Thursday, September 27, 2007

Speech must not Undermine "Dignity"?

You have complete freedom of speech at George Mason university as long as you don't undermine anyone's "dignity". Extract from official GMU memo to students follows:
"Already this fall, a number of students, staff, and faculty have raised concerns and engaged in dialogues related to controversial campus, national, and international issues. As conversations ensue both in and outside of the classroom on issues such as Mason?s quiet meditation space, recent acts of racism at UMD-College Park, and the upcoming Jena 6 trials, we encourage dialogue that fosters critical thinking, positive engagement, and mutual respect.

Our challenge as a community as we engage in these dialogues is to stay committed to honoring and encouraging free speech, while at the same time attending to those who may feel that their safety and dignity have been compromised"


I've looked hard but my copy of the 1st Amendment does not make an exception for speech that affects dignity.

Sounds like you cannot criticize ANYONE (Christians, conservatives and "Zionists" excepted, of course) because all criticism surely reduces that person's "dignity". If I say that a Muslim's religion amounts to 8th century ignorance, that sure would not do much for his dignity but it might be true.