Argumentative Essay on Censorship
Censorship has been defined as ‘the removal of material that is deemed or judged offensive to any sector of the population.’ Many have wondered, “Just how beneficial is censorship to man, when is it enough and does it help?” It is my view however; that there is no clear answer to that question, for censorship has its fair balance of advantages and disadvantages.
One advantage that most people can agree on is that censorship protects the young, the innocent and the vulnerable. It is built on the premise that we don’t always know what is good for us, we don’t always discern and as a result we don’t always know what should be removed. For example, many movies on television are censored. However, a research study performed by the Concordia University of the United States, found that there are over one thousand images of violence on primetime television per week! People don’t realize the effects of this, it’s desensitizing, there is increased violence and the inability to differentiate reality from fantasy. It pollutes their mind and they eventually emulate what they see. One example that can prove this, is an incident that occurred in the year 1996 in England.
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Two-year-old Jamie Bulger was kidnapped by two ten year olds outside a shopping mall. They dragged him two miles on a train railway and beat and mutilated his head continuously. Upon investigation, they said that they had viewed “Child’s Play II” over one hundred times and were emulating parts of the movie. This shows the influence of television and the need to protect these minds.
However, while this is a valid reason for censorship, I do believe that it goes against freedom of choice. People should be able to choose what they want to view and make their own judgments. When it comes to the young and the innocent, parents should be the primary censors. Which is why I believe that the lack of censorship in “Child’s Play II” should not be considered fully responsible for the unfortunate and gruesome incident that occurred. For me it raises the question, “where were their parents?” For it simply could have been avoided if their parents had not allowed them to view what was obviously not suitable for their age. We choose what we want to see and until we are of age to know what should be viewed and what should not, our parents should accept this role.
Another argument for censorship is that it is necessary to ensure social harmony. Society is made of people from different races, religion and gender and censorship ensures the protection of all rights. Many people, especially artists, can be very unscrupulous. They “bastardize” their art by targeting other groups, sensationalizing certain things. For example, a few years ago, there was a religious group called Thusians, they were printing out tracks against Hindus and were eventually banned. There was also an incident where a local artiste by the name of Sugar Aloes sang about the Prime Minister’s wife. Another example was that of writer Salman Rushdie. He was exiled from England due to a book he put out called ‘Satanic Verses.’ It was a condemnation of Islam and a death threat was put on his head by religious leader Iotolla Comini. This shows that censorship is necessary to protect groups and political matters as some artists cheapen their art form, with their aim being money, fame or some other ulterior motive.
While censorship is needed to ensure social harmony, it also negates freedom of speech. People should be allowed to express themselves and say what they feel or believe without being restricted. However, self-expression doesn’t mean that you can say absolutely anything. For with self-expression comes responsibility and therefore people should ensure they don’t offend anyone.
We have looked at many arguments for and against censorship and I believe people have to decide for themselves, whether censorship is beneficial or not. After viewing the arguments, I personally believe that censorship is a myth. It is widely used as a means of protecting the mind however; it is my view that censorship rarely works efficiently due to the high availability from other sources of what is being censored. For example, a song may be censored or banned due to excess profanity; I can easily get the ‘hard core’ version through several different means. So the effectiveness of censorship is in the eyes of the observer.
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Censorship of the Internet
- Length: 787 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
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Censorship of the Internet
The censorship of the Internet is a big argument today in the world of computer technology. The government is trying to control something that is to many people an extension of the First Amendment Right, Freedom of Speech. Just this one point should be a slap in the face of every American anywhere, because the government is trying to take something away that has no right to be taken away. The Bill of Rights is the foundation that our country is based and built on and now the government that was created to protect that Bill of Rights, that piece that declares our rights and freedoms, is trying to change one of those twelve rights to make some conservative people more happy about how our country is and how it is run.
The world is so concerned today with the petty things that are being done that they do not look to the larger picture of what is actually happening. The government is trying to censor something that they created over thirty years ago to possible send information much more harmful to humanity than pornographic materials or information on how to create bombs that do not work. The Internet was created over thirty years ago by the military for a alternative means of communications other than telephones communications in case of a nuclear strike by the Russians that rendered our great country basically helpless, this previous Internet went under such names as ARPANET, MILNET, and other acronyms similar to these. This great idea by scholars was next adopted by very well known colleges of the United States to provide a quick means of communications and data transfer, such as research information transfer or transcript transfer, between the students and college professors of different city and state colleges. Some of the first colleges that took that great step into this new unknown frontier were CALTECH, MIT, Harvard, and other great prestigious colleges of the United States. During this time period of the Internet the government had no problem at all with what was happening. The colleges were putting large amounts of information on the Internet so other scholars could observe and comment on ongoing experiments, and the government was happy with the large computer network they created for their own personal dastardly deeds.
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Censorship College Professors Great Idea Bill Of Rights Many People Freedom Of Speech Time Period Colleges Computer Technology Telephones
As the Internet changed over time the governments ideals of it changed also. They stopped being content with the amount of control they had over the flow of information on it. A new part of the Internet was created. This part is known today as the World Wide Web. This is the part of the Internet the government is now fighting to censor thus taking peoples first amendment right away.
No matter what people think or say no one else in the world can make up someone else's minds for someone. People can be persuaded, but no one other than the person behind that face makes the final decision in that definite moment of the decision. How can information about things that are placed on the Internet make a person build a bomb or warp a child for life because of seeing pornography? They can not unless that person was like that previously before they saw whatever materials that they saw and it just finished the journey through life that had been started years ago. People are never as nieve as they look, act, or seem they do not get influenced by things as easily as these government officials seem to think they do. The old saying comes to mind, "If Bobby jumped off a bridge would you too?" the response by anyone would be no, I would not jump off that bridge because I value what I have here on the earth to much to make that same mistake as Bobby or whoever else.
Another thing is that people who find these type of information must have wanted to find them because none of these are as easily as thought of to be found on the Internet, there is still an amount of looking to find what is wanted and if someone really wants to find something they will be able to find it no matter what kind of protections are put up by the government to stop that information from flowing out. There is a black market of information and things on the Internet just as there is in the rest of the world for different products of interest to people. People can get anything if they have something of interest to the other person on the other end of that trading, may it be money or something of interest to the person with whatever product the other wants.