Jun 2015

The Undercurrent: "There is no society that protects freedom of religion more than secular democracies"

“...Hate speech is a relatively new phenomenon. If you look at history, hate speech becomes illegal after the Second World War. I’m not in favor of hate speech. I try to talk politely with people and appreciate when they speak politely with me, but we’re living in a world that is more diverse than ever before. What is one man’s hate speech is another man’s poetry. What is sacred to one group of people will be blasphemous to another group. Hate speech laws are not actually used to combat hatred. If that was their purpose, then to be consistent they would have to criminalize a lot more speech than they in fact do. The laws are ways to force a certain group’s social conventions upon society-at-large. Hate speech laws become more problematic the more culturally diverse a democracy becomes. You can see that clearly in places like Europe, where I live. Most of Europe has laws criminalizing denials of the Holocaust. That’s one example of a hate speech law. Denying the Holocaust is stupid, it’s insulting, it’s a lie, but I don’t think we should criminalize it...”
Read the interview