The international chess federation FIDE banned outstanding grandmaster Karjakin from participating in FIDE tournaments for 6 months because Karjakin publicly justified the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The world champion Carlsen has taken a stance concerning Karjakin’s attitude and also FIDE’s ban. Among other things, Carlsen said:

Obviously, I don’t agree with Karjakin in anything, but is it correct to ban people for opinions we don’t tolerate?”

Tarjei Svensen,
“Carlsen on Karjakin: ‘These types of attitudes can’t be accepted’,”
Chess24, 5 April 2022

I strongly support Carlsen’s attitude.

Voltaire was one of those philosophers who defended freedom of speech. Often, the following sentence is attributed to Voltaire:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This quotation is in good accordance with Voltaire’s views.

Unfortunately, it was not Voltaire who said so. It was someone else. — It was Evelyn Beatrice Hall in the 1906 book The Friends of Voltaire by S. G. Tallentyre which was the pseudonym of historian Evelyn Beatrice Hall. See, for example:


Thus, some of Carlsen’s attitudes are similar to Voltaire’s attitudes.

My argument is the following.

The decisions like

“This war is unjustified.”

cannot be infallible. At best, one can assert that, say, one is 90% sure that this war is unjustified. — But there remains a 10% probability that some new facts will be revealed that would make that war justified.

However, censoring the arguments trying to show that the war is justified amounts to suppressing possibly true facts and valid arguments. As we know from John Stuart Mill, it may lead to incorrigibly false beliefs.

I conclude that banning presenting such facts and arguments that try to show that this war is indeed justified is itself unjustified.


Published by wrestlerblower


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