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The Forum > Article Comments > The tyranny of the majority > Comments

The tyranny of the majority : Comments

By Peter Fenwick, published 17/1/2018

Attempts to modify the SSM bill to protect freedom of speech and religious beliefs got little support and amendments to the bill were voted down.

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Well put William S., but a couple of things.
“if one section of the community has a higher suicide rate than others, is it really best that people can pick and choose whether to serve them in a shop?”
The wedding cake issue is not about who you serve but how a tradesperson employs their skills. How can a free person not have the right to refuse to create, or maintain, something he/she finds offensive? Can pacifist fitters and turners be forced to build weapons of war?

“…Mill's comments that "acts, of whatever kind, which …, do harm to others, may be…controlled”
I think it is important to discriminate here twixt direct and indirect harm. When you “steal” someone’s girlfriend, beat your colleague in the big race, create a better mousetrap than your business competitor, or end up having the funniest put-down at the office Christmas party, have you really committed a wrong that you must be answerable for? People have committed suicide because of failed endeavours such as business or romance and yet has one ever heard of prosecutions of the alleged ‘wrong doer’.
Sorry to say, but you’re like the shyster lawyer who declares that whenever there is suffering, someone must be financially responsible. In life there is suffering which is direct and palpable: financial loss, physical harm and even libel, and then there is that, which in one field or another everyone suffers at some time, where we must endeavour to use our inner strength to overcome. It is not always easy to do, but if we weaken, that does not justify us blaming others.

Rather than putting your scholarship (which you obviously possess) into denying Australians freedom of speech, association and religion, why not into the creation of inner strength workshops for those demographics who possess a higher than average suicide rate?
Posted by Edward Carson, Thursday, 25 January 2018 2:07:33 PM
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