9 februari 2006


Ms Benson en Mr Hitchens tegen de geloofsfanaten



Ophelia Benson onderhoudt een interessante site en een bijbehorend weblog die gewijd zijn aan de bestrijding van "woolly thinking", onwetenschappelijkheid, irrationalisme, post-modernisme, relativisme, en overige onder alfa-"wetenschappers" populaire illusies en waandenkbeelden.

Ze schrijft goed en onderhoudend, en wie goed geschreven argumenten wil lezen tegen vele variëteiten van onwetenschappelijkheid, irrationalisme, post-modernisme, relativisme, en overige populaire illusies kan ik van harte aanraden haar site en weblog te volgen.

Christopher Hitchens is een Amerikaanse journalist en essayist die hier onbekend is en in de boekhandels niet uit voorraad verkrijgbaar, maar die een heldere en goede stijl schrijft.

Hier zijn een drietal citaten van hem opgevoerd in het weblog van Ophelia Benson van 6 februari j.l. in samenhang met vrije meningsuiting:

Islam makes very large claims for itself...The prohibition on picturing the prophet - who was only another male mammal - is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent. This current uneasy coexistence is only an interlude, he seems to say. For the moment, all I can do is claim to possess absolute truth and demand absolute immunity from criticism. But in the future, you will do what I say and you will do it on pain of death.
I will not be told I can't eat pork, and I will not respect those who burn books on a regular basis. I, too, have strong convictions and beliefs and value the Enlightenment above any priesthood or any sacred fetish-object. It is revolting to me to breathe the same air as wafts from the exhalations of the madrasahs, or the reeking fumes of the suicide-murderers, or the sermons of Billy Graham and Joseph Ratzinger. But these same principles of mine also prevent me from wreaking random violence on the nearest church, or kidnapping a Muslim at random and holding him hostage, or violating diplomatic immunity by attacking the embassy or the envoys of even the most despotic Islamic state, or making a moronic spectacle of myself threatening blood and fire to faraway individuals who may have hurt my feelings. The babyish rumor-fueled tantrums that erupt all the time, especially in the Islamic world, show yet again that faith belongs to the spoiled and selfish childhood of our species.
Suppose that we all agreed to comport ourselves in order to avoid offending the believers? How could we ever be sure that we had taken enough precautions?... Is it not clear, then, that those who are determined to be "offended" will discover a provocation somewhere? We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt...There can be no negotiation under duress or under the threat of blackmail and assassination. And civil society means that free expression trumps the emotions of anyone to whom free expression might be inconvenient.

Juist. Ikzelf heb mij eerder in deze zin uitgelaten - zie: Vrijheid van meningsuiting, Mohammed's (on)afbeeldbaarheid, Over tolerantie en respect, Verbaal versus lichamelijk geweld en Moraliteit en religie maar het is meestal leuk te zien dat je er niet alléén zo over denkt als je doet.


Maarten Maartensz


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