SecondTalon wrote:And a person who values the happiness of their loved ones over their own self image is not a coward. A person who gives up their freedom or ideals due to force or threat of force is a coward however.
As the CEO of a large corporation, if your company was met with a "threat" in the form of "Boy, if you did X, it should would be a shame if some people were to rough you up over it, if you understand what I'm meaning. It'd be a shame if they did that because you did X
.. no no, I'm not threatening you, I'm just saying.. it'd be a shame
if anything were to happen
... understand?" and the CEO, being an intelligent human being who personally wouldn't give a fuck is someone mailed him a bomb that killed him because he'd be dying in the name of free speech....
Is that CEO a coward for backing down because he'd rather not have some mail clerk he's never met die because the clerk handled the bomb that had the CEO's name on it and set it off? Is he a coward for not wanting the couple of receptionists he sees every morning and calls them all "Champ" because at this point, 3 years on, it'd be embarrassing to admit he has no idea what their names are... is he a coward for not wanting them to get hit by a carbomb driven into the lobby?[/quote]
The problem I find with this is that it still serves to gives threats of violence their power over others so long as they threaten those surrounding the one(s) who angered them. If one looked at even one's own life and how the death effected others as harming others, then the only way to ethically take a stand for your own beliefs would be to have absolutely no connections with another human being.
And I disagree with your interpretation of Dream's post...
Dream wrote:My two cents on this point is that not everyone who caves to a threat is a coward. They might just weigh up the options and do what brings them out on top. Not to mention that in certain circumstances, caving to a threat if you feel it's the right thing to do might be a more courageous act than standing up to it.
I don't think I'm reading too much into things when I find that your interest here is defending the threats used against Matt Stone and Trey Parker because they, as satirists, did not give respect towards religious beliefs. I see the message constantly underlying your posts as you attempt to make it seem noble for them to not value their own beliefs since others might disagree. That is what you repeatedly fail to understand: We have deeply rooted beliefs as well. You've tried to paint the South Park creators stand as something purely aggressive, as if there were no merit to what they thought. Want to know why we defend Free Speech so adamantly? Because without protecting even insulting speech there is nothing to keep society together.
I am an Atheist, or more specifically, a Naturalistic Pantheist. Should I become offended whenever a Theist argues that their God created the universe I admire for its perfection in order itself, a perfection that only reveals itself when it isn't tainted by "magic man done it?" Should I become offended whenever a Christian or Muslim tells me that I am a fool and I will suffer for the rest of eternity for my beliefs? If they don't say it, does that make it any better when they support the religion that does?
Yes. I should be offended on all counts. But what I realize is that my being offended doesn't give my beliefs undue rights over the others when it comes to Free Speech. In a civilized society we must all be allowed to speak our minds despite inherent disagreements in our philosophies. The only way this is possible is if we value the right of Free Speech because if you start making exceptions, the majority will inevitably place its speech over that of all others.
Before you continue to condemn Matt Stone and Trey Parker consider their perspective. This interview was before the huge outrage on BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/23/south-parks-matt-tre.html
The only way "giving into threats" would be right is if the person actually believed it. When the message comes in the form of physical violence there is no "doing the right thing", there is one person ignoring the rights of the other and the victim's beliefs because theirs are so weak that they must resort to hurting another human being to spread them.