Happy Blasphemy Rights Day! (by rkwatson)
Rebecca reads a fantastic quote from Robert Ingersoll.
Deploying this statute to combat online copyright infringement seems almost like using a bunker-busting cluster bomb, when what you need is a precision-guided missile
Ron Wyden about COICA
My response to the Islamic uproar over the Florida preacher who was planning to burn the Koran on 11 September was to say that that’s too bad, we have a right to destroy our own property, and that the responses people were making to this trivial event were hysterical and inappropriate.
Informing me that the Muslims are genuinely and sincerely and deeply offended is not informative — contrary to the suggestion that I must have an empathy deficit to be unaware of that, I know that and appreciate the fact that their feelings are hurt and they are angry and outraged. My point is that I don’t care, and neither should anyone else. The Abrahamic religions are all about fostering that feeling of oppression, even when it isn’t there, and hearing yet another one of the more deranged members of the People of the Book whine that we show insufficient respect for their mythology gives me the same feeling of exasperation I felt when my small children would wail about not getting a candy bar in the grocery store. Fine, you can be mad about your deprivation, but that does not obligate me to serve your whims.
The latest “That’s Bullshit.” Bunch of loonies…
Here’s the thing: I have mixed feelings about the whole book-burning issue.
On the one hand, I think it’s awful. It reminds me of Nazis. It reeks of anti-intellectualism (usually, not always). I’m actually not keen on the idea of burning books that I dislike (such as religious texts). I like that as humans we are able to think and imagine, and then transcribe those thoughts onto paper so that they might be transmitted further than otherwise possible and become a history of those thoughts. In many cases (such as this church), I don’t think they’re saying anything more than “Grrr… we don’t like you!”
On the other hand, people have the right to burn a book. They have a right to express their opinion. I think this falls under our free-speech rights.
So (to connect this to another hot topic) does this put me in the position of being like the people that say that the Park 51 funders have every right to locate the community center near ground zero but they probably shouldn’t?
I hope not.
I may hate the idea of burning books, but I would never support a law to ban it or tell this church that they shouldn’t. That’s part of being an American; people can do some pretty offensive things (ahem, Westboro).
Anyone have a different perspective?
People have a right to their beliefs” is a terrible argument against atheist activism. Of course people have a right to believe whatever they like. But people don’t have a right to never have their beliefs questioned and criticized. We question and criticize all other kinds of ideas — why should religion be the exception?