Our cherished um er ah

Russell makes a good point about Quinn O’Neill’s 3 quarks post:

He quotes O’Neill

Success will be most likely if atheists and religioius moderates unite for a common goal; not the eradication of religion, but a securely secular society that optimizes well-being and respects our most cherished freedoms. 

And notes

Yes, that’s what we should aim at – a secular, free society. I agree. But O’Neill doesn’t even understand what our cherished freedoms are. One of them is the freedom to criticise ideas that we disagree with, including religious ideas, and to criticise individuals and organisations that wield social power, including religious organisations and their leaders.

Indeed; well spotted. It’s quite funny when you notice it – sentimentalizing over our most cherished freedoms while betraying a remarkable cluelessness about exactly what they are. One of them really decidedly unambiguously is the freedom to say critical things about particular ideas and beliefs. If you’re going to cherish it, then cherish it.

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