Quora Question: Why should books not be censored?
There are a number of problems with the idea that books should be censored. Here are just a few.
Perhaps the better question to ask would be: For those who advocate banning certain books, what are your arguments for doing this? I can’t imagine any argument that would outweigh other more important considerations; chief among them the importance of the free exchange of ideas.
Ideas are inherently dangerous and subversive. They usually advocate some sort of change or reform. Those changes or reforms are threatening to those in power whoever they may be. As such, if you make an argument for banning books, there are very few books that would truly be “safe” from this practice. Those that would be safe would be so banal and uninteresting as to be not worth reading, to begin with.
Any idea worth writing about is an idea that will offend someone or disturb someone’s thinking, challenge their beliefs, or threaten the status quo in some way. But, that’s precisely why we need those ideas.
Freedom of expression is too important a value and necessary to a flourishing society to risk the chilling effect of banning books.
KEVIN J. BROWNE
Philosopher / Educator