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Repeal the Blasphemy Laws

Comment 1st July 2010

I think the title explains it all – see below for my reasons.

Why does this matter?

I think this one is pretty obvious and self-evident.

These are anachronistic medieval laws that have no place in our modern society. Millions of people probably commit blasphemy every single day of their lives and probably several times at that. Every time the laws have been recently invoked it is by authoritarian extremists who wish to stifle free speech and convict people of thought crime.

For those of us who believe in liberty, freedom of speech and conscience are far more important and sacrosanct than the individual beliefs themselves. You can hold whatever beliefs you want, but on the contrary you cannot stop others from criticising or ridiculing them. Religious beliefs should be open to as much ridicule as political, aesthetic or economic beliefs.

The blasphemy laws are opposed to freedom of speech and should – in fact, must – be repealed. Anyone is welcome to criticise and ridicule my religion as much as they want, that is their human right – to speak freely in a free society. All topics must be up for discussion and individuals do not have a right not to be offended, since who decides what is offence? Furthermore, if people say that they are offended by something, then that is fine, but if they decide to use that offence as a platform to impose their autocratic will upon others, then that is far more offensive than any speech!

Repeal these laws now!

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