Wednesday, January 06, 2010

My freedom versus other's "humiliation"; The Muhammed Cartoons, again.

"the West" should also refrain from the wearing of mini skirts, eating pork and the legalization of same-sex partnerships in order to avoid causing any feelings of debasement and humiliation in the Islamic world. More here...

The freedom of expression has the corollary of the freedom to be offended. The ethical obligation here is that if you wish to have an opinion, you must take the responsibility to observe the expression of others who may offend you. So when I argue, for example, that sexual orientation should not figure in the regulation of marriage, I accept that I will have to listen to opposing opinions, often robust or aggressively in opposition to mine. that I find those opinions offensive, or at least, often offensively expressed, does not reduce my obligation to accept that they will be expressed.

Of course, intolerant people and belief systems see things differently, but I am not prepared to acquiesce to them. I am prepared to listen, however.

"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