Sensible Censorship Essay

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Sensible Censorship?
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates claimed that stories affect the souls of those who hear them. Given this, he went on to argue that censorship was not only necessary but also beneficial to society. Socrates wanted to censor portions of poetry, the arts, and sciences that were not productive or beneficial to society. He believed that poetry was neither philosophical nor pragmatic and did not lead to true knowledge. Rather, he found it to be unethical, leading to desires and passions. He thus declared it inferior to the practical arts and lacking in educational value.
I agree with Socrates’ goal to protect the world from such falsehoods. Our minds are like sponges, and in order to protect against the absorption/effects of unnecessary and harmful practices, there must be a filter. Such a filter would protect/preserve that which is moral and good in society, including the innocence of the youth. This can be encouraged by banning the inappropriate elements of popular culture, including suggestive movie content, explicit song lyrics, and false information shared and displayed in the media and replacing them with beneficial practices.
So how much does the world affect us? Can these “harmless stories” really harm our souls? Yes! We are a product of our environment. We mimic those around us to be accepted. We conform to what society deems normal or desirable in an effort to “fit in”. For example, a student can go to Baylor University, major in engineering, meet some supportive and encouraging “nerd” friends, and join a life group at church. That same student might just as easily have attended the University of Texas, joined a sorority, embraced the “party life” and gotten pregnant.
Young, preteen girls...

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...ction regarding what is watched, viewed, read, and heard might begin to help protect society as a whole.
Socrates sought to amputate a dead body part for the benefit of the body as a whole. Censoring is necessary if we are to allow for a society functioning in accordance with his City in Speech. Unfortunately, he also points out that because society is composed of fallen, fallible men, it would ultimately cycle through all four of the unjust constitutions of city and man. Timocracy would ultimately give way to oligarchy, in turn degenerating into democracy. Democracy would eventually and completely decline into tyranny. Spiritually, (in the Christian sense of the word), we will probably never realize lasting change because our fallen nature can only be remedied by heart change, and that can only be accomplished through God and not institutions of man.

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