Friday, September 14, 2012

Rights And Religion Make Us All Fundamentalists

"How dare Islamic fundamentalists kill to protect their religion from such a small and meaningless movie. And though I oppose the hate-filled and misguided film, I would die fighting to protect the studio's right to release it." - The irony of fundamentalism.
The recent violence in the Middle East over the release of an anti-Islam movie does not show us how different our cultures are, instead through the conflict of rights and religion, it shows us what our cultures have in common, fundamentalism.

The question of whether the right of free speech is more important than a religion is just as arbitrary as the terms themselves. Rights and religion were both created by people, both are imperfect, and both are arbitrary; yet people on both sides, from religious fanatics to patriotic constitutionalists, are all willing to die to protect them.

The problem with this recent turmoil in the Middle East is not that our two cultures don't have enough in common, it's that what we have in common needs to change. Instead of one kind of fundamentalism fighting against another, we should begin to address how all fundamentalism is dangerous.

But that idea is unlikely to gain popularity, as it's not a cause people are willing to die for.

4 comments:

The Rat said...

Two major errors in your thought process:

1) The right to free speech and freedom of conscience is an internal right, one that does no harm to another whereas the right to "protect" religion implies forcing another to stop doing something.

2) Being willing to die to protect something is a defensive statement, what we are seeing is a willingness to kill. Rather a different statement, as General Patton so eloquently pointed out.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

The Rat,

Your argument nonetheless does not refute the fundamentalism behind dying for arbitrary and man-made ideas, be they rights or religion.

In regards to your points:

1a) I've never heard the term internal right before and doubt that a term exists in regards to free speech as such a right can only exist when exercised externally, ie through speech.

1b) Still in regards to your first point, Protecting free speech implies forcing those who are upset by hateful expressions to stop opposing them.

2) A statement that is intended to invoke violence is not a defensive statement.

The Rat said...

You truly do not understand, do you? What kind of education did you get?

Protecting free speech implies forcing those who are upset by hateful expressions to stop opposing them.

The fact you wrote that and believe that is a glaring indictment. No! It implies no such thing! People can and often must oppose the ideas of others. The right to free speech is a freedom from persecution by the state for your thoughts. Others are quite free to oppose. The line is violence.

Your second statement is almost as stupid. If I yell "kill the Jews!" I may be liable if someone actually kills a Jew. If I write that Mohammed was a pedophile I have not incited anyone to violence. Just because I express an idea that some moron find so offensive he is "driven" to violence, that is no reason to censor my words. It IS a reason to confront the violence. Maybe you remember your mommy or your daddy telling you that hitting someone is bad no matter what name they call you?

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

The Rat,

Clearly your ability to be polite and calm in a discussion is an indicator of high intelligence. I must applaud your parents for raising such a fine moral being.

"The right to free speech is a freedom from persecution by the state for your thoughts. Others are quite free to oppose. The line is violence."

1. Thoughts are different from speech.

2. Rights are protected within the private sphere; your myopic focus on only protecting rights from state persecution is incomplete.

3. "The line is violence" is my original point. Fundamentalists who commit violence to protect religion are similarly fundamentalist as those who claim they will die fighting to protect rights.


"If I yell "kill the Jews!" I may be liable if someone actually kills a Jew. If I write that Mohammed was a pedophile I have not incited anyone to violence."

1. If this was the 1990s I'd agree with you, but it isn't and our society has recognized, through cause and effect, such statements cause violence.