Free Speech, Censorship & Identity

As we all know our nation has become dangerously polarized.  It is no longer possible to engage in honest debate without being accused of possessing a phobia, being an “-ist,”  or subscribing to an “-ism.” That ends the dialog. As such you must therefore be silenced and banished from the public square. In some cases the recommended penalty is death.

This recent address by British philosopher Roger Scruton offers compelling insight as to how these conditions develop.  He traces them to our great need as human beings to belong. We derive our identity and security from this belonging.  People are willing to kill in order to defend the notions on which their identities rely, especially if those notions are felt to be vulnerable to rational inquiry. Ironically people will fight harder to protect a lie from the truth than vice versa. I think you will find this fascinating.

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