Saturday, 23 May 2015

The freedom to give offence is the most important freedom of all

All other freedoms flow from freedom of speech, which is simply another way of saying the freedom to offend. The freedom to say inoffensive things isn't freedom.

A very few exceptions, for obscenity mostly. 

On the whole, years ago I liked it that blasphemy against the Christian God was illegal in England, but that law was in desuetude for years and has been repealed. Perhaps I was being inconsistent. The purpose of the law, of course, was to prevent offence being given to Almighty God, not His creatures.

Someone on Twitter called Godfrey Elfwick @GodfreyElfwick (Demisexual genderqueer Muslim atheist, Literal good guy, Itinerant jongleur) just now tweeted this.

Satire has it's place in any discussion but when satire mocks and ridicules others it becomes hate-satire
I thought he was serious because he so accurately reflects the spirit of our age. In fact he is a satirist, the one whom the very PC BBC World Service invited on after he said Starwars was racist and homophobic. Details here.

Even niceness can be tyrannical. In fact the harm being done by nice people in the Western world is incalculable.


  1. That is just silly. I understand why people think that, but instead of offending I would use the word challenging. For offending labels, hurts, discriminates and implies entitlement and superiority. there's nothing intellectually exciting about it, nor can it be justified.

    1. Offending. labeling, hurting, discriminating and superiority were all perfectly legal from 1066 till 1966 in England. There is nothing wrong with feeling superior or feeling entitled ipso facto - especially if you are superior or entitled, but even if you are not.

  2. @Bert

    Do I understand you right? You'd make offending illegal?

    But it cannot be avoided. Being offended is much in the control of the offendee. You might as well make a complimentary law it is illegal to *be* offended.

    Why didn't I ever think of that before? That's not the worst idea I've ever heard... on par with some of the others out there...