody to do so, depending on the belief, could either be harassment, or a hate crime.
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 14 '20 at 16:41
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I do not believe this would be a violation of freedom of thought. The person being asked is free to leave, and free not to answer despite the repeated requests for an answer.

Extended following and asking might run afoul of stalking/harassment laws, but that's jurisdiction-dependent and probably not a human rights violation.

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  • the definitions of harassment and stalking, as in my understanding, involve the disrespect of the actor to the receiver's well-being (or happiness, or quality of life). However, in this case, the opposite is true: because the actor respects the receiver's well-being, therefore they have to do this. Otherwise they wouldn't need to do this at all.
    – Ooker
    Mar 15 '20 at 4:22
  • @Ooker - The opposite is not true. It's the well being of the recipient as perceived by the recipient, not as presumed by the actor. You could be making the best point in the world about the perils of obesity, but if you follow someone around telling them to lose weight after they've told you it's their right not to listen to you, you're likely to be on the pointy end of a harassment suit. Mar 15 '20 at 22:28
  • @ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere "It's the well being of the recipient as perceived by the recipient, not as presumed by the actor." Can you elaborate or give me more resources to study this? I think our emotional perception is pretty accurate to detect this. And those concepts have measures to check objectively (of course no measure is perfect). As for the point about obesity, what is the difference between following them and an funded program on obesity specifically targeting obese people or their friends/relatives?
    – Ooker
    Mar 16 '20 at 6:26
  • @Ooker - If someone feels they're being harassed, that's more significant than the intentions of the other person - thousands of prosecuted stalkers have believed "he/she would be happy if only I could convince them we'd be good together". It's something of a presumed truism, but a search on "your rights end where another's begin" should give some good additional information. Mar 16 '20 at 9:08
  • @ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere I understand that stalking is a big concern, but in here it's no longer a belief anymore, but a knowledge already. You know that people should reduce their fat, for their own benefit (and even their friends/relatives). That's scientific. And if you say it's just a belief, then it's denial. I totally agree that we should reduce the annoyance in our message as much as we can (by being patient, learning communication skills, etc), but in some rare case, it is virtually impossible to communicate without creating stress. I would like to know what law will say in this case
    – Ooker
    Mar 16 '20 at 10:23
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"Freedom of thought" does not mean "freedom from the thoughts or expressions of other people" or "the right to override another person's freedom of expression". It means that the government cannot pass a law that forces you to think a particular way. A country may have a legal requirement that everyone must believe a certain thing, which would count as a "violation of freedom of thought". Unless your country has laws governing correct / legal thought, you cannot be free from the existence of others' thoughts.

The right to express your thoughts is legally limited in various ways. Some expressions are prohibited, for various reasons – fraud, threats, deceptive advertising, defamation. This may also include politically unacceptable expression, such as so-called hate-speech (which may include racially-insensitive speech) – such laws don't exist in the US because of the First Amendment.

There are also legal limits on the means of expression. For example, you cannot physically force a person to be subjected to your expression (chaining them up, locking them in a room); you cannot trespass onto the property of others without permission to express yourself. You cannot publically harass a person, even to express your thoughts. The boundary between public harassment (illegal) and public expression (legal) is not sharp. Harassment laws generally include an element of fear, that a person reasonably fears that the other person will do them harm. In the context where A is standing on the sidewalk and B approaches and non-threateningly expresses ideas that A does not like, A must either ignore the offense, or must leave, at least in a nation with First Amendment like freedom of speech.

This article addresses the philosophical reasons why thoughts crimes should not punished.

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