Thursday, January 20, 2011

No Right Not To Be Shocked

Philip Pullman, a British writer ("The Golden Compass"), is the author of a critical book about the Christian faith, titled "The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ". When outraged believers challenged and threatened him, he answered them like this: "No one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if they open it and read it, they don't have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don't have to remain silent about it. You can write to me. You can complain about it. You can write to the publisher. You can write to the papers. You can write your own book. You can do all those things. But that your rights stop. Nobody has the right to stop me writing this book. Nobody has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read."


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The only right we really have is the right to love and to be loved.

  3. There is a big difference between a positive, simple and multicomprehensive identity which implicates a serious of unuttered negations that add up to an implicite negative identity on one hand and a negative identity which is only a catalogue of faint, simpleminded and arbitrarily compiled complaints which tries to suggest the implicite existence of a multicomprehensive positive identity.

    Pullman is the classical "luscus", brethren. Inter caecos luscus rex.

    Answering with a detailed book would only lead to an escalation of Pullman's simpleminded verve, pushing his verve to fundamentalist nihilism, especially if one were answering with a specular catalogue (beginning with the theme "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended" < "Nulla culpa sine lege torahica").

    The only good answer could be the design of a senseful positive identity. But at the moment "Yes we can" and "Yes weekend" are the only available goods in the showcase. Good season for cockroaches and grubs eager to eat up the hoard in our background.



  6. Waiting for a delayed train today, I had a lot of time to rummage in the stations bookstore. Thousands of dispensable, idiotic volumes. Difficult to understand that people read those books, but they do, at least while travelling. I never heard a complaint against their authors.

    It is always the religious people (fanatics) who get excited practising disgusting bashings or death threats.

  7. @cs

    You are calling our attention to the fact that our best qualities and our worst qualities often are intertwined and that this interaction in front of awarely considered incommensurability has given birth to the religions. And the religions try to perpetuate our best trying to not perpetuate our worst. But the both are, were and will be ontologically intertwined.

    If you use Occam's Razor to understand Auschwitz, then the discontinuity is represented only by a new tecnological standard, as in agriculture. I believe that the absence of religion plays a role either, since the opposite of religion unfortunately in theory is atheism, but in reality it is idolatry. The idolatric ideologies marxism and antimarxism (i.e. fascism and nationalsocialism) have created the greatest murdersystems of the human history, and in Russia and Cina religion became even illigal. But the leading heads who had the courage to resist by action against Hitler came mainly from two areas: the army and the churches.

    Randy Pausch is a remarkle example of serenity without religion in front of death. And more than this he is an extraordinary example of success and how success and candor can play the key-role in our life. Now, if you proposed Randy Pausch as an icon of candor which should console millions of other people (even if they have not a personal story of extraordinary success), then you would de facto write a new kind of agiography in the name of candor and success.