The right to offend
Kenneth H. Bonbnell
Many people don't believe it, but humans do have a right to offend
other humans, especially in presenting dissent from the views with
which many people seem to be very content. This includes those views
Who now says that Martin Luther, in 1517, should have considered
whether or not his Theses offended Pope Leo X before he nailed them
to the door of the church in Wittenberg? Should Mohammed have considered
the offensiveness of his opposition to idolatry of the Qureysh to
Those who would have us restrict, limit, and punish dissent, because
dissent by its nature will offend someone, should consider that
where they stand has come from what has offended in the past, and
to realize they do not enjoy the epitome, the ultimate development
from which dissent should be impossible and offense be outlawed.
Kenneth H. Bonbnell, in AU Newsletter, reprinted in Humanist
in Canada, Autumn 1990. Subscriptions to Humanist in Canada are
$15/year, from P.O. Box 3769, Postal Station C, Ottawa, Ontario
K1 Y 4J8.
Published in the Connexions Digest #53, January 1991
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