The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Muhammad cartoons

This brouhaha over the Danish cartoons satirizing Muhammad is interesting, but nobody seems to have acquitted themselves well. The Muslims have a right to be offended, but they really need to understand the concept of freedom of speech and of the press. Of course, these concepts seem to be foreign to the Muslim world. On the other hand, the Danes who published the cartoons, though they certainly had a right to do so, are guilty of bad taste. Bad taste is not illegal, but people ought to have respect for other people's sensibilities and not do things that could be that offensive to others.

Since bad taste is not illegal, the Danish government cannot and should not punish the newspaper publishers and staff. But the newspaper people themselves never should have done it.

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