On Offence

The Politics of Indignation

Book Cover: On Offence

By Richard King. In the last 50 years, the way in which we take offence has undergone a radical change. Everyone is offended; hurt feelings are paraded like union banners. Offence has been democractised - and that is not good for democracy. It has opened the door to a new mood of censoriousness, self-pity and self-righteousness: a world of 'offensitivity'. This mood is poisoning public debate not because it creates division, but because it is intellectually void: suddenly, it is how we feel that counts, not what we think. Political and religious leaders seek to turn offence to their advantage, while the media makes it entertainment. Offence is given in all directions, and taken even when not intended. Ironically, unofficial censorship has reopened the door to official censorship; blowing the dust off old blasphemy laws, we are moving forward into the past. On Offence will consider how this came about by tracing the history of identity politics and political correctness. What, exactly, is offence? What is the relationship between offence and religion? How is offence used by politicians, media commentators, and social-media pundits? Is there anything we can do to halt the spread of offensitivity? Politeness is a noble quality, and decorum will always have its place. But when respect for one's fellow humans is bought at the cost of honest criticism, it's time for us to reconsider.


Claim that something is offensive and it is as if the assertion itself has automatically become an argument - Hitchens ... I feel, therefore I am... Democracy I believe needs a thick skin... the West has gone from a situation in which virtue define civility to one in which consideration for one's fellow human beings does so.

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Ep 81, one of the best and most enjoyable

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Episode 68 right on the mark

This episode was just the right length, but more importantly, was a little more measured in addressing the topics. I admire the Iron Fist in the way he can craft rational statements about appalling behaviour in the topics discussed, and I found the 12th Man to be a good balance to the Iron Fist. I wish the Velvet Glove wouldn’t giggle at important topics or when religious thinking is described – we already find them ridiculous, but laughing every time is a bit much after hours of listening to episodes. This is a fun but semi-serious podcast that everyone should listen to, and I thank them for making the time to produce it.


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This podcast is great for those looking for debates about secularism, religious power structures and Western liberal democratic ideals, all with a focus on the Great Southern Land. The two main protagonists bounce ideas off each other and occasionally guests are brought in to give different perspectives (I love to hate Right Wing Tony!). These are not Left Wing Nutters, I know as I tend to that description too often myself and disagree with them at times. Rationality and free thought rule! The boys don’t mind if you throw in your two cents, in fact, I think they love to hear from the public. Very worth a listen.


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