Main Article Content
The paper attempts to question the legitimacy of laws against blasphemy and defamation of religion, drawing attention to the legal situation in Thailand, where nearly 95% of population is Buddhist of the Theravada school, and where the law prohibits the defamation or insult to Buddhism. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the desire to protect religious feelings of Buddhists provokes an attempt to restrict freedom of speech. The need to protect the feelings of believers does not seem to have a solid justification, because it presupposes an invalid right to be free from criticism. The idea that laws against defamation of religion can be justified by the attempt to combat incitement to hatred and violence is rendered invalid too, because it denies the validity of individual moral autonomy. The paper concludes that idea of using legal punishment for a non-aggressive communicative action also contradicts some of the core principles of Buddhism. Although the paper focuses on Thailand, most of the conclusions are applicable to a wider variety of similar legal circumstances.
Block, Walter (2011). Rejoinder to Kinsella and Tinsley on Incitement, Causation, Aggression and Praxeology, Journal of Libertarian Studies, 22(1), 641–664.
Fink, K. Charles (2012). Buddhism, Punishment, and Reconciliation. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 19, 370-395.
Freedom House (2017). Freedom of the Press 2017. Thailand Profile. Retrieved form https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2017/thailand
Gaus, G. (1997). On the Difficult Virtue of Minding One’s Own Business: Towards the Political Rehabilitation of Ebenezer Scrooge. The Philosopher, 5, 24-28.
Huemer, Michael (2013). The Problem of Political Authority. An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey, Palgrave Macmillan.
Kinsella, N. Stephan and Tinsley, Patrick (2004). Causation and Aggression, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 7(4), 97–112.
Kinsella, N. Stephan (1996). Punishment and Proportionality: The Estoppel Approach. Journal of Libertarian Studies, 12(1), 51-73.
Mill, John Stuart (1859/). On Liberty. Batoche Books. Kitchener.
Milton, John (1644/). Areopagitica, with a Commentary by Sir Richard C. Jebb and with Supplementary Material. Cambridge at the University Press, Retrieved from https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/103.
Mortellaro, Matt (2009). Causation and Responsibility: A New Direction, Libertarian Papers, 1(1) from https://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2009/lp-1- 24.doc
Rothbard, Murray N. (1998). The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press.
Sadowsky, James A., S.J. (1974). Private Property and Collective Ownership, in Tibor Machan, ed., The Libertarian Alternative, Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1974.
Sturges, Paul (2006). Limits to freedom of expression? Considerations arising from the Danish cartoons affair. IFLA Journal, October, 32(3), 181-188.
Sturges, Paul (2011). The Problem of Blasphemy and Defamation of Religion Laws. from https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/faife/publications/spotlights/problem-of-basphemy-sturges.pdf.
Subramaniam, Surain. (2000). The Asian Values Debate: Implications for the Spread of Liberal Democracy. Asian Affairs: An American Review, 27(1) (Spring), 19-35.
Van Dun, Frank (2003). Against Libertarian Legalism: A Comment on Kinsella and Block. Journal of Libertarian Studies, 17(3). 63-90.
Van Dun, Frank (2004). Natural Law and the Jurisprudence of Freedom. Journal of Libertarian Studies. 18(2), 31–54.
Waldron, Jeremy (2012). The Harm in Hate Speech. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.