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Give me liberty to speak so that I can defend all other liberties

March 27, 2014

Give me liberty to speak so that I can defend all other liberties

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I support the withdrawal of Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Book burning in a digital age

How do we know?

The freedom to express an opinion: whether it is right or wrong, popular or unpopular, fashionable or unfashionable, should never be in the hands of those that think that they know better. How do we know that they are fit to make such a determination?  What special god-like power do such people possess in determining what is a fit and proper opinion to express?  Who will appoint such arbitrators to be the judge over what the rest of humanity may or may not say, read or write?  Will it not be the very same fallible humanity that will appoint members of its own fallible examples? The fallible human is deluding it self if it thinks that education, wisdom, age, compassion and intelligence will somehow make someone infallible.  No. The answer is that those that will judge us will be no different than those they judge because we are all human with all the same weaknesses and strengths. Worse, as exclusive power is handed out to the elite by what measure will they be held to be fit enough to limit our liberty to read and write what we wish?  By what measure are the musing of ones personal conscience deemed to be so terrifying that no one must be allowed to read them? I am aghast to think that mere opinions are dangerous.

 

But I am offended by dangerous ideas.

There are many things that offend me. Yet it is the loss of my freedom of conscience that offends me the most.  Whether I whisper it to myself or say it to a friend or print it in a document  to share with the world; I am offended that my conscience is seen as too dangerous to share with another human being.  It is not deeds that people fear the most but my ideas.  Why are ideas ever considered so dangerous that they must be hidden away out of fear?  Is any idea ever dangerous?

 

My view is that ideas are not dangerous.  It is actions that are dangerous and no action (dangerous or evil) can be taken without consent. I have a point of view but if appointed masters and judges do not agree with my point of view then they will suppress it. They will kill that point of view and ban it from ever being published.  This truly offends me.  It offends me because my viewpoint is the measure of my liberty.  I arrived at that viewpoint through my freedom of my conscience and I would at least like the right to counter what the masses and the elites might say.

 

Say nothing and listen to your betters

Those that claim to be all wise in the area of liberty may say that: I am too forward, that my views are not welcome, that my views disturb the harmony of society, that I must understand that they have already consulted with community leaders and all sorts of other people who are far more important than me.  In response, I say: to hell with all of that.  Is it not my right to formulate my own thoughts based upon what I have read, heard and seen?  Is it not my right to process the information you hand me and add to the information that I already have and come to an opposite conclusion?  Or is that I am not a worthy human to enjoy the same life, liberty or freedoms as you?  So I am left with people who want me to consult them before I utter a word that may somehow offend the sensibilities of someone in the community.  This I find offensive.  That I must beg for permission before I can speak.

 

We will say what is offensive because we know better.

To ask permission to have an opinion is not liberty.  It is very definition of oppression.  To say that we are only free to think and say what we are told to think and say is offensive to me. I want to think and say what I believe to be right.  I am not such a fool that accepts my liberty as if it is a gift from my betters, of the press, judges and politicians.  Do I trust such people to know, let alone care, what is best for me?  No, I do not.  These are just people. Just like the rest of us. No greater or lesser. This is what I believe. If they fear what I say, then what else will they grow to fear?  Perhaps my very existence.

 

What is the result of this? Am I freer because I must agree with what I do not like?  Is it really fitting that I should consult and ask everyone’s opinion before I speak or write what I believe to be right?  If I cannot say what I believe to be right then what am I permitted to say? How can I defend myself against what offends me if my answer is censored?  How can I know what I am for if I have never seen what I oppose?

 

I do not believe that I need permission to hold a viewpoint that may offend someone. It is my right to be wrong, stupid and hold  opinions that others would love to suppress.   I do not support those who burn books or ban opinions from print.

This is what it has come down to. Burning books and papers that may offend someone.  But now we burn them digitally. How utterly advanced and clever we are. We are in the 21st Century and we still burn books.

Which books shall we burn?

 

Ref: http://www4.uwm.edu/libraries/burnedbooks/

 

Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book, as long as that document does not offend our own ideas of decency. That should be the only censorship.
     — Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

The fire with which you threaten sacred letters will burn you in an act of justice!
     — Deacon Vicente

 

Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings.
     — Heinrich Heine

 

 

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