Freedom, Expression, and Danger: Race, Religion, and Politics

I've just posted a short essay on my main blog.

It's about race, religion, and politics, so it's called "Freedom, Expression, and Danger."

It starts out this way:

In a free country, certain choices are available to all people -- theoretically, at least. In practice, various pressures do limit the choices of many individuals. But the essence of a free country lies in the fact that certain options are legally open to everyone.

and of course it gets worse as it goes along.

You can read the rest here.

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Billion to One chance

"Of course such a state of affairs could only come about by the merest coincidence, as no one could foresee, let alone engineer, such a situation. But if by some chance it did come about, the political group in question could implement vicious policies, with virtually no public opposition."

I know this must rank up there with the chances of there being life on Mars, but some years ago a friend of mine was being pursued legally over something written that was being construed as being of a religious nature when it wasn't anything of the sort. I asked some well informed people how this was possible only to be told it was possible under a recent govt act.

"What's the name of the Act?", I asked. And as soon as I head the name of the Act, I knew who was responsible for it. It was called "The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act". And shoa enough, when I asked, I was told it was sponsored by an exclusivist society (political) that liked to hide behind being alternatively a race and/or a religion as circumstances necessitated.

If you have a high tolerance for nonsense (as well as for race and religion) you can read about this legislative assault on human rights and common sense here-

The astute reader will note that no where does the truth come into play of any statements deemed to be such a threat to democracy and perhaps the continuance of life itself on planet earth (and perhaps Mars)

more like a trillion, maybe ...

I'm not sure how we could measure the probability, but I'm sure it's very very small.

On the other hand, if it DID happen, it might look something like THIS!

James, I read the page you linked to, and I noticed a very interesting example of

behaviour likely to be seen as racial or religious vilification:


-- publishing claims that a racial or religious group is involved in serious crimes without any proof

If this were interpreted literally, it would be illegal to say Muslims did 9/11, since nobody has ever shown us any proof of that.

But I don't think we should expect to see any legal action at all against the people who said "Muslims did 9/11" -- even if that statement was false, and even if it incited racial and religious hatred, and even if that hatred resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and the displacement of millions more. Why?

Because with legislation such as this, interpretation is everything; the words CAN be interpreted literally but they don't HAVE to be. It might depend on who makes the complaint. But it might also depend on who the complaint is about.


There's this too:

Some behaviour may not be seen as vilification if it is reasonable and done in good faith. This includes art or a performance, a statement, published work, discussion or debate in the public interest, and a fair and accurate report in the media.

But who decides what constitutes "art"? or "the public interest"? or "fair and accurate"?


I've got three really good ideas and I'm going to share them all with you -- free of charge!

[1] I think we should start a new political philosophy and call it a religion.

I'm pretty sure we could get away with it. It's such a bizarre idea, never been tried and so on; nobody would ever catch on.

[2] I think our new religion should be based on graffiti-worship.

We could practice our new religion by creating works of religious art embodying fair and accurate statements in the public interest and nobody could complain about us without breaking the law.

[3] I think we should call our new religion "The Church of 400 Metre Hurdles."

Then, if we had any critics, we could point out that they were discriminating against a race.

Trillion, yes

I initially wrote it as " a million to one" and realised immediately my error. But you are right, it is a cosmological calculation. Hence trillion is far more fitting.

As for the wording of the "Act", it is entirely arbitrary. The arbitrariness is so complete that it constitutes a 'work of art' in my book. Notice the word "proof" used in place of "evidence". A plaintiff or defendant can only provide evidence. It is up to a court to determine proof.

You won't be surprised to hear that this is the work of a religious group known widely as The Legal Fraternity. They have their unquestionable dogma that is 'God-given' as are the rituals with the requisite dress-up costumes.

I think your suggestion is brilliant. Like all brilliant ideas, it is obvious once stated. I particularly like your point [3]. While I hesitate to reveal that it works because of the fallacy of equivocation, it is perfect because religions (incl The Legal Fraternity) require liberal use of the fallacy of equivocation to work on the rubes. Hence, "The Church of 400metre Hurdles" is a religion. The 'proof' is right there!

Should the rubes ever see through it, though, we can always fall back on the argument that if gender is now seen as a social construct (should have been obvious generations ago), then it follows that 'race' is a social construct, too, (being similarly genetically or epigenetically based) and therefore the province of the courts to decide.

It is entirely fitting, then, that a religious body (the Court) should rule on a religious question such as race.

"Then, if we had any critics,

"Then, if we had any critics, we could point out that they were discriminating against a race."
Hahaha! This is getting very bizarre!
But I think i can see where we're headed.

we've got that covered!

I forgot to mention this, so I'm not surprised you didn't know it ... but :

The Church of 400m Hurdles has a doctrine that covers logical fallacies.

It's kind of complicated (of course!) but in a nutshell ... Equivocation is not a fallacy if WE do it.

We've got a lot of other things covered, too, but it's probably best if I don't spill ALL the beans at the same time ...

... because ... well ... you know ...

When bidness meets prophet

It's kind of complicated (of course!) but in a nutshell ... Equivocation is not a fallacy if WE do it.

Of course! I'm going to have to get up to speed with the 'spirit' of this 'enterprise'. Must think 'double think'

We've got a lot of other things covered, too, but it's probably best if I don't spill ALL the beans at the same time ...
... because ... well ... you know ...

I know. It's amazing the things you know when you think about it. Mysticism is the magic money-making ingredient in any marketing campaign, right?. Sometimes, though, I think I'm as thick as two bibles.

Look, if I can get myself suitably qualified, like with an MBA, can I start up and run a Holy Office for Making Shit Up for our Human Resources?
And I know the perfect person to run the Holy Office of Funny Hats for the Multi Level Marketing Congregation.

There's one thing that bothers me hugely though, Your Most Graceful WP, and that is why hasn't some Holy Profit thought of all this before? I mean, it is so logical . . . . or illogical . . . or prophetable . . . or something. You know what I mean, I'm sure, being a spiritual person and all.

I'm sure you're probably right!

That always happens sometimes.
We haven't neglected these things diligently enough.
Tomorrow we have to start procrastinating.
Because ... well ... you know ...