Science, like all disciplines today, is coming under heavy demands for censorship. People who used to be called dissenters or dissidents are now “denialists.” In short there is One Right Answer, to which no research not sponsored by an Establishment can add.
But the history of science progress feature a grand parade of witnesses called by Counsel for the Defense. As a matter of fact, the likely outcome of the current mood is stagnation.
Most new insights that proved valid were hotly contested, along with a lot of stuff that fell by the wayside. But very often no one knows for sure.*
Paul Driessen writes,
Brandeis disinvited Ayan Hirsi Ali, because her views on women’s rights might offend some Muslim men. Scripps revoked its invitation to conservative political analyst George Will, who later observed:
“Free speech has never been … more comprehensively, aggressively and dangerously threatened than it is now. Today’s attack is … an attack on the theory of freedom of speech … on the desirability of free speech and indeed … on the very possibility of free speech….
The abuses and intolerance are becoming broader, deeper, more frightening by the day: from Christendom to Islam and Climate Orthodoxy; from universities to the Congress, Vatican and United Nations.
Good people everywhere need to rise up, speak out and fight back, if they still believe in individual rights, freedom of thought and expression, and honest, transparent, accountable government and religious institutions. Otherwise, these fundamental values will disappear – and with them will go modern society and living standards, and efforts to improve the lives of billions of people who still lack the lifesaving energy and technologies so many of us take for granted.
Hmmm. Not sure how “good” one needs to be.
The main thing to see is that the guy yelling for censorship is probably covering his own backside. And if we give in to him, it’s going to become a pretty big backside. Most people cave to his demands in order to appear nice and avoid a conflict—only to find bigger, messier conflicts down the road. Then they get depressed, take to drink, unfit themselves for effective resistance… Easier and less costly to Just. Start. Resisting. Now.
Maxim: Any time someone says the debate is over, it isn’t. If it were, he wouldn’t need to say so.
Theodore Dalrymple: In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
*I (O’Leary for News) once lived in a far northern community where some people still panned for gold as a hobby. Believe me, you sluice out lots of pebbles before you find a nugget. But when you find one, well, it’s a nugget. If you had decided that there was no gold in them thar streams, well … more for the next guy. If you try to stop him, well, no one would find any. That’s progress, right?
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