Making Monsters, Free Speech & The Right to Die

I'll be posting another actual ATNT post tomorrow. For now, I just want to indicate other posts I've written recently.


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.


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.


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

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