Amos Yee’s case: Dialogue should continue.

A comment made by me on 14 Oct 2016 on The Online Citizen’s website:

in response to an article by Zheng Huifen [Treasurer at Humanist Society (Singapore)] captioned: Amos Yee’s case: Dialogue should continue.

Comment by Richard Woo

I agree fully with the comments expressed by Zheng Huifen, whether in his/her personal capacity or on behalf of the Humanist Society (Singapore).

As with politics, which is not above criticism, religion, too, should be allowed to be discussed freely but should not be exempt from criticism. Whether a criticism is valid will itself be subject to further criticism if appropriate. Something may appear outlandish, but that’s OK; but if something is strikingly illogical or irrational, then it should be exposed for what it is. A comment that amounts to a clear incitement to violence, to bring harm or injury to an individual or group, is prima facie an offence and not a criticism.

Arguably, what we believe or choose to believe, or what we do not believe or choose not to believe, will greatly influence our lives or the way we live and our attitudes toward ourselves and others. We can never over-emphasize that beliefs are merely beliefs, with no empirical basis, and must be distinguished from facts.

And talking of offending remarks, what about the scriptural text of some religions calling for the extermination of infidels [infidels = unbelievers]? Can such offending text be claimed to be non-offensive to non-believers?

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