Bill Maher lead a discussion recently on issues surrounding freedom of speech in France and throughout the world.
I am a believer that the conservation (or resurrection) of a sacred ideal is a noble and likely endless cause and consequence of the human experiment. Nonetheless, there must be a point at which we, as rational beings, are forced to re-evaluate our goals and give new meaning to our existence here on earth. Indeed, even if the traditional family unit of the 1950's and/or the religious obedience instilled amongst the populace of the 16th century can still be viewed as admirable, I have to believe that no single characteristic of any one era in history can rationally compare to what the growth and adaptation of the human collective has to offer in the future.
I only hope and look forward to the day when our ideas, both old and new, can be freely shared without fear of retribution, and can be openly accepted or rejected without force, anger, insecurity, or death. I envision an age in which every proposed social diagnosis is given and received with an understanding that the accuracy of our own assumptions and the true virtue of the values we proclaim will best be realized by not only their longevity and continued utility, but also by the degree to which they are able to endlessly consider, in tranquility, all perspectives (both known and unknown) with limitless compassion, forbearance, and love.
Of course, it may just be the case that not all arguments are worth advocating or even listening to. But perhaps someday they may be. And, even in the face of popular distaste, history has shown that even ostracized theories should still be given the opportunity to be advanced in a social setting. Luckily, globalization is beginning to afford human beings the advantage of exchanging diverging or opposite views through non-violent verbal communication as a means to attain our own idea of truth and justice.
My humble proposal is that in this endless war of ideas, your war, your campaign for truth, whatever truth it may be, it should never be lost that in order for any idea to be of proper use and persevere as we intend it to, our fights must be restricted to the realm of rational discourse and formal discussion, and should never be reliant on threats of physical harm or other intimidation. Ideas should be openly and regularly subject to peer review, this is the very essence of how an idea becomes received and accepted as universally "good." It is the reason for freedom of speech.
Let us all continue to strengthen our ideas, build up our cases, and plead for others to fight on our behalf. Perhaps one day the "truth" we are all seeking to obtain, whatever it may be, will be globally accepted and all will be right in the world. Until that day, however, rather than carry disdain for those who resist or even maliciously campaign towards the abolition of an ideal, set emotion aside and welcome contrary opinion. Rest assured and have confidence in reason, knowing that logic and rationality will always remain on the side of truth and justice. Have hope that we as a populace will continue to be tolerant of societies that afford its citizenry free and open thought coupled with fair and balanced debate. Protect and cherish these environments.
Realize, however, that if the argument you continue to advance does not withstand the tests of time, or if you find that it only succeeds in the absence of choice or where reason and logic disagree, then have the courage to question its assumptions. Take a moment to set aside your own pride and move away from the history of the world as it was taught to you. Join with as we continue to venture into the world of the unknown as survivors just trying to live and let die.
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