The article in the National Post quotes a student at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania named Erin Ching as writing “What really bothered me is the whole idea that at a liberal arts college we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion.”
So why is hearing a diversity of opinion important?
I’ll tell you.
The ability to think is what separates humans from say, robots.
The ability to think is the essence of what it means to be human…it is the defining characteristic of human beings, of humanity itself.
Without the ability to think we are nothing more than automatons or dust particles or grains of sand in an infinite universe. Without it we are certainly not human because it is our ability to think which makes us human in the first place. Without it we would not be able to grow or develop or create or evolve.
It is impossible to think without the ability to learn.
Learning makes thinking possible.
It is impossible to learn without being aware of a wide range of thoughts, ideas, perspectives and facts about whatever it is one is trying to learn about. It is impossible to come to any valid, knowledgeable conclusions about anything if one is shut off from a wide range of thoughts, ideas, perspectives and facts about whatever it is one is making conclusions about.
It is impossible to become aware of a wide range of thoughts, ideas, perspectives and facts about any given subject if freedom of speech and freedom of expression are stifled or prevented or not permitted, if dissenting opinions and facts that don’t conform to the current, fashionable orthodoxy are suppressed and aren’t allowed .to see the light, if dissenters and critics and doubters and those that merely question are ridiculed or punished or imprisoned or killed. That is exactly what’s happening all over the world, even in countries which are supposedly bastions of freedom of speech and freedom of expression like the United States or Britain, even in places which are supposedly bastions of freedom of speech and freedom of expression like college and university campuses. The thought police are simply everywhere.
All over the world, especially in academia but really throughout society everywhere one looks freedom of speech and freedom of expression are being attacked, are being taken away and lost. They are being attacked and taken away and lost in the name of political correctness or religion or keeping people from being “offended” or “victimized” or any number of other ideologies or isms. Groupthink and conformity are the orders of the day and woe indeed to anyone who swims against the tide.
Taking away freedom of speech and freedom of expression takes away our ability to think and learn and grow and develop and create and evolve…it takes away our humanity itself.
It also makes us easy prey for those who want to control us, for those who want to control every aspect of our lives, for those who want to turn us into robots or automatons or cogs in a machine.
That is why the thought police must be fought at every turn, no matter what their justifications are.
Without the ability to think and learn and grow and develop and create and evolve we simply can’t call ourselves human and without freedom of speech and freedom of expression we simply can’t do any of those things.
Which is of course why freedom of speech and freedom of expression can’t be balanced, can’t be eroded or taken away.
We’re either human or not.