All entries for Tuesday 17 January 2006

January 17, 2006

Free speech?

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Several times recently people have asserted that others are 'wrong' merely because they don't conform to the perceived majority views of western society. In the entry above the debate is centred on the expression of an anti-homosexual viewpoint by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, president of the Muslim Council of Britain. Although I do not personally agree with his standpoint I have no problem with him, or anyone else, expressing the convictions of their faith providing that no active persecution takes place. Yes, religion is entirely opinion and cannot be proved, but how can the reverse viewpoint be proved either? Yes, religious extremists contradict what we believe to be correct, but from their viewpoint our feelings are blasphemous, and who’s to say who is ‘right’?

Why should people be forced to limit what they say simply because it might offend others? If we follow that argument to its logical conclusion no debate should be allowed at all, because all possible arguments offend someone!

It seems to me that everyone is extremely hasty to proclaim the necessity for free speech, providing that those speaking agree with them personally or with the popular or politically correct concept.

By defending the rights of the persecuted in an attempt to promote free speech are we going too far and as a result merely creating new victims of persecution?

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaire

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