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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hear no Evil

Environmental Republican has tagged me to list the seven people who never should publish or speak another single word publicly ever. There are many people I disagree with. There are also many people who I think are ill informed on the issues or who have drawn incredibly erroneous conclusions. There are numerous people who I never wish to read or hear speak again. However, there is no one who I think shouldn't publish or speak. In fact, I wish more people would express their thoughts and opinions in a public manner. That is what blogging is about, at it's core, the idea that everyone now can share their thoughts and opinions no matter how ill informed or poorly reasoned. It is certainly true that speaking can have negative effects on people in various ways. The solution though is never censorship but more speach, to confront those ideas that are wrong and explain why they are wrong. If I ever find that the only way I can win an argument is to shut up my opponents, it means that my argument is the weak one. Free speech and the free exchange of ideas is not a necessary evil, it is an unmitigated positive good. (Scott at Environmental Republican is certainly not a censor and I am sure that he regards this as a joke, it is not an issue that I personally joke about however. The seductive desire to just shut up one's adversaries rather than perform the tough job of confronting them is too close to all of us I think.)

3 Comments:

Blogger RFTR said...

I think there's a difference between shutting up your adversaries, and WISHING they'd just shut up.

For example, I'd never want to silence Howard Dean—but I really wish he'd just silence himself.

This wish can in no way lead to censorship. That's what I'd bet Environmental Republican was going for.

10/11/2005 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger scott said...

Besides, censorship can only be done by the government. It's a joke Dave. You can name the seven people you hope would just stop writing or speaking.

You read me all the time. I never erase a comment (unless it's spam) or silence anyone.

Same with the person who started this, Indymedia Watch.

10/12/2005 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I specifically tried to make it clear that you were not serious about silencing people.

I don't think that your naming people like this is wrong, or evidence that you are evil.

Even those I disagree with, Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter, and Howard Dean for example, I am happy not only that they can, but that they do speak out and share their opinions. I am even pleased when idiots like Barbara Streisand get involved.

Sometimes I wish other people would pay less attention to these idiots, but I like that they speak out.

So I don't have a list. I don't think down on anyone who does, but for me the speaking itself is great even if I disagree with the contents.

10/12/2005 11:28:00 AM  

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