About MattusMaximus

Matt Lowry is a high school and college physics professor with a strong interest in promoting science education and critical thinking among his students and the population in general. He is a self-described skeptic, someone who believes in Carl Sagan’s adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” He muses on these and other topics at his blog, The Skeptical Teacher (http://skepticalteacher.org)

The Dangers of NOT Offending Religious Sensibilities

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, there has been much soul searching regarding free speech, religion, what is and isn’t offensive, and public safety. In my first blog post here at Wrest In Peace, in the spirit of battling with words and not weapons, I wanted to take this topic head-on and without apology. So here goes…

First, I think that there has been a fundamental error in how much of this discussion has been framed. Too many people, mostly those who wish to not have their “religious sensibilities” offended and their weak-kneed allies, are asking the question of what are limits to free speech and should “offensive” speech which attacks and/or ridicules religion be allowed? This viewpoint isn’t to be dismissed as trivial in light of the fact that almost 20% of Americans think religion shouldn’t be satirized. Continue reading