You do not have a right to respect!

Every time I see outrage by people starting with: “It´s my opinion/belief/religion/view, you have to respect it.”  My only internal – and often voiced – reaction is “NO! Why should I?”

This precisely is an integral part of freedom of speech, opinion and press. I do not have to respect everyones opinions or feelings.  If I believe your opinions are crazy, hateful, misogynistic or medieval I will call them out. And so should YOU

Yet somehow the left has more often than not (especially in Europe) been completely correctness-whipped into submission. How often do sentences begin with: “I respect your opinion, belief, thoughts but….” Well you shouldn´t.

Don´t respects the thoughts, beliefs etc. if they are simply wrong! And yes they can be just that. SIMPLY WRONG. There are NOT two sides to everything.

A nice, if comedic, example: John Olivers take on climate change.

A very laudable and sensible approach is the British Parliaments Publication on communicating Climate Science.

Probably many readers will still be agreeing until now. So lets increase the pace.

I recently had a discussion about cultures and religions. Coming to the same conclusion as always – that many are dispicable and we would be better off without them. This got me the usual “cultural tolerance – bigotry etc.” answer. Tough. I still stand by my opinion and yes I might be seen as bigot – I´ll risk it.

Just because something is cultural does NOT make it respect-worthy and before we get into cultural apologetics lets take the extreme examples (as they should be) just to set the basic premise. FGM is cultural AND to be despised. Submission of the woman as a lesser human being is often cultural/religious and WRONG. And the list goes on for ever.

Just because values have survived millennia does not make them worthy of protection. On the contrary. Many wars were fought and thousands if not millions were killed in the process of freeing ourselves from such intellectual and cultural shackles. Lets not let them back in to our lives and countries for the simple reason of political correctness.

Defenders of – almost (the FGM argument usually works) – unlimited cultural and religious tolerance then usually  start by finding the faults in our culture: imperialism, colonialism, world wars etc. Bullshit and please take a ticket and stand in line next to religious apologetics defending religious genocide because stalin was an atheist (which he wasn´t by the way). On the same line of thought you would have to discredit the american peace movement of the 60s because they were american and that country had attacked vietnam.

There is a hierarchy of good and bad ideas. And this is not a question of opinion. Every society of the world was better off if it respected the freedoms of the individual and worse off if it didn´t (be this because of state religions (national socialism/communism etc.) dictators or actual religions in power). Every society ever was better off if it kept power and money in check and ultimately crashed if it did not (history of the last 8000 years: your pick). Every society in history profited from the highest possible level of general education. Every society profited from the separation of church and state.

Feel free to comment if you can name examples supporting a different view. (unlikely)

So yes I have no qualms calling a ton of cultures horrid and “to be gotten rid of”. Be this some African cultures (ask me for examples of insanity anytime) Asian or Arabian or any other. And yes: Europe had tons of those too… we´re just lucky enough to have gotten rid of most of them by now.

So if your culture compels you to treat women badly or to bash homosexuals or the media or I can´t say things because it might offend you? Screw you and your culture sucks and the earlier we get rid of it the better.

And still I will defend your right to having such beliefs or opinions (within the boundaries of your own life) because as Voltaire (supposedly) already put so nicely and yes I´ll paraphrase:

You might be batshit crazy but I´ll still defend your right to be so as long as you don´t force your opinion on anyone else.

That is and always has been one of the most important aspects of a free culture. Freedom of opinion and speech and PERSONAL life choices must (often with bleeding ears and eyes from all the stupidity) be upheld at all cost. Simply because any alternative would be worse and the first step in the downfall of said freedoms.

(popper still applies) :)




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