...some of the images (anti-Islamic and otherwise) Charlie Hebdo engaged in had deadly consequences, as everyone knew it could … and that kind of blasphemy is precisely the kind that needs to be defended, because it’s the kind that clearly serves a free society’s greater good. If a large enough group of someones is willing to kill you for saying something, then it’s something that almost certainly needs to be said, because otherwise the violent have veto power over liberal civilization, and when that scenario obtains it isn’t really a liberal civilization any more. Again, liberalism doesn’t depend on everyone offending everyone else all the time, and it’s okay to prefer a society where offense for its own sake is limited rather than pervasive. But when offenses are policed by murder, that’s when we need more of them, not less, because the murderers cannot be allowed for a single moment to think that their strategy can succeed.Read it all here.
Friday, January 09, 2015
Russ Douthat's essay in the New York Times, "The Blasphemy We Need," is a must-read article. It clarifies better than any other why "blasphemy" is sometimes a courageous act that serves a free society's greater good. He writes: