Thursday, December 27, 2007

Are words violence ?

"Remember," wrote the Stoic thinker Epictetus, "that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away."- retrieved from an internet source, 27Dec, '07

A rather more broad take on "sticks and stones" . People who argue for limits on freedom of expression forget that such limits have usually presaged real violence, political repression and covert manipulation. Finding something offensive or intolerable reveals an internal emotional state not anything intrinsic to the received source of offense.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster