Censorship

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Censorship

Post by tph23 on Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:17 pm
([msg=38218]see Censorship[/msg])

Hey everybody, I noticed the Ethics section of the site was getting kinda slow, and I like hearing everyone's opinion, so I wanted to ask everyone about their opinions on censorship.

Censorship is the blocking of any material that may be obscene or morally questionable to someone who might view it, but how can we decide what is really morally questionable? Should the movies we watch, the books we read, and the music we listen to really be censored? I know we have the option of viewing or listening to uncensored material in some situations, but there are countries that have really strict laws dealing with censorship and do not get that opportunity. So should we really have to comply with these laws? And who's to say what is really "morally questionable"?
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Re: Censorship

Post by sanddbox on Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:24 pm
([msg=38223]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

You're going to be hard-pressed to find people who agree with censorship here.

IMO any banning of materials, immoral or not is detrimental to intelligence.
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Re: Censorship

Post by 106627bg on Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:25 pm
([msg=38224]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

I am extremely opposed to censorship. That said there are some situations where it may be acceptable and/or necessary for censorship to exist. An example of this would be pornography at school. It's distracting and infringes on other's rights to feel comfortable. Outside of a private institution (who can decide their own rules) and various other settings like school, it is morally wrong to filter someone's access to information. In short, I don't care if a company monitors their employees Internet usage, that's their issue, not mine. If a country on the other hand censors ideas they consider offensive or dangerous, it should be a crime. Progress is only possible through the dissemination of ideas and concepts regardless of how big-brother or any other figure views those ideas. Some of the greatest achievements of humanity (the foundation of the US, scientific ideas such as evolution etc...) have been contrary to the culture and ethics of the government in power at the time. People need to realize that moral ideas and ethics are subjective.

Also, this is my first post so please be nice :).
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Re: Censorship

Post by sanddbox on Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:26 pm
([msg=38225]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

106627bg wrote:I am extremely opposed to censorship. That said there are some situations where it may be acceptable and/or necessary for censorship to exist. An example of this would be pornography at school. It's distracting and infringes on other's rights to feel comfortable. Outside of a private institution (who can decide their own rules) and various other settings like school, it is morally wrong to filter someone's access to information. In short, I don't care if a company monitors their employees Internet usage, that's their issue, not mine. If a country on the other hand censors ideas they consider offensive or dangerous, it should be a crime. Progress is only possible through the dissemination of ideas and concepts regardless of how big-brother or any other figure views those ideas. Some of the greatest achievements of humanity (the foundation of the US, scientific ideas such as evolution etc...) have been contrary to the culture and ethics of the government in power at the time. People need to realize that moral ideas and ethics are subjective.

Also, this is my first post so please be nice :).


Why is pornography bad at school? ;)
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Re: Censorship

Post by Vulpine on Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:48 pm
([msg=38226]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

106627bg wrote:People need to realize that moral ideas and ethics are subjective.


Ethical subjectivism/relativism grants positive sanctions to all beliefs. Ted Bundy fancied himself a subjectivist in order to ethically justify his actions, and we'd have no right to judge him if morals and ethics were subjective. That might be a bit extreme, though. What about cultures that subjugate women, or China, which is gung-ho about censorship?

It's a scary, and very slippery, slope.

106627bg wrote:Also, this is my first post so please be nice :).


Welcome aboard.

I thrive on intellectual conflict by the way, so don't take anything I say personally. ;)
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Re: Censorship

Post by orwell84 on Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:18 pm
([msg=38228]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

106627bg wrote:An example of this would be pornography at school. It's distracting and infringes on other's rights to feel comfortable.

So where do we draw the line? Does your eating lunch violate my right to eat whatever I want? After, if I want to eat your lunch, I should be able to eat it. Also, schools censor swearing and "offensive" messages on apparel. Is that necessary for a peaceful school environment?
On a more temporally applicable note, does the right of a corporation to sell insurance to whomever it pleases violate the public's right to health care? Can Congress's power to "provide for the general welfare" trump corporate rights to property? This really doesn't have much to do with censorship, but it also asks the question of where the line is drawn between reasonable and unreasonable restrictions of rights.

Vulpine wrote:or China, which is gung-ho about censorship?

The funny part is that the US sells China their censorship. Not so much any more, I guess, after the Google thing, but to my knowledge Cisco sold them a really expensive router for their great firewall. Might not be true, I just remember reading it somewhere.
Also, try encoding the word 'shit' as an IP address and doing a whois on it. Hilarity ensues. Somewhat.
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Re: Censorship

Post by 106627bg on Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:32 pm
([msg=38229]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

Vulpine wrote:Ethical subjectivism/relativism grants positive sanctions to all beliefs. Ted Bundy fancied himself a subjectivist in order to ethically justify his actions, and we'd have no right to judge him if morals and ethics were subjective. That might be a bit extreme, though. What about cultures that subjugate women, or China, which is gung-ho about censorship?

It's a scary, and very slippery, slope.


Thanks for the welcome. I understand the implications of subjectivity and I think spoke incorrectly when I wrote that. What I was trying to get at was a strong belief that I have in personal choice. I believe the core issue with oppressive societies such as the ones you mentioned is not their adherence to rules we see as wrong (patriarchy, murder...) but rather their denial of other's rights to their own ethics. So what I'm trying to say is that it is acceptable to subjugate women as long as the women agree that it is okay for them to be subjugated. This is obviously an extreme example but the modern US military is another place where this is applicable. When you enroll, you sacrifice your right to comforts, a home, individual hairstyles etc. The reason I don't see this as immoral is the fact that they willingly chose to enter the service. Ted Bundy didn't ask his victims permission to rape and murder them before he did so. Censorship is nearly always created against the will of the people. I was speaking in generalities when I said it should be a crime. This is where my examples of a school and a private company come into play. As you willingly take part in these programs (with the exception of school :lol:) they can implement whatever rules they feel necessary.

Sorry for making a wall of text.

-- Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:56 pm --

orwell84 wrote:So where do we draw the line? Does your eating lunch violate my right to eat whatever I want? After, if I want to eat your lunch, I should be able to eat it. Also, schools censor swearing and "offensive" messages on apparel. Is that necessary for a peaceful school environment?
On a more temporally applicable note, does the right of a corporation to sell insurance to whomever it pleases violate the public's right to health care? Can Congress's power to "provide for the general welfare" trump corporate rights to property? This really doesn't have much to do with censorship, but it also asks the question of where the line is drawn between reasonable and unreasonable restrictions of rights.


I'll answer the health care questions first. I assume you're talking about the recent bill passed by the US government. Although I don't know much about the bill specifically so I will just answer these specific questions. Congress is not (as far as I know) blocking corporations rights to property, they are simply (Once again I could be mistaken) creating a alternative to the corporations' health care. I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by the question about corporations violating the consumer's rights.

On to the school questions. Unless your lunch was causing harm (other student's allergies) or was causing other problems (you're eating a **** sandwich and you're spilling) there is no reason for your right to a lunch to be removed. It is a balancing act between one student's rights and another's. Since I can't easily answer every possible hypothetical situation I believe that it is the school administrator's duty to draw the line. If the administrator is unhelpful then you have a host of options. You could do anything from taking legal action to changing schools to challenging the school's authority and leading a revolt of **** sandwich eaters. </joke>
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Re: Censorship

Post by Goatboy on Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:42 am
([msg=38239]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

As sanddbox said, many people here are opposed to censorship, and I'm one of them.

I don't think it's ever right to silence someone. If you dislike the government, you should be able to say so to anyone. If you want to sit in a playground and tell little kids how to make bombs, you should be able to. If you love someone more than you ever have, you should be able to scream about it like a lunatic on the streets.

The same holds true for information. If you have an idea, spread it. Words are powerful, but not to the point where they should be monitored. I get so sick of people being detained for speaking their minds. It's ridiculous.

Invariably, someone will ask "Well what about child predators" when I rant about censorship. Personally, I couldn't give a fuck less what people like sexually. If they want to fantasize and write stories about little kids, let them. As long as they aren't physically doing anything to the kids, it's harmless. Don't get me wrong. I hate pedophiles. Even when they're called "ministers" or "pastors" I hate them. But if they aren't doing anything physically, they should be left alone.

idk. I'm ranting, so my thoughts are not as clear as they should be. I'll add more later.
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Re: Censorship

Post by sanddbox on Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:45 am
([msg=38240]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

I think this would be a good time to demonstrate the awesomeness of manipulating quotes.

Goatboy wrote:Personally, I...fuck...little kids

Bwahaha Mod edit! Kinda makes you wonder if what you're reading ever really is what was intended...

Anyway, regarding the whole censorship thing, the problem with censoring things like pornography is with how you determine what should be filtered.

Like someone said earlier, it's a slippery slope. Who gets to decide what's okay and what's not? Even when we censor little things, we're promoting a narrow viewpoint. As odd as some ideas may seem, we should be able to read what we want so we won't be stuck with a viewpoint that is detrimental to us or the world in general. That being said, people should make an active effort to verify what they hear before they believe it *cough* Faux News *cough*.
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Re: Censorship

Post by Goatboy on Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:49 am
([msg=38241]see Re: Censorship[/msg])

And an even greater time to demonstrate that those with power can abuse it!

Seriously though, look how easy that was. Any forum mod can change just about any post at any time. Imagine if that power was abused. Who says it hasn't been? Now think of the government. If a forum mod has free reign over a forum, what does the government control? (cue conspiracy music)

ADD: There's something I should clarify. There are times when people step out of line. Just last week, for example, someone came on here posting a lot of personal information about someone. I deleted the post. It could be argued that this is censorship, and I would agree. But at least on this site, people agree to abide by certain rules.
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