Comments on Free speech, blasphemy and religious hatred

Although it doesn't seem likely there will be many prosecutions under this law, the worry for me is the signal it sends to religious groups that they should be protected from anything they find offensive. It's not so much that Rowan Atkinson and Richard Dawkins will be sent down for daring to breathe a word of religious criticism, more that it creates an atmosphere where we will see more and more incidents like the Behzti and Jerry Springer protests, both of which ended in death threats.
Ben [Email][Home], 02.02.2005, 10:21pm link
Oh, and Tim - did you find this Q&A during your research? The last guy to be convicted of blasphemy got nine months for comparing Jesus to a circus clown:
Ben [Email][Home], 02.02.2005, 10:22pm link
I suppose this speech was inspired by all the attention of the so called beliefs of muslims and the goverments fear of upsetting any one .Regardless of cultural backrounds ,beliefs and so on , politicians -in England at least- are positively terrified of offending members of the community, that are not only voters ,but also disposed to adopt means of defiance that are more extreme than mere verbal protest.
It is foolish to uphold a religions right to tell us thatt the non-believer will burn in hell and yet for that religion to protest at objective criticism directed towards them.
Let us remember Montaigne, Erasmus and Voltaire and the sense and humour they communicated in their writings when bigotry and blind religious fanaticism became so intense that absurdity was the only word left to describe it.
In western culture it has primarily been the devotees of truth that have been crucified by misguided fanatics in far greater numbers than we would at first believe.
Vick , 02.02.2005, 11:09pm link
Ben - yes, it does seem likely that if anything this is going to cause MORE problems, and it bothers me that religious groups are going to think that they have more power (even if that isn't really the case).
I saw the Q&A - interesting, but it still doesn't give much of an indication of what can be classed as blasphemy.

Vick - most the writers of the Enlightenment era had to attempt to hide what they wanted to say in irony and sarcasm, hoping that the authorities wouldn't read between the lines - I'm not sure the humour was particularly funny for them ...
Tim [Home], 03.02.2005, 3:14am link
Yes Tim it seems that destabilising the Status-Quo has always been as risky as a first attempt on El Capitan.Is it worth trying to change opinions before their time?Is it worth upsetting yourself by pointing out obvious flaws in reasoning or sense?

In time the truth manifests itself.All I have learnt is that it is not worth trying to enlighten certain brains.I have often felt that born again Christians practice a type of paracitism in which they feed off enlightened minds, in which they learn new forms of intelligence and strategy, in which they drain the life 's blood out of truth by doggedly encouraging it to try and convince them of itself.It seems almost like a form of cowardice to try and harangue truth.

I believe that there are no Christians or Moslems.I believe that there are many who say they believe,fewer who- in a shallow conscious state- convince themselves that they believe ,but that ultimatley no-one can believe that which seems improbable, foolish or unconvincing and deep down inside they know that they will have to face the reality of aging and death,that life is hard and so is the truth.

People look for a father figure in religion to blindly guide them.Also for a promise of reward and better times and finally for a concept that gives them the feeling of elevating them into a kind of elite-meaning a belief that promises them that they are in fact superior to non-believers, infidels, the wealthy and the wise.

In fact religion is an excuse to stop trying and to sit back smugly .Yet deep down all these people know that they are merely avoiding the reality they will,sooner or later, have to face.
Vick , 03.02.2005, 10:13pm link
Let's also remember that any such law is unworkable, as the Australian case has shown. Oz introduced an identical law about three years ago, and now it's common practice to see Xpian fundies and Muslims attend each others' rallies, notebooks in hand, so when the preacher or Imam says something that can be construed as criticism of the other, a lawsuit is immediately filed. This has resulted in a string of tit-for-tat lawsuits, clogging up the courts.
Let's also not forget the real reason for this law in the UK: because Blair and co. are desperate to win back Muslim voters lost as a result of the Iraq war. This is a cynical political ploy, and should be treated with contempt.
BTW, I disagree with Ben: I think that Dawkins will be one of the first people to find himself being slapped with a lawsuit once this new nonsense passes into British law.
Tony Kehoe [Email], 27.02.2005, 5:10am link
Yep, it will be a farce and will clog up the courts.
I'm sure Dawkins isn't going to loose his touch - he'll have his say anyway, and probably the end "get away with it" in the outcry from intelligent sceptics. I do wonder about the future of individual's sites like my own though.
Tim [Home], 27.02.2005, 8:17pm link

Surely the "authorities" are not going to take you to task over this site!? Please, if you were pinged and all the thousands of much more offensive and horrible sites (eg internet casinos, child porn sites) were still left out there, then I would be permanently gobsmacked.
Yahoo , 18.03.2005, 12:03am link
omg, mr.x isn't bitching! omfg!
CJ , 15.05.2005, 8:05am link - Comments from archived blog posts