academic freedom Intellectual freedom Intelligent Design Science

Without free speech, science would be back in the Stone Age

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Every new idea, good or bad, has had its establishment detractors who want Something To Be Done about the hateful people who make them uncomfortable. Joe Miller and guests talk about science and free speech at More Than Cake:

In the tradition of natural law theorists such as John Stuart Mill, Free Speech is considered one of the most fundamental of human rights, yet this right is attacked today as a vestige of racist white Western civilization that oppresses minorities and gender-equality warriors. Today the guys look at attacks on free speech happening on our college campuses and argue from a Christian worldview why protecting this right matters to all of us regardless of political affiliation.

It makes as much sense to blame dead white guys for upending cozy sanctimonies about how the world works as to blame the person who tries to cross the bridge that collapsed for the fact that the bridge collapsed. True, some people are more likely to want to cross a bridge than others but the first foot is not the reason it collapsed.

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See also: Do racial assumptions prevent recognizing Homo erectus as fully human?

J.R. Miller on Darwinism, racism, and human zoos

and

Was Neanderthal man fully human? The role racism played in assessing the evidence

4 Replies to “Without free speech, science would be back in the Stone Age

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Should freedom of speech be an untrammeled right or are there limits and, if so, where should the line be drawn? Is it sufficient that some find it offensive? Should there be a right not to be offended?

  2. 2
    Ed George says:

    Seversky

    Should freedom of speech be an untrammeled right or are there limits and, if so, where should the line be drawn? Is it sufficient that some find it offensive? Should there be a right not to be offended?

    There have always been limits on free speech. Yelling “FIRE” in a crowded theatre is the cliche one. But incitement of violence, and various forms of hate speech are also legal limitations.

    But free speech is not the same as consequence free speech. For example, a person is free to say that homosexuality is disordered and that we shouldn’t extend various compensations that an employer extends to spouses of employees to the partner of a same sex couple. However, several companies that have done this, under the banner of freedom of religion, have won in court challenges but lost due to boycotts and negative public opinion.

  3. 3
    vmahuna says:

    Free speech is a VERY very recent idea, creeping into Anglo-American public behavior at the end of the 18th century. For the ENTIRE rest of the world, speaking publicly (or even privately) in support of a position that angers them what are in charge would always get you viciously beaten or simply killed. The Bolsheviks took this a step further and in meant 9 years in The Camps to be MARRIED to a person engaged in “anti-Soviet activity”. It was therefore standard for a woman to divorce her husband after he’d been “taken away” by the Secret Police and then remarry him if he survived the camps.

    What has been much more common speaking freely in public is debate within a specialist community, for example, discussing a detail of Theology among a group of priests.

    Historians are still regularly denounced and expelled for continuing to discuss any of the current Forbidden Ideas after being warned by the owners of the current Orthodoxy. I think it was well into the 1960s before ANYONE was allowed to speak or write that Vikings or Portuguese cod fisherman had regularly visited North America before Columbus. Then the chief honcho in charge of American History DIED, and the Columbus heretics were no longer shot on sight. It’s probably still Heresy to suggest that FDR knew about the coming Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Although the public generally agrees that holding such heretical views is a sure sign of serious mental problems…

    There is a quote, and I can’t remember its originator, that runs, in English since I think it was originally French: if you wish to know who runs things, find out whom you cannot insult.

  4. 4
    News says:

    vmahuna, that’s interesting about Columbus. In Canada, we learned a detailed history of the Viking settlements in northeastern North America during the same period but then they had mostly landed here.

    Anyway, it’s not just a war on DWMs or free speech, it’s a war on reality. Check out the war on grading:

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/columbia-university-seminar-to-promote-inclusive-grading/

    People who don’t think the progressives are serious? That is their mistake.

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