Burning Books

So this whole Qur’an burning incident – actually, not the whole thing, just the part about burning books – has got me thinking about, well, burning books.

See, I don’t like the Bible.* I think it can be an interesting and hilarious (yes, hilarious – 900 year-old people?) if read free of any preconceived notions (like faith in the Christian god). That so rarely happens, though, that I think the book is largely a negative rather than a positive.

Despite this, I do not believe in burning the Bible. In fact, I do not think any books should ever be burned (unless it’s a survival situation in which kindling is desperately needed! Then go ahead.). Even as a symbolic gesture (say you burn 1 Bible, Qur’an or other holy book that you don’t like) I disagree with it. A book contain knowledge, whether directly – as in many nonfiction books – or indirectly – this is actually the case with all books as they give an indication of the current thoughts, trends, writing style, etc. of the time at which the book was written. I do not think that destroying that knowledge is ever warranted.

I do, however, support everyone’s right to burn books. No, I did not just contradict myself. I would never burn a book. I do not support the actual burning of books, but it should still be within our rights to burn a book. Like burning the United States flag, I find it distasteful at the very least, but no less a part of our rights. It’s also similar to the concept of being completely disgusted by the KKK, but still supporting their freedom of speech -they’re disgusting and socially I condemn them, but legally they have the right to open their mouths and speak their vile ideas. You have a right to burn books, and I will protect that right, but I definitely don’t support you actually starting the fire.

*For some of you, the switch from the Qur’an to the Bible may have seemed very abrupt. I made the switch because I dislike the Bible more than the Qur’an, and have actually imagined burning a Bible before.

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8 thoughts on “Burning Books

  1. Jimi says:

    I feel much the same, aside from the knowledge to be gained, active reading enables one to think better and more often. More thinking leads to great discoveries and great ideas.

  2. theRibz says:

    Well I’m with you on the whole idea of having rights to burning books yet never doing it yourself. But I do not believe in burning religious books or any other books of certain significance to some people, or even flags, because such acts are disrespectful to some people’s beliefs, and promote intolerance and hate. I am not a religious person, not the very least, but I am with tolerance and respecting other people’s choice of faith, and by which symbols they believe.

    • That’s what I said. You know, in the post you read?

      • Why should one automatically respect beliefs? Ideas shouldn’t get special treatment just because they’re called “beliefs.” Beliefs don’t need rights. People do. Respect people’s right to HAVE a belief, to hell with the belief itself. I probably wouldn’t burn any book, religious or otherwise, but so what if I did? It’s burning the people who believe in that book that should matter. Not burning the book itself.

        • All right, I’m assuming you read the original post? So you realize I never mentioned respecting beliefs and all that stuff? I’m just clarifying here – when I say I don’t think we should burn books it’s not because I think we need to protect people’s feelings or respect beliefs so little deserving respect. I say it because I respect the knowledge those books inherently contain (mostly indirect knowledge when it comes to religious texts). You are absolutely right. Beliefs do not need rights, and far too many people think we need to “respect everyone’s beliefs” no matter what, when the reality is that we need only respect the right of persons to have a belief. To respect all beliefs is a ludicrous proposition – how am I supposed to respect a belief in creationism? Or in Christian Science and prayer healing?

          Added: I must’ve been half asleep when I responded to the first comment about beliefs. O_O

      • I guess I was more replying to theRibz than you.

  3. SciAwakening says:

    I could not agree with you more. Well said!

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