Science and society: Defending the right to differ
|August 26, 2010||Posted by O'Leary under Darwinism, Creationism|
It seems to me that there is a larger principle at stake here. People can have a private museum on their own land about whatever interests them. I could have a museum featuring heritage tomatoes, if I wanted to, on land that I own. Assuming I charged admission or was selling seeds, a question might arise whether it is for profit or not for profit. But that is an administrative issue.
I knew that this was part of a growing culture war when I heard that the fact that the museum ‘disturbs’ some is supposedly important.
I told my friend, who supports the museum’s cause: You don’t need to defend your beliefs. Defend your right to have a private museum. It doesn’t become someone’s business to interfere just because they disagree, and have friends in influential places. Period.
I strongly recommend Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism, for orientation in this area.
I summarize his key findings here.
This uproar is part of the success of the new atheist movement among elites and legacy media, for sure. The old atheist would have thought the creation museum was bunk, but otherwise minded his own business, to the extent that he shared basic, non-fascist values, beautifully summed up, here in Canada, in the Diefenbaker Bill of Rights, that used to be framed and hung in Canadian union halls, but is now quietly absent in many places, I fear:
I am a Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
or free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960.
It is absent when people are ashamed to read it, and compare it with what has happened in the age of social engineering via “human rights” commissions/tribunals (who think humans are just clever animals), who have held, for example, that a food service employee has a “human right not to wash her hands ( a point certainly disputed in the health care profession, but may become part of “Darwinian medicine” at some point), have butted in on who a Catholic bishop’s altar servers should be or what he is allowed to say about the Catholic Church’s view of the gay lifestyle (creating huge legal expenses for dioceses that might otherwise have spent the funds on various good works), and have even held hearings on whether a comedian’s jokes are funny.
What went wrong: Civil rights (the rights of citizens and others we accept into our community as landed immigrants, refugees, etc.) were replaced by “human rights”, which is more like “animal rights” – free-floating speculation, rather than a thousand years of English common law tradition.
Don’t think it stops here, by the way. Once “anti-hate” legislation is in place, the new atheists will fit fine into the new environment, especially if their values are running it. You can guess what that will mean for discussion of evident design in the universe.