FREE SPEECH IN MY WORLD
“Everyone has the right to his own
If you believe that, I have an opinion for you,
piping hot, fresh out of the oven, and ready to serve. I believe that
thinking people have a right to opinions, and those who do not think
about their opinions, but merely “have” them have no
business presuming to come to the same forums and expect equal credence
as intelligent, self-informed individuals.
Now, I don't have any problem with someone
disagreeing with me. Au contraire
, I would rather a thoughtful
person disagree with me, and that openly, than have a majority on my
side, but that majority be made up of “stupid people
For instance, I believe in Creation (yes, the
literal, six-day Creation of all things by one personal God); and I
have some friends who believe in Evolution, and some who believe in
Creation. The fact that certain of my friends disagree with me does not
cause me to discount their opinion. Conversely, the fact that others of
the do agree with me does not cause me to validate their opinion.
To opine is a right which must be earned, not by the
opinion, but by the process through which the opinion was decided. I
know some who believe XYZ
because some person
to believe it. That is as much a problem in the Evolutionist camp as it
is in the Christian camp; even though Christians are more often accused
thereof. I know others who, whether in agreement or disagreement with
their upbringing and major outside influences, have arrived at their
opinion deliberately. These I respect, whatever their view; and the
other, despise, whatever their view.
I will give an example from my recent experience. I
have a friend, A___, who is a Christian, but also believes in
Evolution. For him and his opinions I have no respect. I have another
friend, K___, who is an atheist, and predictably believes in Evolution.
For her and her opinions I have the utmost respect. One rejects his
upbringing and embraces the same view another has been raised to hold.
What is the difference?
A___'s opinion on the matter changed when he went to
school. His whole life he had not held an opinion of his own because
that was too much work. He fed off of the opinions of his parents,
peers, and others. When his professors began instilling in him that one
could not seriously consider oneself a man of science and not believe
in Evolution, he decided to believe in Evolution, with no thought
involved — nary a synapse fired.
K___, on the other hand, sought out knowledge on
which to base her opinion. Though she ended up remaining with the
opinion handed to her, through her process of discovery it became her
own. She honestly and sincerely evaluted the other options (well, in
this case there really are only two options, unless you follow the
schools of philosophy which say we really aren't here
anyway . . .) and then decided — as did A___
— what she wanted to believe.
There you have a double portrait. You can see the
stupid person on the right with his owlish glasses, gawky build,
scraggly black beard, and unsure demeanor. To your left is the smart
person — the “thinker”, if you will. See her
confident attitude, her poise. I'd almost be afraid to ask her a
question; with her, there's too strong a possibility she already
thought of that question, and decided what she would answer if ever
asked it. It would be a fitting answer, too. Just look at her. Look at
the difference between the two.
Benjamin Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson, or Thomas Paine, or one of the
other great patriots of the American Revolution — I don't
remember who, and it isn't that important who anyway — said to a
man with whom he disagreed about the necessity of war, “I do not
agree with what you say, sir, but I would defend to the death your
right to say it.”
Of course, Dogbert, of Dilbert fame, said, “Out! Out, demons of
Stupid People . . .
. . . are, quite simply, those who will not think. I'm
not talking about those who cannot think here. They have my sympathy
and goodwill. Those people are stupid, truly stupid, who have the
capacity to think — their full intact mental faculties —
but are too lazy to utilize it. Face it. Thinking is work, and hard
work at that (which is why thinkers have my full respect, regardless of
their opinions), but those who do not engage in it as more than a
dabbled-in pastime or hobby are more than lazy: they are shirkers of
their duty to mankind.
I am the last one to claim on less than supernatural
ground any type of duty apart from self, but a standard must be set somewhere! If there
is no requirement or prerequesite of thought, then from what
avenue must one approach an understanding of the supernatural?