Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Right to Offend

If you have some extra time, this video is a bit long, but pretty interesting, it was posted originally on The Atheist Media Blog. It is a British television show with a panel of people both religious and non. The three topics discussed are:

Are immigrants harming Britain?
Do people have the right to offend?
Does the devil exist?

Richard Dawkins is a special guest on the show, and some of the other guests either impressed me or made me shake my head in disbelief. I happen to disagree with Richard Dawkins' whole "Atheists for Jesus" thing where he says that Jesus was an inspirational person. I have read what Jesus said, and I don't see anything that morally compelling or insightful. Jesus also happened to say some really cruel/absurd things that seem to get overshadowed by the cruelty and absurdity of the Old Testament.

Here are some quotes from the video that really stood out to me:

"I defend the right for people to have views, but I would object to imposing your morality on everyone else through the law of the land. "

"I don't think there's ever been a poll taken at any time where people thought we were in moral ascent. Everything is always getting worse, that's the nature of human feeling." This was in response to a poll saying that a majority of people think morality in Britain is declining.

"You don't have to be a godly person to be a good person."

"A film claiming that Islam was violent had to be taken off because of death threats, so it kind of proves the point! We need the right to ridicule, we need the right to offend."

"We don't just have the right, we have the necessity to offend."

"Our most important freedoms and social advances have been brought about by people who caused great offense in their time: Galileo, Charles Darwin, people who spoke out against slavery."

"Walking down the street you get offended. It's part of being grown up. "

"The universe does not owe you a sense of hope."

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