"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell

Friday, September 30, 2011

Blasphemy Rights Day

This is a picture of Muhammad wearing a bear costume, from the cartoon South Park. This episode garnered death threats from radical Islamic groups. Why should someone be threatened with murder for drawing a picture? Any picture?

Today marks Blasphemy Rights Day. To many of us, religion is something should be held up to the light and critically examined just as we do with anything else. Furthermore, no religious tenet should be held as so sacred that it interferes with the rights of individuals to freedom of expression, as guaranteed under the United States Constitution.

No matter how offensive or unwelcome an idea, no one should ever be killed over merely expressing one. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where the expression of certain ideas -- particularly those counter to the religious sentiments of various groups -- are provided as the justification for murder.

Are people offended by this? Well, too bad -- there's no right, guaranteed by the Constitution or by any philosophical principle of which I am aware, to not be offended.

Here's an excellent introduction (better than I could do) to these issues and why they're important.

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