Saturday, February 3, 2018

OpEd: Censoring Our POLITICAL & MORAL Conscience

Image result for censorship

theodore M I R A L D I.

censorship
ˈsensərSHip/
noun
  1. 1.
    the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.


*morally corrupt our children

*protection of our society

Censoring Free Speech  and the Dissemination of Information is a tool used Worldwide by Despots and Demagogues. It is a Founding Belief of our Nation, that a well informed Public makes for Good Citizens. 

What we are experiencing today in our nation is a fundamental breakdown of Trust between Government, the Media and our Citizens. Trust in our Institutions is the Key Element, to not only personal safety, but the safety of our nation in an ever growing Dangerous World. After all, who will be making the decisions?

 Today's events may be clearing the way to out the Dark Negative Forces within our Institutions who for the glory of the self would sacrifice what so many have fought and died for...FREEDOM.

We are in the struggle of a life-time trying to uncover the Massive Corruption that has permeated the minds of Public Servants and Political Operatives, not only through the Obama Administration, but beyond. What may be accepted as Analysis and Logic is Hyperbole and plain Lies.. Not a day goes by that Public Officials make erroneous statements for the sole purpose of exercising power. Their power, not ours. 

The recently release MEMO hopefully will rout out the negative forces that wish to Destroy our Nation. No matter what Institution they reside, there are wolves in sheep clothing ready to take away
your Freedoms. These are the very forces our Founding Fathers warned us against. The Charlatans, Tyrants and Traitors who will greet you with a smile while stripping away your Liberty. 

All in the name of Democracy!

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The Conservative Position
The conservative view on the issue of censorship is that free speech can be abused when it undermines traditional values and social stability, and in some cases censorship is justifiable. The main arguments for the conservative position are these:
            1. Protecting children: Censorship shelters children from ideas that may damage their moral development. One of the oldest and most universal human values is that of parents educating their children. We do this as a matter of instinct as well as from a sense of moral obligation. The guiding rule of all parenting is to do what is best for one’s children, and we recognize that parents have great latitude in determining for themselves what is best. Parents shape not only the education, careers and hobbies of their offspring, but, more importantly, their moral, political and religious views. When the free speech of others runs wild, this intrudes on parents’ abilities to morally educate their children. The most intrusive and harmful expressions of others may justifiably be censored. A criticism of this argument is that too often the claim to protect our children is used as an excuse to impose one’s value system on all of society. Yes, we have a right and responsibility to see to the moral development of our children, but this should not hijack something as important as free speech. Parents can effectively protect their children from harmful ideas without censoring the expression of views that are of interest to adults.

            2. Governmental stability: Censorship helps stabilize society by preventing the erosion of governmental authority. All the freedoms that we have and the activities that we engage in are only possible because we have a stable government and a stable society. Without this stability we would lapse into a state of nature where our lives would be, as Thomas Hobbes says, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Leviathan, 13). It is easy for us to take governmental and social stability for granted, and assume that it will always be that way. But even a cursory look at history will show that the risks of social upheaval are much greater than we think. Some threats to governmental stability cannot be anticipated or prevented, such as attacks from hostile countries. But the threats that we bring on ourselves through socially destabilizing speech is another matter. We can foresee and stop these, especially the worst kinds. A criticism of this argument is that censorship in the name of governmental stability can easily lead to governmental tyranny. By censoring free expression, particularly the type that is critical of the government itself, the government puts itself in a position where it can do what it wants without hindrance of public opposition. Free speech is an important check and balance against a government that extends its authority too far.

            3. Traditional values and Offense: The most offensive expressions are those that attack traditional values, and censorship protects those values from attack. Every society has a bedrock of values—core beliefs and moral codes that regulate how we behave and interact with each other. We internalize basic values, they become an integral part of our identities, and an attack on one of these values quickly translates into an attack on us personally. While there may always be room for critique of traditional values, the time-honored place that they hold within society demands that such critiques be done diplomatically. The most harmful and offensive ones should be censored. A criticism of this argument is that sometimes it takes harsh and even offensive expressions to make society re-examine their most ingrained traditional values. Traditional values during the Middle Ages included a rigid class distinction between wealthy aristocrats and impoverished peasants. It forced adherence to a single religious institution under penalty of torture and death. Even today, not all traditional ideas are good ones, and sometimes it takes dramatic expressions of ideas to shake people from their entrenched views to even consider alternatives. This will inevitably cause offense, but it is an offense that has justification.

The Liberal Position
The liberal view on the issue of censorship is that free speech should be permitted even when it attacks traditional values, and in few cases is censorship justifiable. The main arguments for the liberal position are these:

            1. Democracy: Censorship is damaging to the democratic process since, by silencing some ideas, it thereby favors others. Often the favored ideas are defended by those who have the most money or power to advance their views; their ideas, then are perpetuated at the expense of society’s most underprivileged people. Censorship is then an act of intolerance towards those whose voices need to be heard the most. The result is oligarchy, which is rule by a small elite group, and not democracy. For democracy to function properly, we need an environment in which the broadest range of ideas can be freely expressed and debated. A criticism of this argument is that the expression of some ideas are irrelevant to the democratic process, particularly ideas that are most harmful or offensive. The machinery of democracy will continue running just fine even if pornography and hate speech are censored. Democracy indeed requires a wide spectrum of expressed ideas, but not a 100% open environment of expression.

            2. Discovering truth: Censorship undermines the effort to discover new truths and expand society’s knowledge base. The discovery of both moral truths and scientific truths results from trial and error. To push the boundaries of knowledge we need to explore new ideas, and very often these are unpopular. The history of science is largely a history of new ideas that were ridiculed when first proposed, but later proved to be true, such as the germ theory of disease, the theory of relativity, and the theory of continental plates. Social ideas too, such as gender and racial equality, humane treatment of prisoners, and due process of law, originally faced considerable obstacles. Through free and open debate, the best ideas will then be the ones that have adapted to and survived the critical scrutiny of those with competing interests. The pursuit of all knowledge is a painful process since it forces us to re-evaluate old ideas that we have become comfortable with. Censorship surrenders to old ideas without even allowing an opportunity to consider rival ideas that may prove true. A criticism of this argument is that some speech can cause great harm, and these harms outweigh the benefits of the free expression of these ideas. Hate speech harms the targeted minority groups. Gratuitous violence in television, film and music encourages violence in the real world. Pornography has a harmful impact on society’s perception of women. These cater to our basest human inclinations, and it is difficult to see where a higher truth might be discovered through an unrestricted outpouring of these views and images.

            3. Personal autonomy: Censorship restricts our natural inclination towards self-expression, and strikes at the heart of our human identity. One of the defining features of human nature is our capacity to express our opinions, to question the views of others and offer our own unique perspectives. This is an especially important element for one’s sense of individual uniqueness, when society expects everyone to think and behave in fixed and predictable ways. We cannot help but express ourselves, and governments shouldn’t try to stop us. A criticism of this argument is that personal restraint is as important to one’s identity as is self-expression. We have many spontaneous urges and impulses, such as towards eating, procreation, anger, vengeance, jealousy; in each case we learn to restrain ourselves. If we did not, we would be imprisoned or, worse yet, killed by others in conflicts that we have started. Why should self-expression be any different? It is just one more natural inclination that contributes to mature human character when exercised properly, but can distort our true humanity when abusedthroughunrestraint.Source: https://www.utm.edu/staff/jfieser/class/160/4-censorship.htm

So, Why have We Strayed Off Course?


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