Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):589-605 (2019)

Authors
Jonathan Seglow
Royal Holloway University of London
Abstract
Religiously offensive speech, i.e. speech that offends members of religious groups, especially religious minorities, is on the rise in western liberal democracies, particularly following the recent wave of right-wing populism in the UK, the US and beyond. But when is such speech wrongful? This paper argues that the wrongfulness of some religiously offensive speech does not depend on some intrinsic feature of it, or on the subjective reaction of its targets. Instead, such wrongfulness depends on the fact that religiously offensive speech normally takes place against the background of enduring social injustices suffered by certain minorities, for example religious discrimination. In that context, we argue, religiously offensive speech is wrongful when it disables its victims from maintaining an adequately respectful relationship to themselves, and sets back their freedom through domination. Recognizing the wrongfulness of some religiously offensive speech, however, need not entail endorsing its legal regulation all things considered. The paper therefore illustrates different available forms of intervention, ranging from civil law action to state support for the victims of such speech and long-term programmes of citizenship education.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-019-10000-2
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References found in this work BETA

Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.

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Citations of this work BETA

Cartoons Go Global: Provocation, Condemnation and the Possibility of Laughter.Daniel Gamper - 2022 - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (4):530-543.

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