Many people (including the Pope) think that if speech is left free, false views will generally be more easily adopted than true ones.
We all think – at least most of us – that Darwin had to publish the Origin in spite of “sorrow” or “pain” or “hurt…
If, under the mantle of political correctness, it were possible to dispose of religious criticism, the social costs would be enormous.
In the 1960s and 1970s many people seemed inclined to think that freedom of speech was vitally important. Nowadays, it is less popular.
Countless books now considered indispensable works of the Western tradition were for a long time suppressed by the Catholic Church.
All new ideas were, in a way, won over hurt feelings, shattered worldviews – all new ideas generated resistance and opposition.
For fear of a “Clash of Civilizations”, the Western world increasingly backs down on human rights, and freedom of speech in particular.
What should the reaction of open or liberal societies be to the assault we experience on the principles on which they are based?
Some people think religion has no real influence on what happens in the world. This group is composed of believers and unbelievers alike.
The attempt to argue that the evil sides of religion are simply “not religious” is not convincing. Religion has to be subjected to criticism.