Words are tricky

A mass murderer may very well talk in a polite, well mannered way, he may talk about the importance of human rights, he may tell everyody what would be morally right to do in any given situation. He may be nice looking, he may dress well, he may seem to be a perfectly ordinary man.

He may even become a member of a political party, do a lot of work there and become their leader, he may participate in debattes, he may be elected prime minister. When he is, he may still use exactly any words he chooses, including love, tolerance, rightousness. We can never know what he truly is, and no matter what words he uses, we may never know what he really means.

Just as you can never truly mean what I mean by these words.

The only protection any of us can ever hope to have against this, the only remedy we can really count on is our ability to make up our own minds. We can never know what anyone mean with their words, but we can listen to them and decide what we mean by them.

The only way any of us are going to keep that ability though is by constantly honing, tuining, practice it, and the only way we are going to be able to do that is if we live in a society that allows people to freely express their opinions.

This is why free speach and the open society is important, not because we need freedom of the press, not because it is democratic, not because we should be able to attack others religious belifs.

We have democracy because it is the best way we have thought of yet to garantee our freedom of speach, we have freedom of the press to help us train our ability to decide for ourselves, and we reserve the right to mock any religion or ethos since it is a biproduct of allowing the memebers of our society to think truly critical and free.


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