Debate: Should certain books be banned from libraries?

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Well, I'll come out clearly and say that I'm against any book banning, but I think it would be a topic for a lively discussion so I place it before you and eagerly await your opinions.

Contents

No

No, a library is a place that categorizes knowledge, even obscene or unpopular knowledge. Banning books from libraries is tantamount to censorship. TheNobleSith3 00:08, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

Censorship is a liberal concept, and thus I do not believe in it. It is an attempt to create conformity among the youth of our nation. -BMoore 02:10, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

Actually censorship is generally incompatible with liberalism. True liberalism holds that the individual ought be allowed the maximum possible freedom so long as the exercise of such freedom does not impinge on the freedom of others. Censorship is something more often associated with religiously motivated groups and totalitarian societies. That being said, liberalism would allow for censorship of books which could cause harm. I would think that bomb making books might fall into that category for example. --LeopoldRex 02:19, 3 May 2008 (EDT)
Differing use of terms, Leopold. Most here, I think, would refer to that philosophy as "Libertarianism"--though some might agree with you that it's closely related to liberalism. I see it as a very conservative philosophy, in that it is essentially the philosophy of many of the Founding Fathers.
That being said, censorship occurs for many reasons. Certainly, there have been instances where conservative Christians called for censorship of materials they considered to be offensive or spiritually dangerous; the Harry Potter books spring to mind immediately. On the other hand, we have the ad nauseam attempts to censor, say, Huckleberry Finn because it contains offensive words--completely ignoring the fact that the book uses those words in a historical context to teach a valuable lesson.
--

Good points from both of you guys, although I'd like to know exactly how liberals cry for censorship? I never hear any of them saying how certain movies, books, or songs should be banned. Well, actually it does occur occasionally, so perhaps more accurately I should say liberals censor much less than conservatives. TheNobleSith3 13:19, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

Generally speaking, "liberal" censorship takes the form of concern about racism or violent material and protecting children from exposure to the same. Consider Tipper Gore, and her crusade to protect children from rock music back in the eighties. Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has been banned in the past because Shylock is considered an offensive Jewish stereotype. Likewise, Uncle Tom's Cabin and Huckleberry Finn
The folks calling for these bans generally have good intentions, but we all know the old saying about good intentions.
BenP 13:50, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

I am opposed to any Government authority or otherwise censoring anything. People have a right to read, watch, and play what they want. Granted, parental units can restrict media to their children, but that is about it. Those over the age of 18 should have access to any media they wish to access, this is guarenteed by the First Ammendment of the Constitution of the United States, and it should be kept that way. --User:Capercorn Talk contribs 15:49, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

There are many, many things that the world would be better off if they could be banned. Islam, for a start, and all other religions that damn people to hell (like Christianity). Liberal propaganda. Texts defending the right to sodomy or trying to normalise it. Attacks on the family. Anti-christian materials. Pornography. Occultism. Darwinism, and other pseudosciences that destroy God. I would be happy to see all of those banned. However, there is no earthly authority that I would trust to write or to enforce the list of banned materials - there is too much potential for corruption, and without such an authority there is no option but to allow everything. This is why the first ammendment exists - of course the founders knew there were many things that should be banned, but they also realised that government cannot be trusted to do this. Better to just put up with this cultural pollution and to fight it where possible than to risk creating a position with the power to ban the bible and hoping it's only ever occupied by good people. All we can do as Christians is fight to silence and surpress unholy speech and those who continue to make it on a case-by-case basis, to keep it as quiet as possible. NewCrusader

       You really come off as a fascist, ya know.

There is nothing wrong with seeing or hearing a viewpoint that conflicts with your own. If nothing else, it is a mental exercise to see if you have a) the faith you proclaim to have (if you're religious) or b) evidence for your religion/theory/assertion. The only reason to ban anything is if it conflicts with a law. I would like to direct your attention to the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech..." If a person wishes not to see something in the library, all she or he has to do is not look at it. Same with the internet, but that's a different argument. There are a few reasons people want to see things banned. One is that it reveals a deep flaw in their reasoning, but nobody will admit that. A second reason is that they think people shouldn't see that idea or viewpoint, which, for children, makes sense (we do have age restrictions on items such as porn). For adults, however, it doesn't make that much sense. If they are going to be functioning adults, they should develop maturity and strength in their beliefs (even if that belief is the lack of a belief system), enough strength to encounter these things and realize that they either "have a point, but I don't agree with that," "they don't have a valid point, and I don't agree with that," or "they have a valid point, let me check it out and go deeper into my own belief system to figure out what's going on" Pwulf

If we were to allow such a terrible thing to happen, we're another step closer to a 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 scenario. Without books, without concrete literature to sway and form our perspectives on life, we would easily be strayed to blind following. WE should be exposed to disgusting, terrible and downright awful things on a daily basis if it does nothing more than strengthens our convictions. If we read these things and thus find them interesting or agreeable, is it bad? No, "good" and "bad" books alike have swayed people to do crazy things. We just need to maintain a clear perspective at all times and don't become too radical. Taking the choice away from someone is downright irresponsible and morally corrupt. smokeandmirrors

- No! First of all, that violate the 1st Amendment. It's been done for a looong time, but that doesn't matter, because it's still wrong. Two, censorship is a liberal idea, and liberals have, for the most part, bad ideas!!! Three, who cares? If you don't like a certain book, then don't read it. Other people may want to, so stop being a control freak. NickA 23:38, 27 July 2010 (EDT)

Censorship is a liberal idea? I always thought that liberals (in the US sense) were more likely to be the ones saying that while they might not agree with something personally, people can choose to say/do/write what they like, with almost no boundaries.Cmurphynz 07:56, 14 July 2012 (EDT)

Yes

I agree that certain books should be banned. Censorship already exists for the most extreme obscene and terrorist material in libraries. You've got to ask why are standards of morality being constantly eroded? I'm not saying Harry Potter books are going to corrupt a child, but at the least it will desensitize an impressionable mind to the occult. The progessive liberalisation of media is a dangerous road to go down. The effects of desensitivation to sex and violence are all to obvious in declining values and increasing crime (in the UK). I can't see the government doing anything, so I guess self censorship is the answer for those who still care. Free speech and human rights are wonderful, but what about the right to walk down the street without getting verbal abuse or being attacked! Regards, Adam

But Self-Censorship is in and of itself not censorship. Censorship is where an authority restricts access to certain types of media (such as books, videogames, internets, movies) to people (minors excluded). Choosing not to read something is not censorship. --User:Capercorn Talk contribs 15:50, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
Crime has steadily fallen in the UK for a couple of decades, it is linked more to prosperity rather than reading material User:MrVipond

Alll books should be banned that do not include god

Dear Mr. Khumeni (I assume that's who wrote the proceeding comment), please contact me for a list of books that do not mention God, but may just strech your mind, increase your moral sensitivites and make you a better person, and a better Christian. Sincerely, Parcival
You are very biased and are likely to offend people. Offend.--Faizaguo 12:33, 18 June 2008 (EDT)
Just a comment to the "Harry Potter and the Occult Influence" above - the kind of "magick" which the Bible forbids is specifically sorcery, i.e., summoning the dead, demons, or demons masquerading as angels. This type of magic, when it even appears in the HP books, is specifically denounced as evil, and infact the kind of magic used is much more in line with Moses' miracles, or a "God-given talent" - there is no pact with the devil, just what you were born with. Rowling goes further than that, and in fact a major theme of the books is that Love (which, as we all know, IS God, and God IS Love) is the highest form of magic, the most powerful force in the Harry Potter universe.
Also - the Bible also has many instances of verbal attacks being allowed, so long as it is constructive in intent. The same goes with physical attacks. If anything, a conservative should be more worried about the increasingly-large "Nanny State/Big Brother" that "progressivism" inculculates, than in which books might allegedly encourage minors to ill. Looking into history, we can see that large-scale censorship is always allied with the most "progressive" and "socialist" regimes - and that the capitalist, conservative view should always rest on absolute freedom of speech (not acts, which can infringe on others rights).KrytenKoro 05:51, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
I must confess I am in conflict with my church's position on this one. I think censorship should be applied similar to the way we apply hatespeech. A book shouldnt be censored for merely mentioning or describing immoral or ungodly things. Rather it should be banned for inciting people to do such things. Thus Harry Potter shouldn't be banned but a book on "how to cast spells" should be.user:DamianJohn

You could argue that since the bible says "do not bear false witness" (paraphrased somewhat) that ANY FICTION is contrary to Gods will and therefore should be untouched by any true Christian. Following this reasoning though a library could contain ANY book, and a moral person would simply leave it unread, or stop reading as soon as its nature was determined. Parents should supervise their children though, so Sex manuals in a library would not bother me , since my children would not have access to them . Markr 20:23, 4 October 2008 (EDT)

Libraries have and already do censor books becuase there have been many times where i went to local library and i was unable to find what i was looking for becuase it was to conserative.

Markr, that argument is quite flimsy because it is not bearing false witness if it is clear that fiction books are false, and if the author makes it clear that what has been written is false. Also, fiction includes anything that is false, including Jesus' parables. He did not tell a story about something that had happened, but a story about something that hadn't happened. But in the telling, it is clear that the parable is not literally true, but an analogy, fiction. And I don't think you'll find anyone who would believe that by telling parables, Jesus was bearing false witness. - JamesCA, August 12 2011

No, no, no, no...no.

Tell me, what does censorship accomplish? It takes away someone's access to information. Now that is done, all that is left is one side. One sided information creates drones. People who are the same. Now, if everyone were the same, we couldn't really have progress. Here are some examples of people who have been labeled different, people with new ideas, that were considered bad. MLK, Galileo Galilei, and Jesus. -Nono 16:21, 17 August 2008 (EDT)

No idea in and of itself, has ever caused harm. It is how a person uses that idea that causes harm. Reading something opens your mind to possibilities. it is the choice of the path you take that defines who you are, what you are.--JeanJacques 16:31, 11 November 2008 (EST)

Yes!

Censorship indeed takes away someone's access to information, but as long as the side that's left is the side that's good, then it should definitely be enacted, even if only to prevent children from getting at evil books like The Catcher in The Rye, and LaVey's Satanic Bible. Censorship limits thought, but if you take that stance, then prosecuting criminals limits their freedoms. Censorship should be used as a proactive criminal justice system, taking the ideas of Naked Lunch and others like it out of people's heads for good. -Honomo 21:27, 9 October 2008

Really? The side that's left is the side that's good? Good? Now I can hardly believe that you would say something like that? Who are you to judge what is good and what isn't. Ecclesiastes 12:14:

"For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" God will judge, certainly not you. Do not start to believe that you can decide what is right and what is wrong. You can have an opinion about it, a belief, a hope, but you can certainly not know. And every time you ban a book, a movie, a word or a thought, you take undue power into your hands. You may believe that something is wrong, but let your children and your friends decide for themselves. Book banning is the reason why people are afraid of faith. Never hide science, or injury or madness, it's the only to understand the world that surrounds us. And if you trust your faith in God, if you truly trust it, you would certainly be unafraid of "Catcher in the Rye". And how about a suggestion: read it, just to see what it does to you, before attacking it without thought.

Of course certain books should be banned from libraries- especially books that contain explicit sexual imagery or provocative information that could easily cause discord by just reading it. Libraries should discontinue stacking books like that on their shelves. Nashhinton

No

We should not seek to censorship books, because they represent the entirety of human knowledge. If we were to begin widespread censorship, then we would be travelling down a very slippery slope. Just as we cannot and should not deny events such as the Holocaust existed, we should not disclude ourselves from realising that other viewpoints exist than our own in this world. How can anybody possibly be allowed to distinguish for themselves what is right and wrong without having seen both sides? Masterofhisdomain 16:36, 23 February 2009 (EST)


Totalitarianism

When you attempt to use the government to censor what is wrong, you are effectively shoving your morals down the throats of other people. Not even Christian thought condones such methods. If you want people to do what is right, then you need to lead by example, not keep anyone from knowing horrors.

And not only that but when you attempt to censor information through the government, you certainly are no better than any totalitarian dictatorship, because you are taking people's ability to choose away. It is up to each individual person whether to do wrong or to do what is right or just, and without that all you have is lack of responsibility.

On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable to censor in your own home with your own family. No one has the right to tell you that you cannot discipline your kids for doing wrong. ARX3000 09:39, 14 June 2009 (EDT)

If we are to ban books all the books you may try to eliminate who have backing may come back and attack your books.would you want the same thing done to your Bible by Liberals who think that the book takes away from learning? I personally want to walk into the library and look at a book on sexual performance or paganism so i can learn about it. If you want to ban books lets start with the bible and then see how everyone feels about that. Its a free country.


YES AND NO

Of course, evil should always be limited and good instilled. The question is about who should limit it or instill it? The church library should limit their own books, and secular libraries should not be made to. This follows the stance of the New Testament about how Christians are to deal with non-Christians. We can't expect the world to have proper knowledge of good and evil, so to tell them to limit books would be ineffective and potentially damaging. GiLGiJ 18:31, 13 July, 2012 (EDT)

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