Censorship, Necessary or Not Essay

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Censorship, Necessary or Not

In Plato’s Republic, he tries to develop a utopia for mankind. He utilizes conversation amongst people within in his book as a vehicle for larger and more serious topics to be discussed. One of the most important propositions made in these discussions is when Socrates and Glaucon are deliberating on the issue of censorship and its necessity in the beginning of “Book III.” Plato leads me to believe that censorship is a necessary evil that must exist to protect the city as a whole. The question arises when addressing this subject matter; does society need censorship to rise to its full potential? Plato seems to think yes, but for me the jury is still out. “Book III” of the Republic begins by
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Hitler comes to mind and his development of youth camps. Hitler burned books and brainwashed people for the sake of the state rather then their intellectual well being. Censorship also exists in the United States today, even though we are a society based on freedom of speech. There are people in this nation who try to get books banned from high school curriculums everyday because they feel it is the wrong opinion or information for today’s youth to have. Do I believe they are in the right? To be perfectly honest I think that the deterioration of society can be attributed to those who attempt to restrict free thought. Plato may be right in saying that the easiest method of altering people’s beliefs is to restrict them but it decreases the intelligence of the society it trying to create. Plato also states that warriors “mustn’t be lovers laughter (388e5).” What kind of society is that? Laughter and merriment is what makes life worth living. You can sensor peoples thoughts if you feel you must, but when you take away the things in life that you enjoy life loses its meaning. Warriors are needed in every society, but that doesn’t mean that a society won’t have warriors if it allows people to think on their own and permits laughter. I personally believe that while in theory Plato’s ideas on censorship will work, but they will also ruin what is sacred about life. People should be treated as intelligent beings and they deserve to read and
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