Wendy McElroy Lauds FIRE
December 21, 2005
by Tara Sweeney
The Guide is yet another indication that political correctness is faltering on campuses across North America. To those who value the right of individuals to a conscience—that is, to judge right and wrong for themselves—this is welcome news.
[t]he cost to society is high; creativity and intellectual progress wither. The cost to individuals is higher; without competing ideas, people cannot adequately judge for themselves what is true and false, right or wrong, moral and immoral. For me, that private judgment is what constitutes a conscience, to which every human being has an indispensable and inalienable right.
The ability of students to judge for themselves is restricted by limiting the ideas upon which those judgments would be passed. In turn, this impoverishes the quality of conscience.FIRE's new Guide—the fifth in a series of ideological survival manuals for college students—describes both the manner in which the right of conscience is being attacked on campus and how the tide is turning toward individual rights.Three common ways in which universities limit a student's access to ideas are speech codes, mandatory 'diversity' tests or training, and 'non-discrimination' policies.
The right to judge for yourself what is true and false, what is right and wrong is a prerequisite for both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The right of conscience is the bottom line of personal liberty itself. And it is being reasserted.