posted on Jul, 16 2015 @ 09:37 PM
Apologies if this doesn't quite belong here, or if the topic has been covered extensively already, but I would like to express my views on this
I believe the root of Western personal liberty is one’s freedom of expression. It is the foundation upon which we as Western culture have grown
scientifically, technologically, and even ideologically. It seems to me that the West is forgetting the importance of this freedom, as well as the
duty we as citizens have to protect this valued asset.
Now, this being a conspiracy site, I’m sure we might agree that free expression is valued more highly here than in some other localities, yet I have
seen disturbing lapses of respect for this liberty in these fora. I hope to discuss further this troubling trend (mainly in Western society) as well
as clarify my claims.
First, let me begin by exposing what I see as a problem. I frequently lurk in topics involving the natural sciences, which oftentimes have members of
opposing views to my own. My views are usually those of the mainstream sciences, and it is no shock to me to see conspiratorial views against the
mainstream position on ATS. However, I have seen on some occasions that ideas are simply deemed “eccentric,” crazy, and ignored without further
discussion of expressed ideas. This is the behavior that troubles me. Simply dismissing ideas without further dialectic is not far from
closed-minded, institutionalized censorship. Although I think such behavior is inconsistent with a search for truth, the more pressing issues of
infringing upon the freedom of expression are occurring in Western society as a whole.
It seems like I’m being a bit of an alarmist when I write this, but I believe the freedom of expression is currently in dire straits, attacked from
multiple directions. In most cases, I think extremism in some philosophy or ideology is to blame for these infringements. Censorship, blasphemy
laws, and institutionalized closed-mindedness are encroaching upon our most valued personal liberties. I’m all for egalitarian principles, but does
anyone remember the extremist feminists who attempted to “Ban bossy?” Of course, radical Islam is an easy target for blasphemy with violence in
response to the publishing of Muhammad drawings. Perhaps more insidious is this general “Social Justice Warrior” trend running rampant through
(at least in my case) liberal arts colleges. I think the Tim Hunt fiasco could be a good example of overreaction in such a field, or maybe Gamergate.
Perhaps another symptom of this is the current Confederate flag issue (which I encourage you to not discuss here… there are plenty of other threads
on that specific topic).
We need to protect our freedom of expression by unabashedly acting with it. It is our duty to our society to both express our views AND listen to the
expressed views of others. Serious dialectic is the only way to ensure our rights are protected. We must actively listen to opposing views so that
we can better understand our own; we must challenge our own beliefs by allowing others to express their own. If you live in a democracy or a
republic, it is your DUTY to express your views. If you hold the freedom of expression as highly as I do, it is your duty to fight against blasphemy
laws, censorship, and the protection of feelings over the protection of free expression. We need to fight institutionalized closed-mindedness and
encourage critical thinking, even if that means protecting the speaker whose views with which you disagree.
Some of you may disagree with me, and I respect your right to do so in all regards. I encourage disagreements, but I encourage you to try to persuade
with evidence rather than disregard claims outright.