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Position Paper: Censorship

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Every structured society has suffered from some form of censorship of literature, art, or entertainment. Plato, the famous the famous Greek philosopher, was the first to record a method of censorship in a democratic society. In his Republic one of the first guidelines Plato designates is that " The first thing will be to establish a censorship of the writers of fiction, and let the censors receive any tale of fiction which is good, and reject the bad; and we will desire mothers and nurses to tell their children the authorized ones only. "(Semtu II) This was a model was meant to maintain the moral chastity of the following generations, but also served to control the flow of information in the public. In theory censorship can serve the purpose of the moral filter of a society. In practice however, censorship is essentially the concealing or altering of the truth. No matter what the original intention, when the truth is obstructed it jeopardizes the freedom of the creator of the censored work as well as the receiver . Human dignity includes freedom and the right to make informed decisions. If every life is sacred and all humans are to be valued then they also have an inherent right to make informed choices based on truth.
Historically, censorship has been a tool used by dictators and oppressors in order to stifle advocates of change. This has evoked concern from human and civil rights activists. Without truth or the chance of expression oppressed groups consistently remained so. In Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler burned the works of Jewish authors and artists. Discounting the contributions of the Jews to the German society allowed non-Jewish citizens to easily believe to propaganda. (Hutchinson 32) The use of censorship is...


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... them to understand boundaries and parents to set those boundaries displays for respect the freedoms of the families, whilst protecting the children. As in all things censorship should be taken in moderation.



Works Cited

Donelson, Kenneth L., and Alleen Pace. Nilsen. Literature for Today's Young Adults. New York: Longman, 1997. web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Hagstrom, Rev. Aurelie. "The Catholic Church and Censorship." THE COMMUNITY 23.2 (2001): 4-10. Analytical Teaching. Viterbo University, 23 Apr. 2001. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Hutchinson, Allan C., and Klaus Petersen. Interpreting Censorship in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1999. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Semtu, Cara. "Cultural Influence of Plato's Republic - The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia." Main Page - The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia. 06 Oct. 2007. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.


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