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Which is the Greater Evil - Censorship vs. Freedom of Speech.

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Introduction

Which is the Greater Evil: Censorship vs. Freedom of Speech Amrit Sehdev The notions of free speech and censorship have been at the stem of much debate for many years. Margaret Laurence explores various arguments in her work, The Greater Evil, and concludes that censorship is indeed the greater evil. There are valid points that persuade both sides of this argument, however it is clear that censorship mutes society and blinds it from the truth. As a result, censorship is the greater evil. Freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental rights that individuals have. It is essential to the existence of democracy and the respect of human dignity. Freedom of speech is a notion which sets this country apart from others, and a belief upon which an individual's rights as a citizen rest upon. ...read more.

Middle

Freedom of speech is one of the most threatened rights, with governments - and even human rights groups - all over the world constantly trying to curtail it. Censorship is essential when freedom of speech is abused. Censorship prevents the naive and uneducated children from being exposed to disturbing material such as pornography. Furthermore, it protects individuals of different ethnic groups from being verbally harassed through negative media. Margaret Laurence experienced censorship first hand, as her book The Diviners was attacked for being 'obscene, pornographic, immoral and blasphemous.' Although censorship does provide some benefits, it brings with it many negative aspects that out weigh it's positive doings. Censorship conceals problems from society. It takes away society's freedom to think and speak its mind. ...read more.

Conclusion

Margaret Laurence states that our laws are not written in stone, that they can be changed. An alternative to censorship is to change the law. She uses Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, as an example of hate literature. She states. 'We must understand and recognize our enemies, to counter inhumane ranting with human and humane beliefs and practices.' This alternative option allows society and leaders of the society to counter our enemies by using just and appropriate ways to argue their views instead of concealing them. It is evident that although censorship protects innocent children from negative media, censorship only conceals problems in society. Society loses its voice and a chance to quenches it's craving for mature subject matters, whereas freedom of speech allows people to explore new ideas and share their concerns with others. It is clear that censorship is the greater evil. ...read more.

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