Thursday, January 8, 2015

Against harassing terror to try their hand

I didn't commute by bicycle today, and it was probably good as the streets were flooding because of rain and snow, and the temperature was +1 °C. Snow is once again disappearing.

I have been thinking about terror and how to oppose it. We need blasphemy, as writes Ross Douthat for the NYT. Here are two quotes from his text:

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.


But if publishing something might get you slaughtered and you publish it anyway, by definition you are striking a blow for freedom, and that’s precisely the context when you need your fellow citizens to set aside their squeamishness and rise to your defense.

These photographs were taken on December 31st and January 1st.

(Posting title is from the poem Beowulf.)


Markus said...

Thanks for that quote, Juha. It's hard to advocate blasphemy, but Douthat found the right words, I think.

Juha Haataja said...

Here in Finland there has been discussion - once again - whether our law should be changed. Currently we have in legislation a point about blasphemy, in the context of disturbing public peace, but one can argue that this is in conflict with freedom of speech, and somewhat outdated in any case.