"If you want freedom…" Q&A: Freedom Party on "Hate Speech" Regulations

January 16, 2008 by  

BlawBlaw wrote:

Does the Freedom Party have a position on “hate speech” and its regulation?

We oppose Canada’s hate literature laws. Here’s why.

Reason is man’s only means of obtaining knowledge. Accordingly, rationality is required for human survival and happiness. For that reason, it is right to use force to ensure that
ensure that every individual is free to make and act upon rational decisions. The duty of exercising such force on our behalf falls to the government.

Rationality cannot be produced by force. In contrast, irrational conduct that interferes with rational conduct can be prevented, punished, and discouraged with force.

One can make and act upon rational decisions only if one cannot legally be deprived of ones own life, liberty or property without ones consent. Therefore, to ensure freedom of rational thought and action – i.e., of thought and action upon which life and happiness depend – government, properly constituted, uses force to require that all relations among individuals are consensual (whether or not they are rational).

Relating this to freedom of speech: when a speaker’s words are not calculated to deprive another person of his life, liberty or property without his consent, it is not proper for the government to respond to the speaker’s expression of those words. If the government does respond by taking the speaker’s life, liberty or property without his consent, the government is doing that which it is supposed to be preventing.

So it is in Ezra Levant’s case, in my view.

Mocking religious beliefs – or stating that some of a religion’s beliefs threaten to subject people to non-consensual deprivations of their lives, liberty or property – is no doubt offensive to those who hold said beliefs. Such statements may very well cause great numbers of people to fear, condemn or hate the religion, or those who advocate or promote such beliefs. However, none of these consequences (offence, fear, condemnation, hatred) constitute a non-consensual deprivation of life, liberty or property. Accordingly, the government has no legitimate role in outlawing such statements.

Some beliefs are false and evil. Some are contrary to individual freedom, contrary to individuals pursuing their own happiness, contrary to reason, or contrary to the facts of reality. When it is illegal verbally to condemn false and evil beliefs, reality, reason, happiness, freedom and capitalism are themselves condemned.

That some people hold such false or evil beliefs as religious beliefs does not rationally imply that such beliefs, or such believers, should be protected from criticism or emotional discomfort. In my view, those who believe that the earth is flat should not be surprised at the laughter and ridicule they receive from others, and the fact that one holds such beliefs as a matter of religious faith, or drunken stupor, or brain damage, or cultural norm, does not change the fact that said laughter and ridicule does not comprise non-consensual deprivation of anyone’s life, liberty or property. Those who believe that non-believers, or adulterous women, or homosexuals etc. should, as such, be murdered must not only be ridiculed, but verbally condemned in the most vocal and appropriately blunt manner (along with the source of their belief, whether religious or non-religious). Such verbal condemnation, similarly,
does not comprise non-consensual deprivation of anyone’s life, liberty or property. The government ought not to intervene.

Ezra should not be involved in this legal proceeding for the following reason: the law in question should not exist. It is anti-rationality, hence anti-happiness and anti-survival. It is a law founded on, and serving, the hatred of what makes man man: reason.


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!