Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Peter Singer: To defame religion is a human right

The UN human rights council recently adopted a resolution condemning "defamation of religion" as a human rights violation. As the text of the resolution reads, "Defamation of religion is a serious affront to human dignity" that leads to "a restriction on the freedom of [religions'] adherents."

As a supporter of the UN this came as both a shock and a disappointment. It's a step in the wrong direction as we work to protect and improve the integrity of the world's cultural health. It's also a punch in the face for freedom of speech advocates.

But leave it to Princeton's Peter Singer to tell it like it really is. In a recent article for the Guardian, Singer argues that defaming religion is hardly a human rights violation. On the contrary, says singer -- it's actually a human right. We must defend the right to cause offense to believers, argues Singer, but only when it's not meant to stir up hatred.

Sounds reasonable to me.


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