When I was kindly invited to YARGB, i considered blogging under my real name. One of the reasons I have so far resisted is a perhaps an irrational fear that I will say something that will lead me into the Kafkaesque darkness this man suffers.
You see, in Canada we have laws against hate speech. And while I try to discipline myself against hate, and would like to be upbraided by readers when I fail, we are all prone to venting on the internet, and with PC sensibilities being what they are...
Canada's hate speech laws emerged in response to the Holocaust. And while I find it understandable that we should seek to protect people against the emergence of Nazi-like movements, the very fact that we are seeing much antisemitism today on the politically-correct left and positions that seem to be encouraging the destruction of Israel, it only suggests that when the righteous come for the Jews, they will be controlling the laws and it won't matter what's on the books.
Having said that, hate speech laws might have some effect in protecting other groups from hate; after all racism is not a generic thing: Judeophobia and Islamophobia and Sinophobia are all quite different phenomena.
Nonetheless, I think I'm against hate speech laws. If we can't shout down, intellectually pull apart, and ostracize those who engage in hate, and we have instead to rely on lawyers making potential martyrs of haters, and fuelling the fire of all kinds of mad conspiracy thinking, then what good are we to anyone anyway? We're not a society in which minorities should indulge in a false sense of security. Ultimately, it's learned morality not laws on which the minority has to count.
Hate speech and its cousin un-PC speech are increasingly the target of those whose PC nihilism, or moral relativism, makes them uncomfortable with any strong assertion of belief or faith. They favor a "diversity" talk in which no one can be offended because no one can say anything much; this leads to all kinds of dangerous denials of reality. Liberals think they are smart when calling, for example, for religious tolerance and claiming all religions are equally true. But this just demonstates their nihilism. There is no true believer in any faith who doesn't believe that his faith is truer than the alternative faiths he does not follow. If you allow people their religion, you have to allow this and it will inevitably impinge on the public sphere where the best beliefs, wherever they come from, should be allowed to win in free and open competition. While this will provide an opening for scapegoating, since the pragmatic truth of the scapegoaters has often won out over the ontological truth that takes scapegoating into account, I hope and believe we are now at a time in history where the majority are able to see scapegoating for what it is and reverse the historical win-loss record between the two kinds of truth. I admit, however, I may well be wrong about this.
Anyway, while I'm against both hate speech and hate speech laws, I take some small ironic pleasure, as an Infidel pig or monkey or whatever it is the Koran says about Jews and Christians, in the latest news via Fjordman that a group in Britain may try to have the Koran banned as hate speech.
The political correctness that was once meant to protect the Jews, but that has now turned against the Jews in favor of defending Muslims against Israelis and other patriarchal western oppressors, is now being attacked by Christians who have often been one of PC's biggest enemies. It's all human folly at its finest, and a reminder that we should stop feeling guilty for what we have not done, or for being successful or powerful or intellectually aggressive and disconcerting to others, and continue in our struggle to know and speak truth, howevermuch that may offend those with other truths. I'll defend your right to believe and speak about the Koran, if you defend my right to argue that the Koran may encourage violence to Jews and Christians. I will because I believe the truth will out, and that the most important measure of human progress is progress in our thinking about religion. Such progress is discomfiting, but we should not be protected against it by those who think the state and not a moral citizenry is the answer to hate.
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