Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Respect the right to conceive and express the idea

... but not necessarily the idea itself.

Sometimes it is argued: "We must respect their ideas." Uh: no. Stoning people for homosexuality? No. Burning one's daughter for committing adultery? No. These are evil ideas.

Rent control? No. Affirmative action? No. These ideas hurt the very people they are designed to help. These ideas are as discredited as Communism.

I respect your right to believe, but I do not myself respect immoral or foolish concepts.

Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom:

Kamm takes issue with the metaphor of “respecting” ideas, noting—correctly—that respect is something earned, and that certain ideas, having been vanquished in the discursive or philosophical marketplace, have no cause to demand our respect.
We “tolerate” certain ideas that we don’t respect; [...] that is at the heart of free speech.

The gambit of those who’ve engaged in an attempt to undermine free speech [...] has been to usurp the meaning of “tolerance” and reposition the object of respect onto the idea rather than onto the right to hold it.

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