Censorship Essay

1456 words - 6 pages

In attempt to prevent innocent or intelligent minds from ‘corruption’, censorship was introduced to control what is believed by some to be obscenity in various forms of media. Children are often subjected to this, as their studies may be deemed unsuitable by their parents, their schoolmaster, or even the government, according to Bertrand Russell. Certain governments take great precautions in censoring literary works, for example, which threaten national security by causing citizens to lose faith in it. However, censorship is not only enforced on ideas, but on profound language that children should not be exposed to. Language is the only issue in which censorship is acceptable, as ...view middle of the document...

The problem lies for authority, however, in the word “faith”. They have no factual evidence that either proves their beliefs (Adam and Eve, for example) or disproves evolution. Meanwhile there is scientific evidence of evolution. Bertrand Russell comments on this in his essay “Freedom Versus Authority in Education”: “If the fundamentalists thought they had a good case against evolution, they would not make the teaching of it illegal (150).” However, teachers in such schools are forced to comply to Catholicism in order to keep their jobs. “…the immense majority of intellectually eminent men disbelieve the Christian religion, but they conceal the fact in public, because they are afraid of losing their incomes (150).” Russell also discusses the most important distinction of freedom in his essay “Freedom in Society”. “The most important distinction, in this matter of freedom, is between those goods that one man holds at the expense of another, and those in which one man’s gain is not another’s loss (137).” In this case, the ‘goods’ are facts that are being hidden. Therefore, parents or schools are compromising children’s freedom by withholding material that should be taught, like evolution, in order to preserve faith. Therefore, children lose out on the education they deserve so that their authorities can pass on their own personal beliefs, rather than actual proven facts.The issue of governments censoring literature that contradicts them is quite similar to the censorship of education. Like ‘faithful’ adults don’t want children to lose faith in their religion, governments don’t want their citizens to lose faith in them. There was no evidence the USSR could have provided to disprove the ideas of Orwell’s 1984, which is why they outlawed it. Russell comments on this in “Freedom Versus Authority in Education”. “In the State of New York, it was till lately illegal to teach that Communism is good; in Soviet Russia, it is illegal to teach that Communism is bad. No doubt one of these is true and one false, but no one knows which (149).” His statement makes the flaw of the Communist governments so clear: they must run on fear and lies, otherwise their citizens will figure out how bad the government actually is, such as their methods of torture, forcing citizens to confess to crimes they did not commit. They have no factual evidence of the benefits of Communism, so they must instead teach that the opposite is false, meaning the government must censor or outlaw everything involved in this ‘opposite’. Because the government has no evidence to disprove 1984 or any other satirical attempt on them, censorship is quite obviously immoral, as they are filtering out truths merely to protect their own lies.It is definite that children should be protected from vulgar language, but there are different valid arguments for and...

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