Making Monsters, Free Speech & The Right to Die
Tauriq Moosa is a tutor in ethics, bioethics and critical thinking at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree at the Centre for Applied Ethics, Stellenbosch University. He has published essays and articles on practical ethics, focusing on subjects like free expression, killing, sex, and religion in public life. He debated religion with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the BBC documentary, the Tutu Talks, and has been featured on local radio shows. He is also an avid comic book writer and reader.
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I'll be posting another actual ATNT post tomorrow. For now, I just want to indicate other posts I've written recently.
1. MAKING MONSTERS [link]
At my friend Martin Pribble's blog, I contributed a little essay dealing with why it hurts proper inquiry, as well as ourselves, to turn people into entities worthy of attack - especially given this common tactic on the internet.
When we make monsters out of others, it is not only our target that loses her humanity, but us as individuals, too. In order to morph someone into a caricature, into a non-person, into nothing but a Bull’s-eye for the arrows we launch from the moral high-ground, we need to ourselves erode what makes us normal, often pleasant, often good people.
We strip away any hint of humanity so that they become a target, a monster, removed of any traits of being a person with actual feelings, actual values. Far easier to just grasp his skin and rip it off, than grab his hand to walk down uncomfortable paths. Far easier to shoot offensive bullets atop the silo walls, than to open the gates for newcomers, unless they dress, think, speak exactly like those within. When we’re more interested in making monsters than making friends, it’s an indication we’ve given up the search for truth. Reality does not care about what’s comforting and voices that hurt us could contain a position we’d not considered, a viewpoint that undermines our convictions because those convictions could be wrong. To assume all outside our camp are just wrong – absolutely – is yet another way we make ourselves into monsters: those who often do the most damage are those who are perfectly certain.
2. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION MEANS THE FREEDOM TO INSULT [link]
I wrote two long posts which I felt were too long for the blog. You can find them at the Tubmlr blog, which I find the most elegant-looking blog platform.
In this first Tumblr post, I examine and critique an argument by the Director of Islamic Centre for Africa about his concerns on blasphemy, censorship and free speech - as per the recent attacks and the awful film. I find his arguments bad and his suggestions childish.
3. A(NOTHER) BAD ARGUMENT AGAINST THE RIGHT TO DIE [link]
In this second Tumblr post, I examine Laurence Clark's strange post against the right to die. What particularly irritates me about this post is that such arguments and views don't actually help anyone: neither those who are for the right to die, nor those against. Clark's arguments are strange, reactionary, lack evidence and reach too far.
I hope you'll read them, but I do realise they are quite lengthy. I'll post a new blog tomorrow.
Image Credit: Boris Karlov/Wikipedia
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The lawsuit claims the administration violated the First Amendment when it revoked the press credentials of reporter Jim Acosta.
- CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press credentials were revoked following a heated exchange with President Donald Trump on November 8.
- The network filed a lawsuit against the administration on Tuesday, claiming the administration has violated multiple amendments.
- The White House may only revoke the press credentials of journalists for "compelling reasons," not for reasons involving content.
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
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