The Thinking 

Freedom of Speech For Some

March 4, 2012


THESE WORDS by Julian Savulescu, the editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, are worth reading again. Savulescu was defending the article by two ethicists who made the case for infanticide of newborns with disabilities such as mental retardation.

What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.

Of course, the exact opposite is true. The freedom of liberal academics to offend normal human sensibilities is almost limitless. Savulescu is upset that those who object should exercise their freedom of speech.

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