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In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page 324

First time accepted submitter etash writes "A bit more than a year ago a man was arrested in Greece for satirizing a dead monk, after the far-right party golden dawn, petitioned for his arrest. A couple of days ago he was given a ten-month sentence. What actually enraged the religious Greek blogosphere was not the satire. He wrote a fictitious story about a miracle done in the past by this specific monk. The story was then sent to [a religious blog] and then in a matter of days it was copy pasted and presented as true by most of the religious and far-right blogs and news sites. The final act of the dramedy took place when he came out and revealed that the story was not real; he intended to show the absurdity and the lack of reliability of these sites."
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In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

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  • Violation of ECHR (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ReallyEvilCanine ( 991886 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:25PM (#46007641) Homepage
    EU law covers freedom of speech/expression. The question is whether he can stay out of jail while appealing this bullshit. The Mediterranean countries are our own domestic third world, but with really good food.
  • by etijburg ( 684177 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:29PM (#46007677)
    This is just more proof that religion is just evil. It is a means of controlling what you believe. This is why the religious right in the USA is determined to get creation in the schools. So they can indoctrinate children before they learn critical thinking and realize that it is just a means of controlling them.
  • Re:Not here! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by residents_parking ( 1026556 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:39PM (#46007741)

    This is nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with politics and Golden Dawn. The Euro has pushed Greece to the edge, and GD are seeking to exploit the ferment. It's a damn shame, and IMHO the sooner the whole experiment is declared a failure the better, especially for nation states such as Greece. Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France face similar difficulties, on a sliding scale.

  • Re:Not here! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:54PM (#46007837) Journal

    Really? To me, it runs just below the surface.

    Abortion, still pursued with varying vengeance at the state and federal level to deny access to it across the US
    ACA has all kinds of religious exemptions written into it
    In court you swear to a particular diety.
    Education, a bunch of states, some of which influence purchases across the US, keeps having trouble with this separation, slipping in and out of teaching a specific religion

    Hell, I'm still not sure why here in Canada we publicly fund a parallel Catholic school system along with our public schools.

  • Re:Not here! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by x0ra ( 1249540 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:59PM (#46007873)

    What separation ?

    Your presidential oath is finished by a beautiful "So help me God", as is the citizenship oath, and every coin and bank note feature a the famous "In god we trust". So I really don't know what you are talking about...

  • Re:Not neccesairly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:10PM (#46007953)

    Denying the Holocaust is illegal here in Germany not because of opinion but because it is a false statement, clearly and irrefutably documented.

    Careful with that there.... some future benevolent leader may get elected and questioning their authority maybe considered illegal due to a clearly and irrefutably documented "election process." Stipulations in Freedom of Speech rarely turn out well. Freedom of any and all speech should be a fundamental human right.

  • Re:Not neccesairly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:39PM (#46008121)

    Even in the US one may be punished for yelling "Fire!!" in a crowded theater. Based on their experience of two World Wars, the Germans concluded that shouting "Heil Hitler!" and "There was no Holocaust" are similarly dangerous and merit controls ... in their country. That seems to be fairly narrow and tailored to address the problem.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:49PM (#46008205)

    The reason that denying the holocaust is illegal is entirely because of public opinion - or rather public fear as to what it might lead to. ... why single out just the one false statement from all the other false things idiots say?

    Germany outlaws both Holocaust denial and various expressions of Nazi culture. They rightly recognize that the danger those pose is political and those would be rallying cries to restore the threat to being a present danger again. There are still neo-Nazis in Germany waiting for their chance. Do you want to give it to them unimpeded? Anti-Semitism is on the rise again across Europe already despite the mass slaughter that is still within living memory and taught in schools.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:49PM (#46008207)

    I am also greek but don't share your perspective. In Greece is according to the constitution a christian orthodox country. In the school, the army the courts of law and many other institutions, christian symbols are forced on people. I have been forced to pray and attend mass both during my school years and my mandatory military service. It might seem trivia for someone who shares the faith but for me and many greeks who don't feel christian, those are practices against their dignity.

    The greek church is the descendant of the clergy that was appointed by the sultan to administer his christian subjects. Trying to compensate for that, the clergy has propagated the fictitious "hidden school" and been the spearhead of all sorts of nationalistic bigotry. In Greece all orthodox priests are paid as civil servants. In Greece children are tough religion every week for 12 years of schooling (Only one year, the 11th mentions other religions). The hold the church has over the state is incredible by any modern standard (except maybe for Italy).

  • by plover ( 150551 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @07:37PM (#46008499) Homepage Journal

    There are plenty of neo-Nazis here in the good ol' US of A. The difference is that we have freedom of expression, where if a handful of skinheads goosesteps up and down the street yelling "Sieg heil!", there are a hundred non-skinheads who yell "go home you morons" at them.

    The rest of us watch them on the TV, and either abhor, admire, or ignore the actions of one side or the other.

    It's important that these idiots be allowed to express their stupid opinions. The basic idea is that it helps avoid creating the "poor suppressed martyrs" who use that to draw other people who feel outcast into their secret clubs.

    Does this strategy work? Well, the neo-Nazis here are very marginalized.

  • by gd2shoe ( 747932 ) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @07:39PM (#46008515) Journal

    "Thou shalt remain ignorant of anything not printed in this book" is a tenet of most religions, and is dogmatically followed by the fervent believers.

    I'm going to quibble over this point. It is not a tenet of most religions. It is a tenet of a few religions, and some of them have been very loud.

    (They've also made good villains with which to smear other religionists. You've been suckered.)

  • by Sardaukar86 ( 850333 ) <.moc.cltsyadot. .ta. .mac.> on Sunday January 19, 2014 @08:40PM (#46008979) Homepage

    Does this strategy work? Well, the neo-Nazis here are very marginalized.

    Excellent post and as far as I'm aware you're quite right, Neo-Nazism simply hasn't become a real problem in Western democracies. That's despite the full availability of some of the most emotive and powerful imagery ever employed (such as Hitler's speeches, the Swastika, etc.) which is all still here and just as potent even after all these years.

    Free speech for these people and other groups like them is a critical safety valve for society. It also allows the public to judge the words and deeds of said groups for themselves without '3am disappearances' hiding the true extent of a movement.

    Yet despite this I've had some (quite heated) arguments with otherwise normal people who would have the Neo-Nazis thrown in prison if they could. Why is this concept of freedom of speech so hard for some people to grasp, even as they enjoy the benefits of a free society?

  • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:12AM (#46011737)

    "Thou shalt remain ignorant of anything not printed in this book" is a tenet of most religions, and is dogmatically followed by the fervent believers.

    Including Atheist fundamentalism, apparently...

    What book would that be then?

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:04AM (#46011889)

    Also, a false report that denigrates some other organization but bolsters one's value in the eyes of another can also be fraudulent, particularly if the others net value, including goodwill is harmed.

    Dude, eristic [] argument is the mainstay of civilization. We're always engaged in the internecine struggle to discredit other parties to our own ends. I'm doing it right now.

    More interestingly, this is perhaps the founding principle of the human language capacity.

    The Argumentative Theory []

    The article ... is a review of a puzzle that has bedeviled researchers in cognitive psychology and social cognition for a long time. The puzzle is, why are humans so amazingly bad at reasoning in some contexts, and so amazingly good in others?

    From the text itself:

    We do all these irrational things, and despite mounting results, people are not really changing their basic assumption. They are not challenging the basic idea that reasoning is for individual purposes. The premise is that reasoning should help us make better decisions, get at better beliefs. And if you start from this premise, then it follows that reasoning should help us deal with logical problems and it should help us understand statistics. But reasoning doesn't do all these things, or it does all these things very, very poorly.

    But for some reason, psychologists are unable to challenge this basic premise that reasoning really is supposed to help us. And that's why Dan Sperber came up with the idea that reasoning doesn't have this function of helping us get better beliefs and make better decisions. Instead, reasoning is for argumentation. Dan's basic idea is that the function of reasoning, the reason it evolved, is to help us convince other people and to evaluate their arguments.

    What this fellow did is conduct a hack against pompous insularity. Take a turd, disguise it with some food colouring, put it on their plate when they aren't looking, then watch the gobble it up while the pound the table exclaiming "We don't eat turd!"

    What you end up demonstrating is that they distinguish turd from non-turd mainly by social optics, and not by its sensory quality.

    Always the rule with those engaged in pompous insularity is that no outsider has standing to challenge their practices unless first vetted by the gatekeepers of the pompous insularity itself.

    In order to achieve this, you'll have to master the extremely arduous standards of the profession (prestige barriers are usually high) in the pursuit of an outcome (deflating the eminent within that profession) that will have you black-listed from any form of employment where you could ever hope to receive a personal gain in exercise of the mastery you slaved to achieve. And then the gate keepers mock you when you say "thanks, but no thanks".

    It's so much easier to sneak a poop pie onto the buffet table and watch them eat it smacking their lips.

    It's the same deal with a packet filter in network security: hard crunchy outside, soft chewy inside. The professional walls are exceedingly hard to breach, but the defences inside those walls (which involve hard intellectual work to sustain) have long since gone to the dogs, yet they behave externally as if their house is in perfect order. This is an eternal story.

    What it comes down to is whether one regards this kind of hack, which begins with a small deception, as a valid form of whistleblowing.

  • Re:Not neccesairly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @10:01AM (#46012751)

    It's an interesting tale, but does it matter in practice? Assange had to turn to Ecuador and Snowden to Russia.

    It doesn't really matter what your country does or doesn't say if your populace wont enforce it.

    Far better to focus on ensuring healthy leadership, than to ignore the growing incompetence of leadership whilst quibbling about "what if" scenarios that will happen regardless of what the law says if you let that dictator rise to power.

    Germany doesn't need to worry about what some theoretical dictator may or may not do with a law, because it's already focussed on the more important task of ensuring such bad leaders wont rise to power in the first place, precisely because it learnt the hard way how bad a thing that is. If only those of us in the UK and US - the supposed "victors" had learnt the same lesson with our stasi like security services spying on each and every citizen.

    I'm all for free speech as a fundamental right, but I'm concerned that the fixation here on Slashdot of suggesting that whether or not it's enshrined in law is the be all and end all solution to achieving it, it's really not, again, it's completely irrelevant if it's not enforced.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson