Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Held Captive by the Tyranny of Superstition

Recently on youtube I watched this video by Canadian psychologist and professor Jordan B Peterson:

This got me thinking about the way in which the Left tends to deal with Islam, treating it with kid gloves lest they offend someone, a treatment they would never ask for in favor of Christianity. As I discussed in my previous post I generally lean Left and by many definitions I'd be far enough Left to consider myself a Liberal or even a Progressive if I chose to adopt those labels but I cannot. This attempt to push through an "anti-Islamophobia" motion is a great demonstration of what I was talking about in my last post, about the Moral Authoritarians on the Left who now seek to silence anyone who says something they deem offensive or immoral.

Free Speech is and ought to be one of the most staunchly guarded liberal principles and individual freedoms. The Motion, Motion 103, uses the vague and ill-defined term Islamophobia.

It is an outrageous thing that we live in a world which is willing to be held hostage by the superstitions of others. That we in Western democracies must fear retribution for criticizing Islam and it's prophet is a testament to how dangerous the delusion of fundamentalist Islam is. One cannot and should not legislate respect. I cannot be forced to respect Islam nor should I need to fear punishment if I decide to disrespect its tenants, texts or prophet.

There is something very sinister about allowing ourselves to lose a freedom to appease the offended, people so offended they go out of their way to murder people for disrespecting their religion. There are people in the West so delusional and blind to how dangerous Islam is (mostly due to be sheltered from it's reality abroad) that they will decry any disrespect of Islam more vehemently than they will the violence and evil done in the name of Islam by extremists. Those Muslims who accept Western values should have no problem with their prophet or faith being doubted and disrespected anymore than a Western Christian cares when someone makes a joke about the Pope or even Jesus himself.

The brilliance of freedoms like Freedom of Speech is that they do not exist to favor one ideology, one political position, one religion, or one group over any others and that is where hate speech measures and vague terms like Islamophobia come in and begin chipping away at the equal treatment of free speech. Freedom of speech is for all individuals in a democratic society to enjoy and yes that brings with it the risk that someone will say things that you find offensive, disrespectful, vile, disturbing or yes even HATEFUL.

Again, to reiterate, I am under no obligation to respect Islam or it's prophet, just as I am under no obligation to respect Jesus Christ, Zeus, or the Tooth Fairy. There is no reason why I should not be able to blaspheme against every god and goddess mankind has ever dreamt up.

The video shows the problem with using such poorly designed terms like Islamophobia. If I draw a picture of Mohammed, even one as nondescript as the picture in the video, am I now guilty of a hate crime against the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world? There are people masquerading as Liberals and Progressives who would say yes and shame me for drawing such a thing. Where is the LINE? Why am I now held hostage having to tip toe around on eggshells when I want to criticize the religion of Islam in a way that would never be tolerated if it was Christians seeking protection?

And all of this under the guise of protecting a minority. The issue stems from the fact that ideologues and people engaged in identity politics alike cannot separate their ideas from themselves. People latch onto a characteristic such as their religious faith and feel personally attacked when someone insults their religion. In some sense that's understandable, but is it reasonable to start curtailing freedoms? Especially when the extremists don't just get offended, they get VIOLENT.

And then the religious wonder why atheists spend so much time arguing against their beliefs. Isn't it obvious how dangerous superstition can be if taken to extremes?

No one should be under the tyranny of someone else's beliefs, we are individuals and our freedoms should be our own AND YES that includes the freedom to insult, mock and disrespect as long as it doesn't cross the line into violence or threats. If you feel threatened or angry about a cartoon drawing of Mohammed, or anything else for that matter, that is caused by irrational superstition and is not deserving of protection or of removing freedoms for others.

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