On free speech

I am sure you can guess where this is going. It has been said that whenever Uncle Sam sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold though it need not be this way. Following tRump’s call to his supporters to stop the steal and their clown show on 6th January, there have been calls, I hear to sue herr Trump and or impeach him if he doesn’t resign. Other very lawyerly people have said Trump did not directly call for an insurrection, In fact, they even argue that he can as well say he called for a peaceful demonstration. Now, demonstrations often get violent, there are provocateurs and all, what should happen if a person/ group called for a peaceful demonstration and it ended in violence, should the free speech rights be abrogated?

What should tech providers do in a scenario like this? Should they be able to do what has happened to Parler (which until yesterday I didn’t know of)?

A question which is not Trump related

What is the longest and yet the shortest Thing in the World; the most swift and the most slow; the most
divisible, and the most extended; the least valued, and the most regretted; And without which nothing can possibly be done: Which, in a Word, devours every Thing how minute soever, and yet gives Life and Spirit to every Object or Being, however Great?

Which is it? Are our lives short or is it that most of our lives are not lived but wasted away in pursuit of this or that? Or in escaping from the self?

What to do with the past?

Those of you, who like me, have been paying attention to the demands of students around the world, especially in Yale,  South Africa and UK, for a rewrite of history would welcome the suggestion by this reader of the Economist who wrote

What to do about Confederate monuments? One suggestion as you reported is to add plaques to them explaining their background (“Recast in stone”, February 6th). Statues and monuments are immediately visual experiences, not reflective mental experiences. Remove the sabre from the hand and put into it a lash and from the other hand a chain that leads to a collar around the neck of some poor miserable wretch. Add one or more statues of slaves to every monument to the Confederacy and the viewer will immediately and viscerally understand what the civil war was about and what Confederate soldiers fought for. Instantly those men will be deprived of the patina of nobility and gallantry that they did not earn and do not deserve to have attributed to them.

STEPHEN MERRIMAN
Bang Bua Thong, Thailand

This way all groups are appeased; those who want the monuments to stand get their wish and those who feel the monuments don’t tell the entire story also get their voice heard.

But I think there’s a problem when students in higher institutions of learning prefer sanitising their environment of every history. I have read of students voting to ban free speech groups on campus!  What’s the world coming to? Are the current generation of students so pampered they can’t read Huckleberry Finn without crying erase the nigger references! What world will they preside over?

Free speech

I am an advocate of free speech and at all times, I would allow dissent on this blog or anywhere else I write or even in comments. I am also open to correction.

But am impatient when it comes to dealing with trope. I think one guy is enough and for that position, I have granted Paarsurrey to be their un-elected representative. There is a fellow called SOM, you must know him. He comments on so many atheist blogs writing almost the same lines. On a recent post where I shared the Platinga interview, he wrote the following comment;

We know from science that we live in a universe governed by laws.

That means our universe is comprehensible, not chaotic.

The Bible is a collection of stories that match a rational, reasoning God with the comprehensible universe he created.

This is unique among the pagan religions who matched their capricious gods with an incomprehensible, chaotic universe.

Consequently, man would have to be a result of the laws of nature.

If God changed the laws of nature, man could not come into being.

It’s like a recipe.

Vanilla cannot be added to a recipe to produce a chocolate or raspberry taste.

Without suffering life as we know it would not exist.

All life, evolution and the development of man are the result of a universe where suffering is an integral part.

As a result, the atheist argument that God cannot exist because of suffering is ridiculous.

It’s like wishing for rescue by the tooth fairy or spaghetti monster.

There are a few things yours truly wants to point and if am wrong, please correct me.

I think in his first statement, there is a silent premise that these laws have a lawgiver. I on the other hand, understand that these laws are our ways of understanding the universe. And that they are part of the universe, not distinct from it, or having an author outside the universe.

The Bible is a collection of stories that match a rational, reasoning God with the comprehensible universe he created.

This statement can be shown to be false in as many instances as one has the time to dig through the bible. No rational being punishes others not responsible in the commission of crimes. For example, the son David had with Uriah’s wife dies because god is angry at David. Where is the rationality here?

This is unique among the pagan religions who matched their capricious gods with an incomprehensible, chaotic universe.

A reading of Greek or Roman mythology will dissuade you from this sort of ignorance. What is true is that the polytheists paid not so much attention to their gods. They participated in the state rituals as was required, but they were not as superstitious as the Christians. Their pantheon of gods consisted of gods that were amenable to man. Take Minnerva for example, there is no where this god is portrayed as a capricious god.

If God changed the laws of nature, man could not come into being

Which god?

Without suffering life as we know it would not exist.

No, you have no way of knowing this. Life as we have known it has been intertwined with suffering. This doesn’t rule out the possibility of a life without suffering. But it will not be life as we know it, that I grant.

As a result, the atheist argument that God cannot exist because of suffering is ridiculous.

You don’t seem to understand the problem of evil. The argument is not ridiculous. In its simplest form, all the proponents of the argument are saying is that the existence of evil in a world governed by an omnibenovelent, omniscient and omnipotent overlord is not consistent. It is for the above reason, theists have written tracts to explain away this problem: others by making god less powerful, others arguing for freewill and yet others arguing for a god who has reasons for letting people suffer till a future date.

It’s like wishing for rescue by the tooth fairy or spaghetti monster.

This would be ridiculous if someone believed in the existence of the tooth fairy as you seem to do unless the implication here is you have come to the conclusion that evidence for the tooth fairy and for your god seem to match.

As I said at the beginning of the post, Paasurrey represents all the lazy believers who either repeat mantra from their Imam or do not offer anything new. Am going to engage with SOM only when I feel he is ready to have a mature discussion.

Freedom of expression

 ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,

attributed to Evelyn Beatrice Hall in the friends of Voltaire.

It has been said elsewhere by many commentators there should be freedom of expression as embodied in the above statement and several international treaties on human rights, but this is being too kind, and I disagree. There  are occasions I think it would be beneficial to the majority if some people kept their opinions to themselves. There are cases in point, take Todd Atkin who said women don’t get pregnant when they are raped or the congressman who said evolution and big bang are not real science or George Bush Snr who said atheists are in the same category with rapists. Tell me if you really think this people should express such opinion and in public? This is an abuse of freedom of expression . There are times I think and rightly so that a person should be allowed to posses an opinion but shouldn’t be allowed to express it.

1. You can’t express an opinion on evolution or any scientific phenomena before you read it.

Free speech

2. You can’t be allowed to express an opinion on Quantum mechanics and related particle physics if you know zilch about them

3. You can’t purport to express an opinion on religion if your best reference is a pastor like Pat

You can refuse all you want. You can say am stifling freedom of expression but it such latitudes that people have been given that allow them to indoctrinate children with ridiculous beliefs about the cosmos, origins of the universe and all else that is important.

The end!