Originally Posted by Scimitar
I have to admit, be honest with you, that mentioning the Holocaust as being a hoax does offend me. It offends me because it's not, as perhaps some think, some massive conspiracy to falsify history, to pull money out of European states to fund nefarious activities, to justify political enterprises in other lands... (all that). But because it is an event that wiped out the Jewish populations in Eastern and Southern Europe. It's a factual event, one of the most widely studied events in human history, and something that remains a national trauma within the Jewish people. An event beyond modern politics. As with anyone, disbelieving something because one wants to, just as believing something because one wants to, does not make it true.
Indeed, I personally wish the Holocaust deniers were correct. They're not, one trip to Poland and Lithuania will make that clear. And this without even touching the mountains of testimonies, evidence, documents and survivor stories, the family members that one doesn't have, that can point to no other conclusion.
Having said that, I sense a bit of hostility or anger in your post.
So how is it different from the Mohammed cartoons? In my opinion, it isn't. I don't believe in laws against Holocaust denial either.
Do I agree that Jews sometimes go too far on this subject? Yes (Though within France, Poland and Germany it affects the sensibilities of the general population, which is possibly why they went so far as to actually ban such discourse). That the media goes so far to insinuate anti-semitism when there is no anti-semitism, yes.
But even beyond this, I do logically see a difference between denying a tragic historical event (usually with wider political motives) and making pictures mocking a religious leader. But I see it that way because I don't see things from your perspective. I'm not a Muslim, I do not understand the attachment you have to the prophet and to the prohibition of not depicting him. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be the one to go out of my way to offend them this way either.
This hypocrisy, this double edged sword is failing as people around the world are waking up to the reality of what free speech really is and how it can be abused to incite hatred, violence and worse... we live in an age where the pen is mightier than the sword, and knowing this, you still claim the tired old argument of:
But this is where you're arguing against yourself. You're in favour of such curbs based on at least one group of people being offended. And.. how about when atheists are offended by religious symbols or discourse in public? When feminists are offended by hints at gender and gender roles in society? How about when the whole host of other opponents to certain things you may believe in can veto what you can say and do? How about circumcision, non-stunned slaughter of animals when certain rights groups don't like it?
Subjective. Of course it is. being offended on an individual basis is subjective - but when entire populations are of the same mind - then it's a different reality, and the subjective argument goes into the bin. With your educated mind, i'm sure you were already aware of this.
And when do you have entire populations that are of the same mind?
You're trying to split a hair here. Problem is, you haven't made a comparable analysis.
Let me help.
1) if I say something to you, for example: "you're a buffoon", you may be offended... I say this to someone else, they may laugh along with me... my point is, on an individual basis, the argument is subjective.
2) However, If I say "All Jews are the synagogue of satan" - then every single Jew would be offended - it's no longer subjective anymore, so your "subjective" argument fails in this regard.
Bottom line bro guru, is this - we, the people, have awoken to the reality of free speech, and the underlying hypocrisy it entails in the modern vernacular. We will not accept this bastradisation of it, nor will we remain silent - but we will make our opinions known to the world in order to show solidarity; in the hope to secure better laws governing the current abuse of free speech in the western countries.
I sincerely just don't understand your position at worst, or else I think what you're saying from what I have understood is unworkable.
We're in the theoretical realm here. As I mentioned above, how do you divide what is a group and what is individual? The problem is we have societies of groups nowadays.
These groups are women (feminists), atheists and agnostics, religious groups, they are gays... etc
Say something such as 'marriage is between a man and woman' and you'll get the latter groups offended. Say our society is based originally on 'Judeo-Christian' values, and the other religious groups and agnostics will be offended. Say that woman has a crucial role to play as a mother and in the home that men do not naturally fulfil and you'll offend the former...
By your reasoning we would no longer be allowed to say such things, which may or not be correct, because they offend certain groups.
If there is hypocrisy, deal with the hypocrisy rather than creating more.