Censorship

Of Peter Noyes
Erin Lowe- also author of many "outstanding" American History
essays.... of which two are published somewhere here..... one about Peter Noyes,
and another about Mercantilism..... "Books won\'t stay banned. They won\'t
burn. Ideas won\'t go to jail... In the long run of history, the censor and the
inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better
ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a
liberal education." The only way that the ideas of this world that are
deemed bad are going to go away is if we are allowed to see them and change
them. If we are not allowed to see what is "bad" then our society will
never grow to become a better place. What censorship does is keep us protected;
leaving us living sheltered lives. If we never see a racist comment how are we
to know that racism is bad? At the same time Censorship can be a good thing
because it keeps children from seeing pornography, and terrible acts of
violence. However censorship should not keep anyone from seeing literature, even
if it is considered slightly explicit in a sexual, racial, or violent manner.

Censorship should leave the ideas of people alone and leave them with their
first amendment rights. Amendment one of the United States Bill of Rights reads
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or
of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble...". What
this means is that we, in America have the right to be any religion, and to not
have that religion forced upon us. We have the right to say what we want and to
publish our ideas if we so wish, and to read the ideas that others have
published. We can also peaceably assemble, or gather in protest without violence
what we think is wrong. The biggest right that we have is that of free speech
and press. We can say what we want! As American sometimes we take this for
granted. However even though we have the right to free speech we have to draw
the line somewhere, but where? "We so often condemn books that were written
to fight the very things that we claim to be fighting." This quote
illustrates one of the things that are so wrong with censorship. We seem to ban
or censor books, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, that are actually
against racism or whatever the objection to the book is. When a book is taken
the wrong way it is simply the fault of the reader, and not the book. The book
therefore cannot be censored in this case. To override the right of free speech
on the grounds that the speech in question is likely to harm or offend others is
to commit an act of censorship. Not all censorship of this manner is unjustified
however, for some speech causes significant and direct harm to others, such as
maliciously defaming speech, and speech which opens national secrets to
"enemies". There should be however a presumption that all speech is
protected from censorship in that the censor always has to prove and to persuade
the people that the speech is bad. In this way it is using new and better ideas
to eliminate the bad ideas. The speaker should not have to prove every time that
an individual challenges his/her speech that it really is good. The proof has to
be that whatever harm or offense the speech has caused is significant, and
direct. Free speech is a valuable thing, and should not be restricted by its
remote or superficially adverse affect on others. "Without free speech no
search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful... Better a
thousandfold abuse of free speech that denial of free speech. The abuse dies in
a day, but the denial slays the life f the people, and entombs the hope of the
race" This quote had an excellent point in the case against censorship. To
discover new ideas and the truth of life we need to be exposed to new thoughts,
and different thoughts. If we always saw the same thoughts over and over we
could never expand; we could never become better as a society without new ideas.

If new ideas cannot be written or seen then their discovery is useless, for they
cannot help without being seen. SO it is better that we see cases