Hello. I have not been blogging for a while – just thinking and reading!.
Now I'm starting a new series. I hope you like it
Weapons of Truth
The Bible talks in 2 Corinthians 6:7 about fighting wrong ideas “In truthful speech and in the power of God with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left” Our essential defence and attack against the scourge of Marxist propaganda sweeping our countries is Truth.
We must learn to counter lies – wherever they arise - with the truth. One of the reasons the Cold War ended (among others) was President Reagan continually hammering the Soviets with the truth about their regime being evil.
But how can you and I do this?
Have you noticed on TV that most people when interviewed “beat around the bush” as we say in Australia, and do not put their ideas concisely or systematically – but a small number can shoot back a neat well worded answer? Do you find this happens to you when you are talking to someone spouting “Progressive” ideas and you know they are wrong but you can't find the right words?
I think many of the people who do answer well can because it is not the first time they have been asked that question. As well as good background knowledge they have been able to refine their answers by repetition and others critiquing their answers. Well we can't all be like that, but I do think that knowing concise answers to many of the common mantras of leftist dogma will help us be a lot more effective in private conversations.
So …. here goes with the first one.
Mantra: Why should your right to free speech trump X's (currently they usually say “a trans person's) right not to be offended?”
I had the pleasure to hear Ben Shapiro asked this on You-tube. Without missing a beat he replied: “Because there really is a right to free speech, but the so called “right to freedom from being offended” is predicated on a “right” for life to be free from hurt – and that “right” doesn't exist – life just isn't like that. And besides if no one could say anything that anyone else felt offended by, the result would be that no one could say anything – which would be bad for society.”
But I want to go into this a bit more so that you can formulate the answer you prefer as a first strike and have some backup arguments if needed.
Freedom of speech.
Definition: Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship or sanction. (Wikipedia)
For a start it is a Universal Human Right. Sure it is universally trampled out of existence by dictators! But that does not stop it being a human right, and it tells you something about the people who want to stamp I out!
It is essential to the survival of a functioning democracy: In the US it went in as the First Amendment. In Australia it has been upheld by the High Court that “freedom of communication” is an inferred right under the constitution because elections are called for – and they necessitate freedom to communicate one's ideas.
Now one common come-back is: “Ah but one isn't free to shout 'FIRE' I a crowded cinema – so freedom of speech can be curtailed” This has nothing to do with “freedom to articulate opinions” it cites an act calculated to cause panic and a stampede in which people may die. So a spurious argument.
A more real comeback is:”But you don't want people able to urge violence – like Nazis did against Jews or the radio campaign that stirred up Hutu's to kill half a million Tutsi's in Rwanda” And of course this is quite true! But here the difference it the object of the demagoguery. On one hand, for democracy to function one must be able to urge people. “The government is corrupt, vote for our party” - even if the government has passed a law forbidding criticising it! But to urge people to commit what are universally regarded as crimes against humanity …. well that is as good as committing the crime oneself (much worse, morally) so of course that should be punished.
No one has a “right” to stop me articulating my opinions because they don't agree with them and so say they “feel” offended! As Shapiro said in that case no one could say anything anyone else disagreed with – which would mean no one could say anything – which would be ridiculous.
He is also right that it is predicated on the fatuous notion of the “snowflake” that there is some “right” for life to be without pain. Real life just demolishes that idea!. In fact the pain of discipline is essential to children to grow up into adults who can enjoy life. The pain of discipline is essential to the athlete, the scholar, the musician to be successful. Being “offended” by being told you are not performing well enough, and heeding rather than complaining about the warning, is an essential part of successful education – and of keeping you job in later life.
Feeling “offended” by the challenging opinions of another person is essential in the search for truth and in improving one's own opinions.
So next time someone says to me: “Why should your “right to free speech trump X's right not to be offended?” I'm going to say:
“Because the right to free speech is a real right – its a universal human right - but no one has a “right” not to be offended – that's life!”
But I'll have the other arguments ready as backup!