Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-c2ftz Total loading time: 0.657 Render date: 2022-12-10T00:18:43.079Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Introduction - Who Is the Devil and What Is He Due?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2020

Michael Shermer
Affiliation:
Chapman University, California
Get access

Summary

Introduces the central thesis of the book: that freedom of thought, conscience, inquiry, and speech is inviolable for science and politics and sacrosanct to civilization. Who the devil is and what he is due is stated: The devil is anyone who disagrees with you or someone else, and what he is due is the right to speak his mind. The reason we must give the devil his due is explained: for our own safety’s sake. Why? Because my freedom to speak and dissent is inextricably tied to your freedom to speak and dissent. If I censor you, why shouldn’t you censor me? If you silence me, why shouldn’t I silence you? Once customs and laws are in place to silence someone on one topic, what’s to stop people from silencing anyone on any topic that deviates from the accepted canon? The tyranny of censorship must be combatted with the bulwark of freedom.

Type
Chapter
Information
Giving the Devil his Due
Reflections of a Scientific Humanist
, pp. 1 - 16
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×