Saturday, March 28, 2009

Passing Nonsense

The UN Human Rights Council has, once again, adopted a resolution calling on member states to pass laws restraining the "defamation" of religion:

Similar resolutions have been passed by the Council since 1999 and by the General Assembly since 2005. The resolution passed with 23 in favor, 11 against, and 13 abstentions, gaining two additional votes since the last time it was adopted by the Council.
As the council is repeating itself with this foolishness, so shall I: if the council is going to resolve what it sees as a conflict between the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion, there is no obvious reason it should restrict expression rather than religion. As I put it in an earlier post,
it would be equally true to say that believing that god exists and persists in a volatile, belligerent, peevish, verge-of-wrathful mood creates the difficulty with human expression. So where's the UN resolution limiting belief in captious, petty, tyrannical deities?
The point of the reductio ad absurdum is the absurdity, and that's the nicest word for this: it is an absurd attempt to restrict human rights, all the more so for being done under the aegis of an organization established to protect those rights. It's passing shameful.

Civilized people must insist on freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

There's more on the council's idiocy from Norm Geras, Russell Blackford, AC Grayling, Ophelia Benson (expanding on Christopher Hitchens), and Reporters Without Borders.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So merely declaring that I have no use for the concept of religion, let alone bothering myself about whether one or more deities exist, should be "restrained" by force of law.

Okay, let the Vatican run the freaking world.