Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Feelings over Facts

This is what happens when sensitivity to people's emotions trumps objectivity. (And don't forget, the single biggest argument against the right to free speech is "the right not to have one's feelings hurt". Please keep the link above in mind when you hear such attacks on our freedom of speech.)


Blogger Galileo Blogs said...

That concretizes the importance of the right of free speech, and the importance of always upholding the truth, period.

Interestingly, the cited article also describes teachers being afraid of Muslim students who express anti-Semitic comments when the Holocaust is taught. It sounds like the teachers are afraid of the little Muhammeds and [insert female Muslim name] in their classrooms. Even little Muslims terrorize, in Western classrooms.

As to restricting speech in order to avoid offending sensibilities, let's add the elimination of references to Japanese World War II atrocities in their classrooms. That has been a story for some time, but the textbook deletions apparently continue.

No younger Japanese alive today is responsible in the slightest degree for what their grandparents did in World War II. Yet some of these younger Japanese and apparently plenty of older Japanese (deservedly so, in some cases) subscribe to a collective or racial theory of guilt. Therefore, they want to change the history books that remind them of what for most of them is truly unearned guilt.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

Hi Galileo,

WRT to your first point, I think that when feelings are the standard by which speech is allowed or not, there are only two choices: either silence everyone on any issue which might be controversial, or allow force to determine who can speak and who can't. In practice some of each happen (but always to the detriment of the man of reason who wants to peacefully explore reality without bowing to other men's whims). The sterile politically-correct campuses (ignoring their attacks on capitalism and Western values) are examples of what happens when the former course is chosen, the violent threats and actions of many Muslims and the fear they engender is the result of the latter type of choice.

Your namesake is, of course, a prime example of the type of person who loses in either situation.

3:34 PM  

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