by John Hawkins | February 22, 2006 9:14 am
A lot of blogs are chattering about wacko David Irving’s 3 year prison sentence in Austria that he received for denying the existence of the Holocaust.
Although Holocaust denial is a particularly odious, ignorant, and malignant belief, making it into a “thought crime” is even worse. That’s why Austria made a mistake.
Let people get a good look at a concept like Holocaust Denial in the free marketplace of ideas and they will overwhelmingly reject it. Treat it like it’s such a dangerous idea that it has to be criminalized and people may become more curious about the idea than they would otherwise be because they suspect they’re not getting the whole story.
That’s why locking up kooks like Irving or alternately, completely ignoring them, is the wrong way to handle them. Instead, the best medicine for a bizarre conspiracy theory like Holocaust denial is sunshine, oxygen, and critical analysis.
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