Free enquiry is important to me.  I believe that people have a right to air their views.  I do not wish to live in a society where the state can accuse you of thought crime and silence you.  Who gets to decide what ideas constitute thought crime or for that matter who has committed thought crime?  I suggest that we should not allow the state to decide.  We must uphold freedom of speech without exception, but let us add the proviso that in those cases where one is in fact inciting to violence, while one is free to do so, one must be held at least partly responsible for the consequences. If an idea is bad, expose it to criticism so that its flaws can be found and displayed openly.  Everyone should have the right to present their views in the public forum where they can be analyzed and rebutted by intelligent argument.  We must be free to criticize ideas.  And those who are the subjects of criticism should be allowed to answer criticism.  If we find the answers insufficient, we should attempt to demonstrate this.  At the end of the day, if some ideas prove to be flawed, we will have the satisfaction of knowing why they are flawed.  If some ideas prove to be sound, we can acknowledge that as well.  It's an edifying process.  In theory, ideas can and should be tested against logic and empirical data where available.  This is preferable to simply silencing people by locking them up, the method preferred by theocracies among others.  We have made phenomenal progress.  Let us not lose the principles that have made progress possible.

Views: 98

Comment

You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 29, 2015 at 5:54pm

"...let us add the proviso that in those cases where one is in fact inciting to violence, ...,  one must be held at least partly responsible for the consequences."

Google "scotus fighting words" and you will see links to the decades of attention the Supreme Court of the United States has given to this issue.

Comment by Wyatt on October 25, 2015 at 2:53am
Thank you, Gerald.
Comment by Wyatt on October 25, 2015 at 2:51am
Correction -- "We must uphold freedom of speech without exception, but let us add the proviso that in those cases where one is in fact inciting to violence, while one is free to do so, one must be held at least partly responsible for the consequences."
Comment by Gerald Payne on October 24, 2015 at 4:53pm

''We must uphold freedom of speech, save in those cases where one is in fact inciting to violence.''

That's the problem Wyatt, somebody somewhere decides what's likely to incite violence and these things are a matter of opinion. For instance, if I don't like your opinion on matters of human rights and I have hegemony and control of the media, it would be easy to propagandise that your ideas will lead to violence and that violent disorder is what your real intent is.

Comment by Michael Penn on October 24, 2015 at 3:15pm

Agreed, and certainly we must preserve free enquiry. The problem is that everyone doesn't see it this way. Some in the USA do not see it this way at all as they try to lay out religious meaning for everything and get very upset if you don't go along with it.

Airing your views is important in knowing what to believe and where somebody stands on any issue. Sometimes it gets ignorant when know-it-alls tell me that in saying "goodbye" I am actually saying "god be with you." Sorry. It was never used that way in my lifetime.

About

line

Update Your Membership :

Membership

line

line

Nexus on Social Media:

line

© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service