Knowing why censorship is wrong isn’t just a privilege; it’s an obligation. Without realizing its evils, people will no longer cherish or fight for it. Therefore, being aware of why it should be abolished is critical.
Freedom of Expression
In democratic countries this is of paramount importance. Regardless of their race, gender or age, the people have the right to express their opinion. Whatever the issues are, their voices must be heard. When elections are held, people exercise this right. Through voting they express who they want to lead them.
Elections and political rallies are just some of the areas where thoughts can manifest. Artists use the canvas to share their feeling, hopes and emotions. Recording artists and directors use music and film. That is why censorship is wrong. If such a system were in place, writers wouldn’t be able to write books, religious people wouldn’t be able to worship etc. Yet in many countries around the world this is exactly what’s taking place.
Suppression of New Ideas and Inventions
If information were controlled, society would never prosper. For thousands of years, people were threatened with death if they suggested the Earth was round. Other scientific discoveries wouldn’t have taken place had people not risen to challenge the suppression of facts.
Aside from science, philosophical ideas wouldn’t bear fruit. Great thinkers like Descartes, Kant and Socrates flourished because they were allowed to. The ability to think freely leads to innovation. That’s another reason why censorship is wrong. When ideas are suppressed, civilization stagnates.
The Right to Know
Along with the freedom of expression, people have the right to know. In politics, the masses can demand transparency. During times of economic crisis and war, everyone must be given the chance to learn the truth.
A society that is ruled by one or a select few corrupts its people. By telling the people only what leaders want them to know, they end up with individuals ignorant of the affairs of the state. When books are burned, men and women are denied knowledge. This is such a basic privilege, which is why censorship is wrong.
The Right to Disagree
At the root of it all, restriction of information is all about establishing control. Those in charge want the status quo to remain. The excuse usually given is that when everyone agrees, there is peace.
That is totally against the democratic ideal. The right for everyone to speak and disagree is all important. It’s better to have knowledgeable people disagreeing than agreeing blindly without knowing the facts.
It’s true that disagreements can be difficult. However it is a small price to pay for the privilege to have your voice heard. Probably the best way to imagine what life is like if this right were taken away is imagine a newspaper were all the views are the ones expressed by government.
The final reason why censorship is wrong is that it takes away part of what makes human beings human. When information is suppressed, our views are limited to one point. People turn into blind followers. In this setting, the individual is nothing more than a robot made to obey.