Moderation, Censorship and the Path to Ignorance

Several months ago, I was concerned about writing a post that deplored religious zealots demanding that their faith be held beyond criticism. I was concerned because I feared the hatred such individuals expressed would in turn focus on my call to protect the freedom of speech and I, obviously, did not want that. I have a wife and children to think of as well.

Yet, I do have them to think of, especially my children. What future do I hope to provide for them?

Of course, I want them to have as much freedom as one can have, to develop into the people they would like to be. I refuse to lead them into a world where critically analysing claims made by some is considered taboo.

Good ideas stick. Reality cannot be knocked over. The best way to ensure we obtain the every best for their future is to be able to question and challenge ideas freely and openly. The greater we aspire to this, the more successfully will we erode the ignorant, the backward and the detrimental.

For this reason, I had to write that article and many more since.

The most aggressively denounced articles were those against the inaccuracies of the anti-fluoride movement. Not one of the respondents of these articles seriously challenged my assertions, but instead offered pet theories or hurled insult.

As the religious zealots subdued again and I moved on from the blinkered anger of the anti-fluoride movement, I stopped thinking about free speech and concerning myself about what those whom I challenge may think of my writing. I could instead think about the evidence, as best I understand it, to write about the troubles we face and potential options we may have to maximise our prosperity into the future.

Yet, to my surprise, I stumbled upon even more topics that were held beyond question.

As I have said in the past to anyone I have challenged; if I am wrong, prove it. I can adjust my views, if adequately proven in error. I hold no internal belief beyond question except for the feelings I hold for my friends and family. All I ask for is evidence.

This is what I have often mused over with the climate “sceptic” whom boldly links me to a blog post or news article rather than within the science literature. Why such places? Why aren’t the experts interested?

With the matters that have recently been brought to light, as with any other subjects I concern myself with on NewAnthro, we run a terrible risk through falling prey to taboo which ultimately leads to censorship. I know it sometimes seems like a herd of “wildetrolls” set up camp on your comment thread, but so be it. Let them starve there. Censorship of ideas at the very least slows down the path to better information if not stops it entirely.

The waves sometimes wash up seaweed, sand and dead sea life, but in the long run, it erodes that cliff face. The same can be said about free speech and the wall of ignorance.

Christopher Monckton’s claims only persist become he keeps pumping them up not unlike the priests of yesteryear whom would actually drop by your house to reinforce faith in the scripture. False claims simply cannot stick unless they are propped up and denied the corrosive power of critical evaluation.

For that reason any ideological preference that refuses analysis exposes itself in self-confessed error. If such preference is held in high regard, it makes fools of anyone who hopes to attain reliable information within its shadow.

Again I find myself concerned. Perhaps I ought to moderate myself in the future to avoid such  situations?

Yet, I find myself returning to my children. Moderation is little more than euphemism for censorship and my actions down that path lead my children into the shadow of ignorance only to be made fools. I simply cannot do that to them.


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