Friday, September 21, 2007

An Ivy Extreme

Someone at Columbia must be high.

Giving a platform to a man who has called the Holocaust a "myth"? What?!

The exchange of ideas is always important -- especially on college campuses. But, this is taking it to an extreme.


cjjb said...

Question: Since when do we have extremes when it comes to freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas??

Besides, don't you think that the negative advertisement that this will bring, will do more to remind people of the Holocaust than a new book talking about the Holocaust survivors could ever do?

This makes people upset -- GOOD. This makes people very emotional -- GOOD. This makes people want to take action -- GOOD.

People need to get upset, emotional and take action! We need to remember our history in a way that makes emotions stir within us, whether good or bad, in order to truly learn from it.

I think Columbia knows exactly what it is doing, and is doing it for a very good reason.

Paul said...

Good comment, cjjb.

But, we do have extremes when it comes to speech and ideas. We often do draw the line at racist speech and other forms of hate speech.

RE the Ahmadinejad speech at Columbia, I think it might have been good that it showed this nut case a glimpse of dialogue in a free society.

cjjb said...

Who are "we"? Are you separating us as a people? The right people and the wrong people? Who gets to decide who is right and wrong? And if society is to be that high judge, is this not the thought that once drove the Quakers from England and allowed the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends (Quakers) to live and practice their faith? Those people were thought to be just as "wrong" as you think these other people are.

The Ku Klux Klan and Neo-nazis are protected by police forces (all over the world in developed, democratic countries) for the very reason that there is no extreme when it comes to freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas.

Your use of the word "extreme" and reference to "we" worries me. It is for these reasons that people often do not listen to each other. Only in listening and understanding your oppositions' statements will you grow and learn from them, and even better understand your own position. There are no extremes, just as there are no rights and wrongs. There are social standards by which many of us live, but also by which many of us do not. These people who do not live by these standards are no more right or wrong than those who do live by these standards. Only different. And as long as peace progresses, the difference cannot be judged to be one or the other.

Luke said...

To equate Ahmadinejad's views and beliefs with American's core values is offensive to me as a Christan and American. Your line of thinking would lead me to believe I have something to learn from burying women to their necks and throwing rocks at them for showing their face in public or cutting off the head of an infidel journalist or a homosexual. Do our social standard advocate killing people who aren't Catholic? I think those examples are pretty 'extreme' and accurate. As a rational thinking person I can deduce for myself that western civilization has more to offer than the bloody Islamic political movement that is sweeping across the globe. You think our social standards are just as valid as their stone age social standards? Wow.
We owe Ahmadinejad nothing and certainly not a platform to rally his cells state side. He and his country have been at war with America since 1979 in one way or another. He is not an American citizen and has no freedom of speech on our soil. He should have been arrested on the spot.