Blasphemy Law - what century are we in again?

I (as we all do) have opinions on everything in life, from political issues to my favourite football team. I welcome criticism because it challenges what I think and either strengthens my viewpoint or (in rare cases) changes my opinion. My perspective is important to others when it comes time to vote because the outcome of elections impact on people’s lives, but other than that my opinions can have no negative effect on other people whatsoever.

I refer to the following taken from here:

“what kind of ideology gets it kicks out of gratuitously offending the sincerely held views of others? It seems both immature and vulgar.”

Racism, sexism, slavery, homophobia and all forms of discrimination resulted from ‘sincerely held views of others’. History has shown that these viewpoints have been successfully challenged and are now considered deplorable by all but an insignificant minority.

Anything that prohibits free speech is dangerous because it not only prevents controversial ideas being put into the public domain but it ultimately prevents the criticism of these beliefs. If the religious are offended by criticism then they should think about why they are offended. If they are certain that what they believe is true then their viewpoint should be able to stand up to the opposing viewpoint of others.

Our recent history is enough to demonstrate that the extreme views of religious people are a danger to everyone in society, from the evil acts of suicide bombers to the mental manipulation of children. Any government that considers outlawing the ability for the secular majority to criticise the irrational and archaic ideologies of the religious will be endangering their electorate. We must be able to have our say on issues that effect us, otherwise we will end up in a situation where the irrational belief has a detrimental impact on all of our lives.

Views: 39

Comment by Gaytor on May 2, 2009 at 5:18pm
In Finland a man has been charged with Blasphemy as well.

Irish history (the country of Origin for the article) isn't of the most intelligent folk in the world. Quick, name an Irish Invention? Haggis isn't an invention. Due to the history, an island nation happy to kill each other in the street over religion when they worship the same god, I'm not surprised that they have a dolt who would propose this idea.
In recent years Ireland has become more modernized and software is becoming a part of their industry. With increased education, being next to England and Europe, this thinking will not find traction. But given the problems with Muslims in Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, London and the anti blasphemy crowd finding some ears, we need to shine a light on these thoughts so that people can see where this type of thinking leads. Europeans know the stories of the Dark Ages. And the UN recently adopted the non-binding resolution limiting free speech on religion. That's the only recourse... outlaw questions and rational thought.
Comment by Adam Houten on May 2, 2009 at 5:46pm
The article says that:
"In the interests of rationality and common sense, the legislation should go further and label atheism a thought crime."

Last time I heard, 'thought crime' was a concept only punished in the dystopian world of 1984. It is obvious that the writer of the article wants to round up all the atheists and put them in prison. A law against 'blasphemy' (in so much as you can blaspheme against something that isn't really there) is I agree a blatant disregard for the concept of free speech.
What do you call a government that prevents the people from speaking out against it? Tyranical.
What do you call a religion that does the same? Normal.

And of course the blasphemey laws will only extend to the religions of Christianity, Judaism and possibly Islam.

To correct what Gaytor said, the Irish didn't even invent haggis. That's a Scottish dish. Technically we're talking about Northern Ireland though. The proper Irish do a bit less killing over religion.
Comment by Gaytor on May 3, 2009 at 12:57pm
Link to the story from this morning.


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