I was reading through some posts at my local Atheist web site, from which I am banned, and came across this interesting article.
To look at this personally, I have no views on blasphemy, if somebody doesn't want me to blaspheme, or draw Mohamed, because they would feel offended by it, I would then not blaspheme, nor would I draw Mohamed. (please feel free to tell me not drawing Mohamed is offensive to you if you like:)
I then looked at the UN's view on the death penalty. (I thought about a compromise, get rid of the death penalty first, and then I'd agree to the blasphemy law, but that would be a stupid idea, the death penalty should be abolished regardless)
I have no problem with not committing blasphemy, I think it's a good personal choice to never commit blasphemy, but to make an international law out of it is a little scary. The main reason why it is scary is because; what is offensive to one person may not be offensive to another. What one person considers blasphemous may not be considered blasphemous by another. This law can only ever be judged by using personal opinion, it can never be judged objectively in any way.
Any opinions out there? Or problems with my views on the subject?
I take a view 180 degrees opposite. Freedom of speech does not contain a proviso that says one has the right not to be offended. To insert something as such as an "you can't offend someone" clause into a fundamental right to express ideas is an anathema to the entire concept of free speech.
Political discourse is rife with offending speech. Yet, without it, you end up with a dictatorship of either a theocracy, or a "cult of personality" - see Mao, Stalin, Sadaam Hussein, Muammar Qadaffi, and others. If I tell someone I think their ideas regarding economics, politics, art or literature is completely wrong and criticize it, no one would think of punishing me for it. The listener has as much right to express his or her contrary opinion to me, regarding my positions. And, if either one of us are offended, well gee, ain't that just too bad. If not, you end up with the example of the Catholic Church prosecuting Galileo for claiming the earth is in a heliocentric solar system. So much for the advancement of human knowledge.
Blasphemy laws are a prime example of what is known as "prior restraint." That is, making sure someone, through threat of sanctions, may not express an idea. In no other area of discourse do we tell a person you may not utter those thoughts which are in your mind. Blasphemy is the prime example of what George Orwell wrote about in his novel 1984. Express disagreement with "Big Brother" and you are convicted of thought crime. That's what blasphemy is - a thought crime. And, while in my estimation, Muslims are the greatest theocratic enemies of free speech, Christians aren't far behind.
Total agreement. Those who are offended by Everyone Draw Mohammed Day or criticism against their favorite sacred cow can grow a thicker skin. Personally, I'm offended by the likes of Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Kenneth Copeland and who knows how many other christian jackanapes, never mind Ayatollah Khamenei and any number of islamic idiot children who would have their god and their prophet declared off-limits to scrutiny, criticism or mockery.
As I have said many times, if they don't like the heat, the door to the kitchen is THAT WAY. ====>
I was going to reply, but Loren always says it better. What Loren said. :)
I don't think that freedom of speech is something that we can compromise on.
However, I do agree that blasphemy day is not appropriate, especially for atheists.
If blasphemy ever becomes illegal, then it will be time to open the floodgates.
Don't mean to be rude, Mark, but blasphemy is illegal in many countries. The ones you would normally think of, e.g. Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc., all have criminal sanctions against blasphemy. What you may not know is that blasphemy is also illegal in the following countries: Ireland, Germany, Finland, certain territories in Australia, Greece, Israel, Spain, and Switzerland, just to mention a few.
When nations within western civilization abrogate human freedom in favor of the threats of superstitious fanatics, you think it just might be time to open the floodgates?
can grow a thicker skin
if they don't like the heat, the door to the kitchen is THAT WAY. ====>
Growing thicker skin and learning how to walk away are pretty much the best answers to many of life's problems, in my mind also. And the thicker my skin gets the easier it is to walk away. Personally I see nothing offensive with drawing Mohamed, but I do see a lot wrong and offensive with killing people who do draw Mohamed. But I still wouldn't go out of my to draw Mohamed or blaspheme.
A couple of other things about this new global law are:
1. It is being made by a select few people and also being passed by a select few people, none of whom have been voted for by we the people. And many of whom we would not want to have as decision makers.
2. Currently if somebody blasphemes or draws Mohamed, we know as a fact, that some crazy guy may very well come and kill the blasphemer. So if this new global law is passed, will it increase the number of crazy people who feel they have a right to kill blasphemers, because the law will then be on the side of the crazy people.
So why make such a law? The vast majority of people who draw Mohamed don't draw Mohamed in order to blaspheme. (I mentioned this earlier, how blasphemy to one person is not blasphemy to another). The majority of people who draw Mohamed, do so as a protest for freedom of speech, and they do it in the face of violent intimidation. I'm beginning to think that this law is not only a little scary but also a little crazy. Crazy because it is siding with people who believe in violence as a means to have there own personal way.
I dont believe it will ever come to pass but it has to been seen to be considered because the modern world upholds free speech in principle and therefore to be inclusive of the anti-blasphemists should they so wish to propose it as a law.
Ultimately its a form of facism and recognisably so to the many moderate molsems or non moslems alike. The world is moderning and not going back like it or not for such biblical ideas.
What were you considered "blasphemous" about on that other atheist site by the way?
I also hope such a law never comes to pass.
I was banned for calling somebody a liar, over the topic of vegetarianism. It's an extremely trivial incident, but being banned has its advantages. I found I could look at people from a completely different perspective and the topics of discussion become clearer. So ultimately it became a win/win situation.
Incredible you were banned for calling someone a liar. It is maerely succint. Also irrelevant because people fluff out their objections in full prose all the time that posit exactly that word without using it.
unless of course you called em an effing liar ha ha
my kinda blasphemy:
I Blaspheme religiously every day! Because I tell only the truth and the truth is that Theology is nothing more than pondering porkies. Jesus stole all his ideas from Buddhism and Confucianism which the same teachings half a millennium earlier. I call Islamic/ Judaic/ Christian God a severely malevolent, narcissistic megalomaniac, because that is exactly how the Bible really describes his/her/it's nature.
Anybody being absolutely honest about religion is a blasphemer.
I'd much rather be a blasphemer than a liar.
All theologians are devout liars, because all theology is based on nothing more than lies.
Examples of malevolence by God, Floods killing millions to get rid of a few dissenters, plague giving many thousands of inhabitants nothing more to eat than stewed locust (a delicacy in some places) to demonstrate power to a single king when splitting a rock near him with a bolt of lightning on command would have been sufficient. Narcissism, we must worship it!, Megalomania "I'm the one true God, alpha and omega". These are only for starters.
Even Satan killed far fewer people in the Bible: Deaths directly attributed to Satan (around 10), Deaths directly attributed to God's malevolence: Possibly Millions.
Though the Flood really never occurred, as it is an impossibility.