Break the Spiral of Silence

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on November 3, 2011

By Matthew Eppinette, CBC New Media Manager

Chuck Colson today weighs in on Jennifer’s recent experience of being verbally mauled by a fertility specialist at a Canadian fertility conference.

Sadly, Lahl’s experience is much more common than you would expect . . .

The directness of this attack and its unvarnished prejudice is intended to silence people like Lahl. It’s a way of saying, “If you disagree with the prevailing orthodoxy, this is what you can expect.”

Lahl, to her credit, refuses to be intimidated. In her words, she resolves not be silenced, especially at such a time as this. Sadly, her response is increasingly uncommon. What could be called a “spiral of silence” has taken hold in public discussion of moral issues. People are reluctant to speak out for fear of being treated as Lahl was.

The only response is to refuse to be intimidated . . . remember that personal attacks, however painful, should be seen as admissions of the weakness of the other side’s case.

That’s why, instead of avoiding the debate, we should insist that it actually take place. Instead of remaining silent, we must speak out.

 

Previous post:

Next post: