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So many new ideas are at first strange and horrible though ultimately valuable that a very heavy responsibility rests upon those who would prevent their dissemination JBS Haldane Whether parents are censoring material for their children or the media is presenting to the public only the things it deems newsworthy a nearly infinite amount of censorships are being exercised every day around the world More significantly every legislator or person of political power must consider carefully the decision to censor the governed Those decisions carry consequences of varying weights but regardless of the issue it is essential to decide whether the benefit of one choice outweighs the negative aspects of the other If so the decision to censor is justified When asked off the cuff most Americans would readily proclaim their opposition to censorship Censorship violates the First Amendment or Americas supposed to be a free country are some likely responses The truth is most Americans are actually in favor of several types of censorship They simply havent thought about it enough to realize their feelings Ask a father if he wants his eight-year-old daughter reading a sexually explicit magazine or if a mother wants her six-year-old son watching extremely violent movies Assuredly they will tell you no They may continue to explain their reasoning citing statistics about youth violence or inappropriate behavior but the reasons dont really matter In terms of battling with censorship in these examples both parties would have to agree with the statement that some censorship is necessary This type of censorship doesnt appear to be the state sponsored suppression we were expecting but it is Governments are hierarchies and the governed are like children to the rulers who act as parents Just as children who in their ignorance prefer to think they know it all we too are ignorant of the censorships controlling our lives Of course we would like to think we know everything about our government and country
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