Debate: To what extent should we have obscenity laws

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As everyone knows, there has always been a long legal battle over the obscenity laws. Many artists, musicians, authors etc. have run afoul of them throughout the ages. The defense of it has usually been centered around the First Amendment. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that obscene speech is not covered by the first amendment. While the basic ruling has not been overturned, the SC (during the Warren era) greatly loosened the term of what is obscene.

The way I see it, there is danger on both sides of the coin. To say "this is bad", or the FCC saying you can't say these 7 words on Television seems to infringe on free speech. On the other hand, when broadcasted or published in the public arena, we run a risk of exposing children to inappropriate material. I'm sure we all agree that we don't want to return to the time of Anthony Comstock, but should there be a limit?

So here's my question: To what extent should there be legal "limits" on obscenity? I open the floor to all opinions. ---user:DLerner--- 02:22, 27 May 2008 (EDT)

There should be absolutely no limits on "obscene" speech, and the Supreme Court was incorrect in its interpretation of the Constitution when it ruled obscene speech was not protected by the First Amendment. All speech is protected by the First Amendment. If a parent doesn't want their child exposed to inappropriate material, then send the to private schools, and don't own televisions or computers. Inconvenience is the price you pay for living a moral life. The Bible explicitly said living a moral life would be hard, so what's the problem? Rather than invest so much power in a government that is so corrupt, it is best to cowboy up and deal with the problems the Bible predicted for you. LibDeist 21:05, 30 May 2008 (EDT)

I would suggest that you might want to read the Bible, before using it to support your argument. For example, the Bible calls Christians to be the "Salt and Light" of the world Matthew 5:13-14. The Bible predicts numerous events about the troubles of the "End Times", but I believe it does not teach Christians to stick their heads in the sand. We are here to save a lost and depraved world. Back to the topic at hand, what makes any law a "good" law. For example, All speech is protected by the First Amendment. Does this include slander? Does anyone have the "right" to say whatever they want about anyone else? Bdonelson 16:32, 24 July 2008 (EDT)

"Free speech" has always been subject to reasonable interpretation versus being an absolute right - you can't slander, you can't falsely yell "fire" in a crowded theater, etc. Defining "obscene" speech has always been a contentious area - the "obscenities" shouted in the opening of Saving Private Ryan are part of a historical recreation, and full frontal nudity can be represented in works of great art without being considered obscene. In my view, it's best to place the least amount of reasonable restrictions on defining obscenity, and let individuals decide for themselves with their own wallets, radio tuners, remote controls, and web filters. If people are offended by public displays of something they consider obscene, then existing laws against disturbing the peace can be invoked, and a jury of peers can decide. --DinsdaleP 16:44, 24 July 2008 (EDT)
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