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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Freedom Of Thought,So,Don't Get Offended

I think if we get free from all hazard or restriction on selfexpression then on that day we can say world become civilized imaginewhole world is free to express without any fear or force.Salman Rushide once wrote an aticle over this .Here.
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The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.” Salman Rushdie sounds the call for a new enlightenment.

I was in Washington just before the Iraq war began in March 2003 and was invited to speak to groups of senators from both parties. The most obvious distinction between the Democrats and the Republicans was that the Republicans used exclusively religious language. They discussed why they hadn’t seen each other at a certain prayer meeting. One senator said to me, in tones of genuine horror, that what he disliked most about Osama bin Laden was that he called America a Godless country. He said: “How can he call us Godless? We’re incredibly God-fearing!”
I said: “Well, senator, I suppose he doesn’t think so.” But his outrage at being presented as un-Godly was undeniably sincere. He meant business. And the increasing power of God-fearing America – of the Christian coalition, Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ variety – subsequently determined the result of the November 2004 presidential election.
Now here in Britain I discover another kind of Anschluss of liberal values in the face of resurgent religious demands. One of its results is the proposal by Tony Blair’s government – under the auspices of its Serious and Organised Crime and Police Bill – to introduce a ban on the “incitement to hatred on religious grounds”.
The pressure of members of English PEN has wrested a late concession from the government, which has renamed the proposed offence “hatred against persons on racial or religious grounds”. But the danger the legislation carries for freedom of speech, while diminished, remain. It seems we need to fight the battle for the Enlightenment all over again in Europe as well as in the United States.
As Britain’s government prepares to ban “incitement to hatred against persons on racial or religious grounds”, openDemocracy writers forcefully disagree on the merits and consequences of the proposal:
Nick Cohen & Julian Baggini, “Should ‘religious hatred’ be illegal?” (August 2004)
Geoffrey Bindman, “From race to religion: the next deterrent law?” (August 2004)
That battle was about the church’s desire to place limits on thought. The Enlightenment wasn’t a battle against the state but against the church. Diderot’s novel La Religieuse (1760), with its portrayal of nuns and their behaviour, was deliberately blasphemous: it challenged religious authority, with its indexes and inquisitions, on what it was possible to say. Most of our contemporary ideas about freedom of speech and imagination come from the Enlightenment. We may have thought the battle won. If we aren’t careful, it is about to be “un-won”.
Offence and insult are part of everyday life for people in Britain. All you have to do is open a daily paper and there’s plenty to offend. Or you can walk into the religious books section of a bookshop and discover you’re damned to various kinds of eternal hellfire, which is certainly insulting, not to say overheated.
The idea that any kind of free society can be constructed in which people will never be offended or insulted is absurd. So too is the notion that people should have the right to call on the law to defend them against being offended or insulted. A fundamental decision needs to be made: do we want to live in a free society or not? Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation. In democracies people get extremely upset with each other. They argue vehemently against each other’s positions. (But they don’t shoot.)

Posted by Ajay :: 10:05 AM :: 0 comments

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