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The Murder Of Common Sense And Mature Reasoning
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The Murder Of Common Sense And Mature Reasoning

So Matthew Wright does it again; opens his mouth and wonders what on earth the world is coming to.

Were his comments ill-advised? Probably! Does he deserve vilification? Probably not; however he's getting it.

As presenter of a prominent day-time show he is not as likely to get away with comments that have not been scrutinised for potential offense as the rest of us. The trouble is; offense is often undetectable until it is taken by someone.

This being so, it is surely the responsibility of that individual to deal with the offense rather than the comment maker?

It seems we are good at finding fault with what people say rather than what we hear. Did Mr Wright say the murder was insignificant; that it was funny? No. He merely mimicked an oft quoted phrase used in Scotland and further afield. It is a reflection on the power of a TV show's catchphrase to sink into the public conscience more than anything else.

The phrase "Thirs been a murdur" is perhaps a little ill-advised when a real life murder has taken place; especially that of a youth or child. Yet when a publicly common statement of humor becomes a platform for retaliation and resentment; the true murder is that of common sense and mature reasoning.

Free speech, as I have written elsewhere is always best preserved by responsible speaking. If it is felt that irresponsible speech has taken place, the antidote is responsible speech; not the irresponsible act of public vilification. All public vilification does is ensure the future of public free speech is endangered. Irresponsible comments are to be met with responsible ones or free speech becomes a risky activity.

Offensive speech and behaviour is clear. It is discriminatory and inciteful. If we see too much of this haranguing of those who invoke oblique humor without malice, there is a danger that the advances made against discrimination and incitement will merely be reversed through the behavior of the same society that sought to make the advances.

Nietzsche is often quoted with regards to his thoughts on monster hunting; namely that one must be careful of becoming one if hunting one. Our apparently increasing intolerance of even the slightest, non-aggressive, humour based insensitivity could see us becoming more monstrous than the offenders we set out to address.

Those who take offence are at least as responsible as those who give it. Free Speech is meaningless when the hearing of others is enslaved by intolerance. Free hearing is as essential to liberty as are liberal words.


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