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CENSORSHIP - A Liberal and Conservative View

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Introduction

CENSORSHIP A Liberal and Conservative View By Louis Skoutellas The issue of censorship is a controversial and highly debated one. When most people think of censorship their minds go to ruthless dictators, and society oppression. Censorship however to some extent remains a prominent characteristic in modern societies; a clear example of this is the BEEP heard on the radio when a singer pronounces vulgar words such as sh*t, f*ck, etc. The issue of censorship is therefore a two-sided one, one by which conservatives argue in favour of it, whilst liberals argue against any use of censorship. In my essay I will mainly concentrate on the issue of censorship in our daily lives, albeit through television, radio and the internet. The mention of the word Censorship seems to come at a great dislike to liberals, liberal thinkers, and the liberal ideology in itself. Firstly liberals believe in individualism meaning individuals have talents, qualities and certain values. Having said that liberals therefore believe that man (as in mankind) is rational and has reason, and with this reason may decide whether something is vulgar for him/herself to watch on T.V or listen to on the radio. ...read more.

Middle

HOWEVER, as the famous phrase goes there is always two sides to a coin, and this side happens to be taken on by the Conservatives. Broadly, conservatives believe that censorship is not a bad word. They believe that the use of censorship, either to a great scale or a minor one, can be effective in eliminating many of societies mishaps. In Britain the case of Censorship has been seen by the Conservative Thatcher government which banned books such as Spycatcher in 1986. The conservative view of censorship is one which is usually approached with great caution, as it seems to spark off many liberal thinkers. In Britain alone there are more than 30 Pressure Groups which oppose censorship, some even oppose government secret documents and so on. Conservatives hold tradition as a core theme to their ideology, or as they would call it, their "state of mind". It is therefore obvious that for tradition to exist, vulgar words such as the f-word should not be portrayed as an everyday term such as goodmorning. If an institution has stood the test of time then it is worth keeping, and up to now this institution may be called the church, the goodwill of people, etc. ...read more.

Conclusion

but surely righteous in that they ensure that a six year old boy doesn't learn the word c*nt! In conclusion on a Pragmatic level ones opinions on censorship seem to be roughly even, whether liberal or conservative. I don't believe that there is any true liberal who would say that his 6 year old son should watch Sex and the City with all the vulgarities it contains. Vulgarity unfortunately remains to be a disturbing issue in Britain and most of Europe. Statistics show that at the age of 13 a youth is familiar with 90% of swearwords used on the streets. Furthermore attempts to dismiss vulgar words on tv and on the radio seem to come at a gridlock when producers often hide behind the Freedom of Speech. Personally I have been amazed with the pornographic material which comes up with the simple search of Sally and the Girls on the internet. However it must be stated that to a certain extent the use of "censorship" has worked, for example porn protected websites (mentioned earlier) and the parental control option which is found on nearly all sattelite systems today. The problem still exists though where youngsters seem to find a greater liking to the f-word rather than the use of politeness. Word Count: 1600 ...read more.

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