Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The importance of blasphemy

Peter Fosl writes in a not-so-new article in The Philosophers Magazine ("Open Debate: The Righteousness of Blasphemy") about the importance of blasphemy:
Blasphemy deflates some of the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, I'm-absolutely-right attitudes of the religious. It makes religion safer. It does so by knocking religious authorities off their pedestals, by reminding us that their views (protestations to the contrary) are just those of silly humans, that they're just like the rest of us—that they and their views are equals with us and ours, that they are not our superiors.
It's easy to see why ideas related to the ‘sacred' and the ‘blasphemous' are so attractive and so fiercely defended. With them one can tell people what to think and how to live with the greatest authority while simultaneously establishing immunity from criticism.

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