censorship in Britain and the U.S.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,406483,00.html

"Book Based on Prophet Muhammad's Child Bride Yanked At 11th Hour

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
By Jana Winter


NEW YORK A racy, historical novel based on the Prophet Muhammad's child bride A'isha was supposed to hit book stores in the U.S. Tuesday.
But in a rare case of self-censorship to preempt possible violent reaction by Muslims, one of the world's largest publishing houses pulled the plug on the book just before its release date.
Sherry Jones, author of The Jewel of Medina, said she received word from Random House Inc. that the book's release would be "postponed indefinitely." The decision came after copies of her book were sent to stores, her book tour was scheduled and her work of fiction was accepted by the Book of the Month Club (it was scheduled to be in the August selection).
"My book is a respectful portrayal of Islam, of A'isha, of Muhammad. And anyone who reads it with [an] open mind will come away with an understanding of Islam as a peaceful religion," said the American author.
Click here to read the prologue to The Jewel of Medina. In a statement to FOXNews.com, Random House said that although it supports a free discussion of ideas, it decided to stop the book from hitting the shelves due to security concerns.
"We felt an obligation to take these concerns very seriously. We consulted with security experts as well as with scholars of Islam, whom we asked to review the book and offer their assessments of potential reactions," the release stated.
But Jones questions the 11th-hour balk.
"I'm going to tell you there are no terrorist threats against Random House. There was never received any terrorist threat," she told FOXNews.com.
"By saying that Muslims will be violent, that they can't intelligently discuss this book, it's disrespectful to Muslims," Jones said. "To me, it feels racist for them to say that someone will try to attack them, that someone will try to go after me."
Jones said Random House will pay her a $100,000 advance, and that it will allow her to seek another publisher for the book.
Terrorism expert Steven Emerson head of The Investigative Project on Terrorism said Random House's decision to scrap the book sets a dangerous precedent for freedom of speech.
"This is one of the most despicable episodes of appeasement," Emerson told FOXNews.com. "You can intimidate publishing and media to not publish anything critical about Islam, and just by an indirect threat of not being happy about it."
At issue is Jones' portrayal of the prophet's wife A'isha, whom Muhammad is said to have married when she was 9 years old. In her novel Jones describes the consummation of their marriage when A'isha was 14.
In an excerpt Jones wrote: "The pain of consummation soon melted away. Muhammad was so gentle. I hardly felt the scorpion's sting. To be in his arms, skin to skin, was the bliss I had longed for all my life."
One Muslim scholar who was given advanced copies of the book said Jewel of Medina turned the "sacred story" of Aisha's life into "soft core pornography."
Denise Spellberg, an expert on Aisha's life and associate professor of history and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Wall Street Journal she was "invited to comment on the book" and described it as a "very ugly, stupid piece of work."
Jones defended her work, saying she wanted to bring out the human element of Islamic history.
"This is historical fiction. It's fiction," she says. "I've not contradicted Koran. I just said, 'Gee what if this happened?' I wanted to show A'isha's maturation."
John Voll, associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, has spoken with Spellberg about Jones' book.
"What you have then is a clearly controversial highly emotional writing. The author has taken liberties with historical framework, she tried to present a historical novel, but it's a harlequin thing," Voll said. "Denise's position is that the manuscript takes liberties and is historically inaccurate," he said.
Emerson compared this case with others where violent Muslim reaction suppressed the release or discussion of alternative perspectives of Islam.
A series of cartoons that depicted the image of the Prophet Mohammad, which is deemed offensive to Islam, were published in Denmark, leading to worldwide protests when they were first printed in September 2005. Last winter, also in the Netherlands, there were protests when a Dutch lawmaker released a controversial, anti-Islamic film.
"The means the Rushdie rules now reign supreme," said Emerson, referring to author Salman Rushdie's book Satanic Verses, which inspired worldwide protest and death threats when it was published in 1988.
"You can intimidate publishing and media to not publish anything critical about Islam and just by an indirect threat of not being happy about it."
Jewel of Medina has already been withdrawn from bookstore shelves in Serbia, where it was published by Belgrade publisher Beobuk three weeks ago. Some members of the Muslim community there are demanding that all of the published copies be handed in to the publisher.
"It's just surreal that this book is being debated around the world and it hasn't even been published," Jones said, referring to the U.S.
"Fear is an irrational emotion [that] provokes irrational responses," she said. "I was never angry at Random House, but I was bitterly disappointed because I thought they were wrong."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/sep/03/2

Controversial 'child bride of Muhammad' novel finds UK publisher










  • Wednesday September 03 2008 17:54 BST
British independent publisher Gibson Square has bought Sherry Jones's controversial novel about the child bride of Muhammad, which was dropped by Random House US following warnings that it could incite acts of violence from radical Muslims. Jones's The Jewel of Medina was also pulled from bookshops in Serbia last month after pressure from an Islamic group.

Gibson Square, which has previously published provocative works including Alexander Litvinenko's Blowing up Russia and House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, paid what it described as a "compelling" advance to acquire The Jewel of Medina. It will publish it in October in Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
"In an open society there has to be open access to literary works, regardless of fear," said Gibson Square publisher Martin Rynja. "As an independent publishing company, we feel strongly that we should not be afraid of the consequences of debate. If a novel of quality and skill that casts light on a beautiful subject we know too little of in the West, but have a genuine interest in, cannot be published here, it would truly mean that the clock has been turned back to the dark ages. The Jewel of Medina has become an important barometer of our time."
Random House was told by security experts and academics that the novel, for which it paid a $100,000 advance, was potentially more incendiary than both Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses and the Danish newspaper cartoons of Muhammad. Random House said at the time that it decided not to publish the title "for the safety of the author, employees of Random House Inc, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the book". The publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988 saw attempts made on the lives of Rushdie's Italian and Norwegian publishers, while the Japanese translator of the book was killed.
Rynja said that as a small publisher, Gibson Square would be more capable of handling any controversy. "With a book that is controversial and we've done a number it is incredibly important that it is looked at from all sides. That is very difficult for a large publisher to do as they are looking at 200 titles a month so a controversial one is just one in the mix."
He said that he hoped that once people read the novel in its entirety there would be a "healthy discussion" about its content. "[Jones has] done very careful and detailed research for the novel she's writing about this love story which even after 1,400 years we don't know much about."
Rynja struck the deal with Jones's agent Natasha Kern, who has also sold the novel to Editora Record in Brazil and is in discussions with small Danish publisher Trykkefrihedsselskabets Library (Free Speech Library).
Kern said that she and Jones decided on Gibson Square because they wanted a publisher who would commit to the novel and Jones's career, "as well as an editor and publisher who are passionate about bringing The Jewel of Medina to widest possible group of readers. We wanted to publish this book as quickly as possible so that all those who are interested can read the book and discover what a wonderful and inspiring love story Sherry has written."
Gibson Square also publishes John McCain, Bernard-Henri L矇vy, Naomi Klein, Richard Dawkins and AN Wilson.

I thought this interesting on many different levels. We have many readers and authors on this board and many people who have various views regarding religions and many posters that are security professionals as well as an international membership.
I would be interested in reading what your thoughts are after reading the two articles above. Feel free in keying on what aspect of the stories reach you. Self censorship right or wrong, the role of government to protect free thought, the courage or fear based reactions of individuals and/or corporations, the responsibilities of individuals and corporations and governments and religious authorities, the subject of the book as a few examples that might interest some. So what are your thoughts?


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Brian King
 

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This is a subject very close to my heart viz the censorship of literature to pander to the politics or religion of a specific group.

It is one of biggest signs of a stagnating and reactionary culture when works that challenge or even merely reflect upon accepted 'wisdom' are censored or banned. A culture or religion that is strong, vibrant and relevant has nothing to fear from critical words.

Indeed, I would argue that criticism of the way a society hangs together is vital for it's health. Imagine what we would be like as individuals if noone ever told us what we were doing that was wrong?
 

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Random House refusing to publish is not censorship, it is many other things, none of them flattering, but, not censorship.
Censorship is when a government controls what is allowed to be published. The cowardice of Random House was not censorship.
 

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Random House refusing to publish is not censorship, it is many other things, none of them flattering, but, not censorship.
Censorship is when a government controls what is allowed to be published. The cowardice of Random House was not censorship.

Don't know that I'd call it cowardice, as much as a business decision-sound one or not-but, I -gasp!-agree with you. This is not censorship.
 

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Don't know that I'd call it cowardice, as much as a business decision-sound one or not-but, I -gasp!-agree with you. This is not censorship.
Random House as much as admitted it was due to fear, refusal to act due to fear is cowardice.
 

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Random House as much as admitted it was due to fear, refusal to act due to fear is cowardice.

Nah-refusal to jump of a cliff due to fear might be attributable to common sense, but not cowardice. Common sense says that the woman was paid, but it might wind up costing them even more if they publish it, so they chose not to. It's simply a business decision-not necessarily a good one, though they seem to think so-but certainly a safe one. Such things as "courage" and "cowardice" don't really enter into such decisions, and can't really be used to judge them, though they may apply to other business decisions. Random House has merely followed the advice that it pays for, and chosen not to buy more trouble by being associated with putting the book into print.

I wrote a novel, and, rather than have it published, entered into an agreement with my employers (at the time)to not have it published for a "certain amount of time." While I got paid, I could have told my employers to blow it out their collective.......well, I had a family to support, and-while I had representation that was confident in the commercial viability of my book, and ample financial resources of my own, I needed the medical benefits-that, and the threat of a lengthy lawsuit or court case of some sort, made me choose to keep my job and enter into that agreement. That was 15 years ago, and I've often wondered if I displayed cowardice in my decision-I usually wind up thinking that I did.

I agree, it sets a dangerous precedent for such things, and I think that they're wrong in making their decision, but I don't think it can be attributable to cowardice on their part, any more than publishing it would be "brave." A corporation-which is what Random House is, after all-is not capable of feeling, and its decisions, whether individual or based upon concensus, are generally devoid of emotions like "cowardice" or "courage," until proven otherwise,,,,
 

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Random House as much as admitted it was due to fear, refusal to act due to fear is cowardice.


refusal to act due to fear may be prudent. I dunno Don. When my Cinnamon Toaster Waffle gets stuck in the toaster and starts to smoke I don't dig it out with the fork cause I am afraid of being electrocuted. I'm pretty sure that Not jamming a metal object I am holding onto bare live wires is more prudent than cowardice. I don't want to be electrocuted, in fact the idea of being electrocuted scares me. Does that mean I am a coward? ( or just that I should give up on the Toaster Waffles? ;))
Lori
 

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[/b]
refusal to act due to fear may be prudent. I dunno Don. When my Cinnamon Toaster Waffle gets stuck in the toaster and starts to smoke I don't dig it out with the fork cause I am afraid of being electrocuted. I'm pretty sure that Not jamming a metal object I am holding onto bare live wires is more prudent than cowardice. I don't want to be electrocuted, in fact the idea of being electrocuted scares me. Does that mean I am a coward? ( or just that I should give up on the Toaster Waffles? ;))
Lori
It's a different type of fear, Lori dear, Lori dear.(seemed like it needed a repetition) It isn't really a fear of physical harm as much as it is a fear of being seen as "Those Bastards" by a segment of the population. Moral cowardice, in my book, is, at least, ten times as shameful as physical cowardice.
Edited to add:
Yes, you should give up the Toaster Waffles and eat Eggs Benedict.
 

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Nah-refusal to jump of a cliff due to fear might be attributable to common sense, but not cowardice. Common sense says that the woman was paid, but it might wind up costing them even more if they publish it, so they chose not to. It's simply a business decision-not necessarily a good one, though they seem to think so-but certainly a safe one. Such things as "courage" and "cowardice" don't really enter into such decisions, and can't really be used to judge them, though they may apply to other business decisions. Random House has merely followed the advice that it pays for, and chosen not to buy more trouble by being associated with putting the book into print.

I wrote a novel, and, rather than have it published, entered into an agreement with my employers (at the time)to not have it published for a "certain amount of time." While I got paid, I could have told my employers to blow it out their collective.......well, I had a family to support, and-while I had representation that was confident in the commercial viability of my book, and ample financial resources of my own, I needed the medical benefits-that, and the threat of a lengthy lawsuit or court case of some sort, made me choose to keep my job and enter into that agreement. That was 15 years ago, and I've often wondered if I displayed cowardice in my decision-I usually wind up thinking that I did.

I agree, it sets a dangerous precedent for such things, and I think that they're wrong in making their decision, but I don't think it can be attributable to cowardice on their part, any more than publishing it would be "brave." A corporation-which is what Random House is, after all-is not capable of feeling, and its decisions, whether individual or based upon concensus, are generally devoid of emotions like "cowardice" or "courage," until proven otherwise,,,,

You're making really sound points here, thinks me. As individuals we at least tell ourselves that we are making values based choices; but as you point out, corporations reason and act on a completely different standard - profit. Small wonder we see things being done all over that make no sense or are offensive. How much is that due to corrosive corporate influence of our political system?

The "precedent" it sets is indeed rotten. But while it appears pro-Muslim at least in effect, I think the underlying 'rationale' may actually be anti-Muslim.

On its face, it appears Christians can be offended at will, while Muslims are given all imaginable protection and coddling. Christians see a Crucifix in a jar of urine and are told," It's art, deal with it". But if there's even a hint that something could maybe possibly offend any Muslims, it is discarded/hidden/cancelled. Some Christians may imagine they are living in Iran...

But what is this practice also saying? Is it just an economic statement - that offended Muslims will never buy their goods again, while the Christian sheeple will? Or, is it a judgment based upon the preconception that Muslims aren't really like the rest of us - that they can't control themselves and engage in debate/dissent like the rest of us. Get them mad, and you know, they'll be sending their daughters in here with bombs strapped to 'em....

Whatever Random House is thinking,its probably good that you didn't have them for a publisher! Personally, I have my great works of history printed locally and sell them to militaria dealers and through e-bay..... and I couldn't be happier. Hope your book finally made it, too.
 

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It's a different type of fear, Lori dear, Lori dear.(seemed like it needed a repetition) It isn't really a fear of physical harm as much as it is a fear of being seen as "Those Bastards" by a segment of the population. Moral cowardice, in my book, is, at least, ten times as shameful as physical cowardice.


It's really not-it's a "fear" of having their building blown up, their executives targeted and their author(s) placed under fatwa along with them. It's a fear of inviting violence, and for the publication of a book they only made a $100K advance for, and that is, by all accounts, just not that good.....and not in the historical sense, either.

Cowardice, Don, isn't simply not doing something out of fear, any more than courage is a display of a lack of fear. Cowardice, in the end, isn't about letting anyone down but oneself-though an act of cowardice can let down others, in the end, it's a failure of self-not doing what you know as an individual to be the right thing, or the course that should be taken is cowardice. Simply not acting out of fear is often prudent, especially in this case....
 

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Mahatma Gandhi:
Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence
Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.
To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice
Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.
Courage is the fear of being thought a coward.
General George S. Patton Jr:
Take not the counsel of your fears
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is mastery of fear so you are able to perform at your highest ability
Courage is a special kind of knowledge; the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared
It is better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep.
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
 

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Umm Don

Your first quote here is Gandhi but only a partial quote

I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence... I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.

But I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier...But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature....

But I do not believe India to be helpless....I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature....Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

We do want to drive out the best in the man, but we do not want on that account to emasculate him. And in the process of finding his own status, the beast in him is bound now and again to put up his ugly appearance.

The world is not entirely governed by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence.

As for the rest

Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice was not Gandhi it was George Jackson

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice is not Gandhi either it is Confucius

"Courage is the fear of being thought a coward." is Winston Churchill not Gandhi

The first quote "Take not the counsel of your fears" is Patton but the second "Courage is not the absence of fear. It is mastery of fear so you are able to perform at your highest ability" is Ambrose Redmoon

and "Courage is a special kind of knowledge; the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared" is Plato not Patton

And "It is better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep." is an Italian proverb, again not Patton

And lastly It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." is Emiliano Zapata

Maybe it was not your intention to attribute all of those quotes to Gandhi and Patton but the way you did the quotes made it look that way to me.
 

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It's a different type of fear, Lori dear, Lori dear.(seemed like it needed a repetition) It isn't really a fear of physical harm as much as it is a fear of being seen as "Those Bastards" by a segment of the population. Moral cowardice, in my book, is, at least, ten times as shameful as physical cowardice.
Edited to add:
Yes, you should give up the Toaster Waffles and eat Eggs Benedict.

You do have a valid point there. Gotta give you this one.
Lori
 

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Moral Cowardice, but does a Corporation, can a corporation have morals? It is a machine. A collection of wills, ideas, personalities. I don't know that Random House can be moral Don, so it can not show the kind of cowardice you mean. I get the idea, I like the concept but that dog just don't hunt. I think the amoral nature of corporations is a topic unto itself.
and LeggomyEggo!
Lori
 
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Sukerkin wrote:

This is a subject very close to my heart viz the censorship of literature to pander to the politics or religion of a specific group.

It is one of biggest signs of a stagnating and reactionary culture when works that challenge or even merely reflect upon accepted 'wisdom' are censored or banned. A culture or religion that is strong, vibrant and relevant has nothing to fear from critical words.

Indeed, I would argue that criticism of the way a society hangs together is vital for it's health. Imagine what we would be like as individuals if noone ever told us what we were doing that was wrong?

Interesting thoughts sir.

Imagine what we would be like as individuals if noone ever told us what we were doing that was wrong?

So are you saying that healthy self-censorship/ government censorship is vital for society cohesiveness? Do you make a distinction between self censorship and government or group dictated censorship?

Thanks for your thouhts
Regards
Brian King
 
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Elder999/Big Don wrote:
Originally Posted by Big Don
Random House refusing to publish is not censorship, it is many other things, none of them flattering, but, not censorship.
Censorship is when a government controls what is allowed to be published. The cowardice of Random House was not censorship.

Don't know that I'd call it cowardice, as much as a business decision-sound one or not-but, I -gasp!-agree with you. This is not censorship.

LOL I have not imagined being able to address the both of you on one topic and the two of you being unified on your opinions. I almost hate asking questions and getting clarifications.

Are you both saying that only the government can censor?

Regarding cowardliness and business decisions, Don if you are saying that Random house made its decision based on fear and cowardice then would you also say that the British publishers Gibson Squares decision was based on bravery and courage?

Elder999 wrote:
Common sense says that the woman was paid, but it might wind up costing them even more if they publish it, so they chose not to. It's simply a business decision-not necessarily a good one, though they seem to think so-but certainly a safe one. Such things as "courage" and "cowardice" don't really enter into such decisions, and can't really be used to judge them, though they may apply to other business decisions. Random House has merely followed the advice that it pays for, and chosen not to buy more trouble by being associated with putting the book into print.
and
I agree, it sets a dangerous precedent for such things, and I think that they're wrong in making their decision, but I don't think it can be attributable to cowardice on their part, any more than publishing it would be "brave." A corporation-which is what Random House is, after all-is not capable of feeling, and its decisions, whether individual or based upon concensus, are generally devoid of emotions like "cowardice" or "courage," until proven otherwise,,,,

It reads like you believe that people making decisions business or otherwise are able to disassociate their principles from the decision making process? I am not so sure about that. Both Random House and Gibson Square had/have access to the same information but based on their experiences and missions they came to opposite conclusions and actions. If both decisions were solely based on numbers why did they come up with different actions?

Grendal308 wrote:
refusal to act due to fear may be prudent. I dunno Don. When my Cinnamon Toaster Waffle gets stuck in the toaster and starts to smoke I don't dig it out with the fork cause I am afraid of being electrocuted. I'm pretty sure that Not jamming a metal object I am holding onto bare live wires is more prudent than cowardice. I don't want to be electrocuted, in fact the idea of being electrocuted scares me. Does that mean I am a coward? ( or just that I should give up on the Toaster Waffles? )

You say you have a fear of electrocution yet use an electric toaster I have to admit to laughing at the irony. I usually define fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. We often base decisions and reactions worrying about what might happen in the future and yet I have found that my imagination can be much more vivid and drama filled than my real life experiences.

Grydth wrote:

As individuals we at least tell ourselves that we are making values based choices; but as you point out, corporations reason and act on a completely different standard - profit. Small wonder we see things being done all over that make no sense or are offensive. How much is that due to corrosive corporate influence of our political system?

The "precedent" it sets is indeed rotten. But while it appears pro-Muslim at least in effect, I think the underlying 'rationale' may actually be anti-Muslim.

On its face, it appears Christians can be offended at will, while Muslims are given all imaginable protection and coddling. Christians see a Crucifix in a jar of urine and are told," It's art, deal with it". But if there's even a hint that something could maybe possibly offend any Muslims, it is discarded/hidden/cancelled. Some Christians may imagine they are living in Iran...

But what is this practice also saying? Is it just an economic statement - that offended Muslims will never buy their goods again, while the Christian sheeple will? Or, is it a judgment based upon the preconception that Muslims aren't really like the rest of us - that they can't control themselves and engage in debate/dissent like the rest of us. Get them mad, and you know, they'll be sending their daughters in here with bombs strapped to 'em....

Interesting thoughts on whether the action is anti or pro Muslim and economic based or a fear of violence and conflict.

As individuals we at least tell ourselves that we are making values based choices; but as you point out, corporations reason and act on a completely different standard - profit.

That is interesting sir, are you saying that making a profit in your opinion and experience is not based on values?

Thanks all for the thoughts and giving me the opportunities to think about my own opinions

Regards
Brian King
 

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So are you saying that healthy self-censorship/ government censorship is vital for society cohesiveness? Do you make a distinction between self censorship and government or group dictated censorship?

Thanks for your thouhts
Regards
Brian King

Evening Brian. My thanks for your kindly phrased response.

As an individual I do make quite a distinction between self-censorship and censorship imposed by my peer-group and censorship imposed by draconian fiat by church or government.

At some points the moral lines do get blurred but it all makes sense in my head :lol:.

Self-censorship is an integral part of social interaction. It does not necessarily mean not speaking about something but just being careful of how you speak of it.

Context is key too. If I run into a C-of-E Vicar, I'm not going to start harranging him about how I feel he's believing in a fairy tale. If I had known the same fellow for a while tho' and we were having a conversation about the nature of belief in modern religions, then I most certainly would feel free to put forward my agnostic views (couched with appropriate civility naturally).

Censorship imposed on me by a group sits less comfortably, however. Again it depends on what it is and if it is a simple question of good manners or of an attempt to force a given view on a subject at the expense of silencing all others. That's one reason why I am actively critical of organised religions - nearly all seek to permanently do away with any other view but their own.

Censorship by government rests least easily of all. Keeping some things secret for security is one thing. Banning books, works of art, persons from places etc is quite another.

If a book, for example, is considered so offensive to the public that it is banned, then maybe a better approach is that it should just be printed. After all, if it is so offensive then not many copies are going to be sold. If it is considered offensive to another society, then maybe we should just let them decide not to buy it rather than hiding it away? If it is considered inflammatory or defamatory to a religion then to me that is the same principle. Those of that faith are not going to be offended by something they do not read by their own choice.

So you see, for myself, censorship is a social 'lubricant' if we apply it ourselves with common-sense and sensitivity for others but is a definite social irritant if imposed by legal regulation from 'on high'.
 

grydth

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That is interesting sir, are you saying that making a profit in your opinion and experience is not based on values?

Thanks all for the thoughts and giving me the opportunities to think about my own opinions

Regards
Brian King

Not exactly. We all seek profit in some form in many of our transactions. But, solely in my opinion, our species reasons and behaves differently when in groups.

When I went to a local shop recently, a young girl was filling in. She indicated a box with hockey memorabilia was probably "the dollar box". One look at the material and I could see that definitely was not the case. I passed on the sale. My desire for profit was outweighed by other values, namely not being willing to cheat a teenage girl in a decent store just to make a buck. I am not an especially virtuous person, I think most here would have done the same thing.

Yet when we see corporations in action, it often seems there are no other considerations than profit. How to explain shipping substandard goods just in time for the execs to get a bonus? How to explain the abandoning of communities who've worked for a company for generations and moving a vital industry outside the US? How to explain the permanent defiling of lakes and rivers? How to explain golden parachutes for failing execs when the workers are left destitute?

Can it really be said that the individuals operating in this form share the values of patriotism, fairness, loyalty, compassion, honesty that most of us do? I think not.
 
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