I think this "I would die to defend anyone's freedom of speech" thing is misguided. Absolute freedom of expression makes it ok to do and say things which hurt people, and which damage society. There's nothing essentially good about free speech itself - it's a means to an end and if that end is bad then the freedom is bad. Its ok to censor people who are being dicks.
Then again, I'm not certain that this draw Mohammed day is an exercise in dickishness. Certainly, a lot of the people involved are probably dicks, but thats unavoidable in any exercise involving people.
Look at the facts: some nutcases, who happen to be Muslim, have decided that nobody in the world should be allowed to draw Mohammed, and that they have a mandate to punish anyone who does. It isn't restrictive of anyone's rights to say that that's dumb. It is dumb, and no one has the right to be that dumb. They're allowed to disapprove of drawing the prophet, but they're not allowed to hurt people about it and they're certainly not allowed to stop people doing it purely on the basis of religion.
It's important here to point out that I'm not the one deciding what they can and can't do. I'm just pointing out what they can and can't do. It isn't even international governments or the majority of people who have made this decision, it isn't even a decision that has been made. In so far as unhappiness is a bad thing, then what these particular nutcases are doing is a bad thing, because it is not conducive to general, enduring happiness. Happiness is by definition a good thing, and the definition of happiness is not something that we have decided.
So, by any moral code that makes sense, these nutcases are to be stopped from threatening people. That isn't a mandate to hurt them or act unethically, but stopping them will probably make them unhappy for a while, so it is a mandate to make them unhappy (only in one particular way, not generally) in that sense. These are all things that could go in the "things you shouldn't have to say" thread, but we're talking about ethics here, and historically people have gone out of their way to muddy these waters.
All of these things considered, I think that Draw Mohammed Day was a good idea. I think we should make May 21st Draw Mohammed Day as well, and also May 22nd and all subsequent days until people stop getting angry about it. I think we should do the same thing with "Be Openly Gay" day, with "Practise Abortion When Nessecary" day and especially with "Punch a Jew" day. Just kidding, obviously. But not about the abortions or the gays. You get the point.
Oh, and inb4 "it's not just Muslim nutcases who are a problem". I know its not just the Muslims. It's the nutcases. People would be doing stupid shit like this even if we were all atheists, I get that. The only relevance of Islam in this problem is that they've made it about Islam. There's nothing about Islam that in inherently bad, as long as you don't take it too seriously.
Last edited by Argency
on Sat May 22, 2010 2:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Gonna be a blank slate, gonna wear a white cape.