Analysis Of Jonathan Rauch's Article 'Kindly Inquisitors'

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In the article titled, “Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought,” Jonathan Rauch concludes that hate speech should not be censored on campus. Rauch believes that students have a right to academic freedom. He believes that students will not feel free to explore or question topics that may be taboo, if they are fearful of reprimand, limiting their ability to learn about the world during a crucial time in their education.
First Rauch argues that gaining knowledge is painful and Knowledge cannot be separated from pain, even the most “scientific” criticism can be painful. For example, Physicist Ludwig Boltzmann committed suicide following criticism of his ideas. Rauch believes we need to develop thick skin and learn to deal with criticism.
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Rauch argues that there is no way to tell if speech is truly bigoted or just an unpopular opinion. He believes censors will suppress opinions they hate allowing them further their personal agenda. For example, a Michigan student was called to a disciplinary hearing for saying homosexuality is a disease treatable with therapy. The answer to whether this student was bigoted or expressing an unpopular opinion would be different depending on your personal beliefs. According to Rauch tolerating hateful, or misguided opinion is better than censorship. Rauch’s opponents claim they don’t want to block criticism and inquiry, just hate and intimidation, but Rauch suggests there is no way to make a distinction between hate speech and criticism because one person’s hate speech is another’s sincerest criticism. His opponents argue, “In practice, we can distinguish verbal harassment from legitimate criticism by the hurtful intent of the speaker.” Rauch counters with, “criticism can be intended to hurt or discredit” and that “punishing the intent of criticism is more dangerous than punishing criticism itself, because to establish the intent of words the speaker’s mind is on trial.”
Rauch’s opponents believe hate speech hurts people and that protective action is needed. Rauch argues that there is no way to tell if people are really being hurt, there is no evidence or test that can prove or measure someone’s hurt feelings. Rauch also

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