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Jan 2 2010
Atheists challenge new blasphemy law in Ireland

Until recently, the laws in Ireland gave special protections to the Christian religion only. So, to update it for the 21st century, they have modified their blasphemy laws. As of today, it is punishable by a fine up to 25,000 euro to say something insulting to someone else's religion.

Of course, this is horrible. The open discussion of ideas is important and it should not be illegal to say you disagree with someone else. Besides, it is not clear exactly what this means. If a Jew states publicly that he does not believe Jesus was the messiah, is this blasphemy because a Christian will be offended...or would it be blasphemy for the Christian to publicly claim that Jesus is the messiah because the Jew will be offended?!?! And what about publishing scientific articles that may contradict the claims of some religious they now have to be censored?

It seems obvious to me that freedom of speech is the solution. If an idea is good, then it will survive an open discussion. If such discussion puts it in jeopardy...then perhaps it is not a good enough idea that we should be shielding it with the law.

Read Article in Guardian

Jan 2 2010
Re: Atheists challenge new blasphemy law in Ireland

You can read the quotations posted by Atheist Ireland at: this blog. Their goal, remember, is to protest the blasphemy law by including quotes from various sources that would insult people of various religions. It's a pretty good list, but my favorite is this one, which is not illegal under the new law

24. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, 2009: “Whether a person is atheist or any other, there is in fact in my view something not totally human if they leave out the transcendent… we call it God… I think that if you leave that out you are not fully human.” Because atheism is not a religion, the Irish blasphemy law does not protect atheists from abusive and insulting statements about their fundamental beliefs. While atheists are not seeking such protection, we include the statement here to point out that it is discriminatory that this law does not hold all citizens equal.

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