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In Defense of Being Offensive: Jonathan Rauch on the New Threats to Free Thought

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Published on Nov 19, 2012

"We can't trust anybody in authority to make smart decisions for us about what's the acceptable point of view." So says author and Brookings Institution scholar Jonathan Rauch in FIRE's video, "In Defense of Being Offensive." Rauch presents a stirring and convincing defense of pluralism over what he calls "purism," arguing that minorities benefit more under a society that values pluralism, including the right to offend others. Rauch concludes: "Is it a dangerous situation when someone can shut down the search for truth by saying 'Oh, that offends me'? Absolutely."

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Produced by Ted Balaker. "Secondary Life" by Manuel Ochoa (Magnatune Records).

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