Sanjay Poyzer

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Sanjay Poyzer
Posted almost 3 years ago
Should blasphemy be outlawed by the UN?
This post made me wonder whether there is, or could be, some kind of 'stacking' system in human rights. Kind of like rules in CSS, or layers in Photoshop. For those not knowing what I mean, a rule in CSS is valid unless a rule later in the document overrules it. Of course, laws work like this to an extent. If a new law is written that contradicts an old one, the new one is followed. But it seems like people either ignore this fact, or don't understand, especially when talking about things like free speech. Why do laws or rules have to be so absolute? What's wrong with saying "Everybody has the right to free speech, UNLESS they are offending somebody." I think the key is in defining when a person has a right to be offended. It's probably impossible for both parties (the offender & offended) to take *every* possible action to stop the offence being taken, but what if we judged these things by how much the 2 parties have done to avoid offence being taken? For example, if a vegetarian walks into a Butcher's and is offended by the sight of raw meat, the vegetarian has clearly not done very much to avoid being offended. However, if a person knowingly shows up to that vegetarian's house with a basket of meat, that person must surely take the blame for any offence. Maybe this is already how the law is judged, I don't know. I just think following these principles solves a lot of debate.