Religious and atheist freedom of speech – who truly has the double standards?

When should you tell someone to simply shut up?

Should freedom of speech be limited?  Recently the British humanist association commented on Russia’s ban of Jehova’s witnesses. This iconic atheist and for the most part, anti-theistic organisation has written about their disappointment and disapproval of Russia’s decision to silence a religion with law.

Why is this? Surely the British humanist association should be pleased about this ban on a religion that stops parents refusing their children blood transfusions.
No, and hopefully you can understand why. If not then this newsletter is especially for you.

Silence religious speakers and they will claim oppression.

The freedom of speech is crucial to society and it’s advancement. It is essential for the truth because silencing a group or collective voice only ever seems to have the opposite effect….
If you refuse someone the right to speak then they are likely to take that stance themselves at some point.  Neo-nazis should not be silenced when they deny the holocaust ever happened, because just like all conspiracy theorists, you are unwittingly giving them ammunition!
If you silence them, they will accuse you of having something to hide. Otherwise why are you afraid of them having their say?

Eventually, inevitably, the truth always prevails and the common sense of society will always weed out the ridiculous arguments in the end.

Stephen Fry has come under attack because of blasphemy laws in Ireland.  A woman who was offended simply went to her local police station and filed a complaint because she didn’t like hearing what Mr. Fry had to say.
Thankfully the police are no longer pursuing this, however they have done so for the wrong reason:

Stephen Fry’s blasphemy probe dropped after Irish police fail to find ‘enough outraged people’

Utterly ridiculous.
So in addition to not giving the opposition good cause for conspiracy theories, we must also always retain a degree of impartiality and fair play and so, if we are to have freedom of speech then so must everyone else.  In this act we retain our credibility and even a level of dignity which in the long run, everyone will notice.

Thanks for reading.
Please leave your thoughts and comments below and if you have any questions leave them and I will get back to you.

Feel free to check out my top recommendations for atheist reading material here

Chris

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