Freedom of Speech Is Sacrosanct. Censorship of the Arts Is Therefore Always Wrong.

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Freedom of speech is sacrosanct. Censorship of the arts is therefore always wrong.

Freedom of speech, the fact that one can voice his opinion freely and without inhibitions, is a right that most take for granted. This freedom extends to all parts of society and therefore I am of the opinion that censorship of the arts is always wrong. While this opinion is not shared by everyone, this paper denounces censorship.

Many believe that art should be censored because of the messages it conveys. Those can indeed be harmful or provocative but most works of art, be they pieces of music, paintings or films, do not have the intention to provoke or insult. They are merely expressions of the artists’ personal beliefs or feelings or their take on what might be wrong with society. To censor these works is to censor a part of their personality.

While it is true that most art can be viewed publicly and offensive works that contain themes such as nudity or violence should therefore be censored, one can always choose not to look at them. Art often has to do with subjectivity: some viewers are offended, some are impressed. Furthermore, there are also regional differences to this matter. For example, the depiction of a cow that is being harmed can provoke outrage in India but might leave Americans indifferent.

Ultimately, the interpretation of art is different for everyone but not honouring the right of freedom of speech by complete censorship would set the world back centuries to a time when an individual could not truly be himself.
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