In this week’s interview, Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talks with bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer, exploring a simple question: Who is the Devil, and what is he due? For Shermer, the Devil is anyone who disagrees with you, and his due is the right to speak his mind. Shermer explores the need for unrestricted discourse for the sake of sustaining our freedom of speech, asserting that our own freedom of speech is inextricably linked to that of the “Devils” in our society. In a full-throated defense of free speech, Shermer contends that we cannot condone the censorship of ideas we find disagreeable or offensive without inviting the possibility for the censorship of ourselves. After all, he asks, if we put barriers up to silence “unpleasant” ideas, what’s to stop the silencing of any discussion? Get an insider’s look and stay in the know about what’s going on in this moment at Town Hall.
Michael Shermer is Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, California, the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, and the host of the Science Salon podcast, and for eighteen years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. He is the author of a number of New York Times bestselling books, including Heavens on Earth, The Moral Arc, The Believing Brain, and Why People Believe Weird Things.
Steve Scher is a podcaster, broadcaster, writer, interviewer, and teacher. He is the former host of KUOW-FM’s “Weekday” and has taught interviewing at the University of Washington since 2009.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.