Reasoning for banning books

Woodsey

New member
Aug 9, 2009
14,553
0
0
There's a big thing against depicting witchcraft in some Christian circles. Because, y'know, that's a real threat.
 

Bluestorm83

New member
Jun 20, 2011
199
0
0
Little Woodsman said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
I'm against banning books of any kind for whatever reason in any time or place. For example, I don't care if Huckleberry Finn says "******" all the time, that book was written in 1884 and it remains a testament of how people lived and thought back in those days. To censor it is to revise history and pretend like nothing of the story ever happened, thereby belittling it to the point people will forget.
And the bitter, bitter irony is that it is through reading things like Huckleberry Finn that we gain a deeper understanding of the attitudes and ideas of the time when it was written and set...and a better understanding of why it is so very inappropriate to use words like '******' today. These books help us to understand ourselves, censoring them is just wrong.
I always thought that anyone who wanted to ban/revise/censor Huckleberry Finn must have never read the thing for themselves. I mean, just the one scene where it's just Huck and "****** Jim" alone, and Huck tries to treat him like, well, like he usually does in public, but Jim basically reacts like "How dare you talk to me that way," and drops the sambo crap that society forces him to do around all the white people. You know?

All the time I see people who want to ban objectionable things, to "protect" whatevers. Everyone, EVERYONE needs to understand that if they can make THEM stop talking about a topic, then they can stop YOU TOO. Ridiculous.
 

RyQ_TMC

New member
Apr 24, 2009
1,002
0
0
Can we all start by cooling off and noticing that the link OP posted is about books challenged, not banned? Your crazy aunt can challenge a book in the US. A challenge can lead to a ban, but usually doesn't.

CriticalMiss said:
And I find it odd that they chose to try and ban 1984 but not Mein Kampf.
Again, see "challenged". Mein Kampf is not sold in bookstores. It's not read in schools. Therefore, little possible exposure -> no challenges. Or very few of them, which probably wouldn't qualify it for the wiki list.

As for reasons... I think it's usually "protect the children". Which is pointless, as every generation proves that children can and will bypass any attempts to "protect" them from any content deemed inappropriate. Another reason might be that some books are seen as possibly converting the population to a specific political view. And that has proven again and again to be garbage, because the masses didn't read The Communist Manifesto or Mein Kampf (a lot of people had those books, but almost nobody read them). The masses are controlled through brute force or mass media, and books don't fulfill those criteria.

Personally, I'm against banning any forms of literature, by which I mean books, movies, games, theatre plays, what have you. Even if the work in question is offensive (hello, Mr. Chick) or aims to misinform (hello, Mr. Brown), banning something gives it the air of "forbidden fruit", and people tend to be more receptive to things marketed as "banned" or "controversial".
 

OneCatch

New member
Jun 19, 2010
1,111
0
0
FalloutJack said:
Catch-22? The Giver? The Great Gatsby? To Kill A Mockingbird? 1984? Lord of the Flies?
Adeptus Aspartem said:
Oh god this list <.<
Half of these books are on our official list for our maturity-exams (highschool equivalent) in our english classes.
1984, brave new world, how to kill a mockingbird, the great gatsby.. etc. They all count as "classic" literature where i live.
I love the fact that this list comprises a far higher proportion of quality, inventive, thought-provoking literature than what you see, on average, in shops.

..
... and why the holy fuck has anyone tried to ban A Wrinkle in Time?! I read that when I was about 7, it's an entirely innocuous sci-fi fantasy for kids. It's good, but it's utterly non-offensive.
 

DarkSpartan

New member
Jun 18, 2013
20
0
0
Okay, I'm not going to be very popular here in a minute, but that's the price I pay. This is my opinion, no more, and no less.

If I were going to ban Twilight, it's because the books are a hideous abuse of the English Language, storytelling and craft, in that order. It reads like a "How-not-to" for aspiring writers everywhere.

Everything else on that list has value for the time in which it was written, and shows us more about ourselves as we were in that time period.

Make no mistake: No writer can escape the timeframe in which s/he lives, no matter what they're writing. Everything takes on the flavor of the social mores of that period. Harry Potter is very British, and even as modern fantasy it shows clearly. The whole 'Witchcraft' argument flies about as well here as it does there, at least most of the time.

There are areas in the Bible Belt that will tromp on nearly anything to make sure that a different sort of literature is the only one that's accepted as valid, and even that considered immutable fact. Disagreeing with them leads to that genocidal tendency coming forward and biting people on the butt. Personally, I'm ashamed to be associated with these people, and would wish them well if they wanted to break off a chunk of land and call it Blblica or somesuch. They can then feel free do do as they like within their borders, and leave the rest of us out.
 

Souther Thorn

New member
Apr 5, 2013
105
0
0
The only reason anyone ever wants to ban a book or burn a book is to destroy the contents of it and remove it from the public eye. They want control, total and complete control, of the thoughts in your head, the contents of your heart, and the direction that you may take as a person. These individuals are motivated through ignorance, pride, or religious ideology and are equal in my opinion to folks like Boko Haram or Al Quaeda in their drive to ensure that one, and only one opinion, ideal, or position can be had, their own. There is no good reason to ban a book unless you want control so bad you're willing to sell your soul for it, period plain and simple.
 

Phrozenflame500

New member
Dec 26, 2012
1,080
0
0
There is no good reason to ban a book ever. Most of the time it's adults (ironically) being childish about anything sexual or vaguely vulgar.

If a book is banned for ideological reasons, then that tends to be a good indication that it's a really good book.
 

CriticalMiss

New member
Jan 18, 2013
2,024
0
0
RyQ_TMC said:
Can we all start by cooling off and noticing that the link OP posted is about books challenged, not banned? Your crazy aunt can challenge a book in the US. A challenge can lead to a ban, but usually doesn't.

CriticalMiss said:
And I find it odd that they chose to try and ban 1984 but not Mein Kampf.
Again, see "challenged". Mein Kampf is not sold in bookstores. It's not read in schools. Therefore, little possible exposure -> no challenges. Or very few of them, which probably wouldn't qualify it for the wiki list.
I never said 1984 was banned, see the word "try" in my post. Also Mein Kampf is sold in bookstores, perhaps it would be best to check facts before trying to correct people :)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mein-kampf-adolf-hitler/1100210044?ean=9780395925034

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/adolf+hitler/donald+cameron+watt/mein+kampf/4157950/
 

K12

New member
Dec 28, 2012
943
0
0
I think the weirdest thing about the list is the stuff that isn't on it.

They have Harry Potter but not A Song of Ice and Fire series (i.e. Game of thrones books). As a person who is a big fan of both series that is just ridiculous! ASOIAF has lots of sex (including adultery and incest), baby murder, witchcraft (evil witchcraft performed by characters who are kinda good guys), swearing, slavery etc. Harry Potter might more aimed at kids but COME ON!

Or "Shade's Children" by Garth Nix which has sexual activity (or as at least strongly implied) by characters who are 15. (it probably isn't popular enough to be challenged that often to be fair)

There's no Nietzsche or Marx or any philosophers, even someone like Peter Singer who is very Pro-abortion (going to far for pretty much anyone else) and Euthanasia and No "Mein Kampf"!

There's loads more, these were just off the top of my head. I'm against an outright ban on any book (even Mein Kampf) but some of these targets are just really weird.

You have to wonder what criteria these people are using, or whether they just pick a book at random whenever they get bored.
 

Kyrian007

Nemo saltat sobrius
Legacy
Mar 9, 2010
2,560
642
118
Kansas
Country
U.S.A.
Gender
Male
That list is a little misleading as well. That's not like federal, state, or even county governments banning books. That's a small number local school boards in tiny little school districts challenging those books. It's not representative of many schools here in the U.S. I live in a "Bible Belt" "red state" where our State Board of Education once actually supported challenging Darwin's theory of evolution (we voted those morons out.) And my high school didn't ban any of the books on that list. Some of them we didn't have... but had they been donated our poor district would not have turned anything down. But many of them (Gatsby, Mockingbird, Steinbeck, Huck Finn, Brave New World, Are you there God, In Cold Blood ((well, local history,)) The Jungle, 1984, A Wrinkle in Time) for example were REQUIRED reading in my schools. And many of the others were available for recreational reading.

Although it's sad that books can be banned anywhere, you really can't judge America by a Harry Potter ban from a farming community built around a church and boasting graduating classes not big enough to field a whole football team. With small enough voter bases any number of weirdos and nutcases can be elected to school boards or municipalities. There are also cats and donkeys voted mayor of towns here in the states... but it's not proof that in the US we are ruled by cats.
 

Flatfrog

New member
Dec 29, 2010
885
0
0
Okay, just for fun, let's play Devil's Advocate. Here's a hypothetical scenario.

Suppose there was a book which promoted, let's say, bulimia. (There are, after all, websites that do this). Suppose that 75% of teenagers who read it went on to become bulimic. (And for sake of argument, let's assume we've already done the statistical research to prove that this is caused by reading the book; control groups; yada yada)

So. We all agree banning books in general is bad. But here's a book that is *proven* to cause harm. Would you ban it?
 

DarkSpartan

New member
Jun 18, 2013
20
0
0
Flatfrog said:
Okay, just for fun, let's play Devil's Advocate. Here's a hypothetical scenario.

Suppose there was a book which promoted, let's say, bulimia. (There are, after all, websites that do this). Suppose that 75% of teenagers who read it went on to become bulimic. (And for sake of argument, let's assume we've already done the statistical research to prove that this is caused by reading the book; control groups; yada yada)

So. We all agree banning books in general is bad. But here's a book that is *proven* to cause harm. Would you ban it?
No. The author has the right to have his/her voice heard, whether I like it or not.

However, I would be more than happy to start a counter-campaign telling everyone that I believe the book is harmful, and show the data in a clear, concise way. In that manner, the public discourse is maintained, and the amount of damage that might be inflicted might just be minimized.

Of course, that's assuming that the book is widely read. The Devil's Advocate argument needs that stipulation-- if it's not widely circulated, then simply ignoring it and treating the victims is a far saner course. Some of the responses here in this very thread will tell you why.
 

RyQ_TMC

New member
Apr 24, 2009
1,002
0
0
CriticalMiss said:
I never said 1984 was banned, see the word "try" in my post. Also Mein Kampf is sold in bookstores, perhaps it would be best to check facts before trying to correct people :)
Thanks for the correction, I guess I was too hasty with declaring Mein Kampf not on the market. But I still stand by my original point - you're way more likely to be exposed to 1984, and therefore it's also more likely to be challenged. I'm guessing challenges also tend target books which are commonly found on school reading lists.

The part of my post where I said "challenged, not banned" wasn't aimed at you, just at the general trend in the topic where we've started off with a link to a challenged book list and some posters seemed to believe that the government is/was trying to ban them. I apologize if my wording made it seem so.
 

Bostur

New member
Mar 14, 2011
1,070
0
0
Flatfrog said:
Okay, just for fun, let's play Devil's Advocate. Here's a hypothetical scenario.

Suppose there was a book which promoted, let's say, bulimia. (There are, after all, websites that do this). Suppose that 75% of teenagers who read it went on to become bulimic. (And for sake of argument, let's assume we've already done the statistical research to prove that this is caused by reading the book; control groups; yada yada)

So. We all agree banning books in general is bad. But here's a book that is *proven* to cause harm. Would you ban it?
Thats a case where I think limiting distribution is a better way to handle it than banning it. The best way to do that probably is to only allow it to be sold to adults.

The first reason is to protect young people, a practice that is normal in many cultures. The second reason is to allow the 'proof' to be challenged. It's certainly not unheard of that things have been banned on false grounds.

Other ways to limit distribution could be to only sell it through certain stores or lend it through certain libraries.

Limiting distribution is still a questionable way to handle it, but at least the book is available for people who have an interest in the subject.
 

ninjaRiv

New member
Aug 25, 2010
986
0
0
Flatfrog said:
Okay, just for fun, let's play Devil's Advocate. Here's a hypothetical scenario.

Suppose there was a book which promoted, let's say, bulimia. (There are, after all, websites that do this). Suppose that 75% of teenagers who read it went on to become bulimic. (And for sake of argument, let's assume we've already done the statistical research to prove that this is caused by reading the book; control groups; yada yada)

So. We all agree banning books in general is bad. But here's a book that is *proven* to cause harm. Would you ban it?
Interesting... I would not, though. If a book caused that much harm it should be covered in warning labels and only sold to people 18 and over.

In fact, am I right in thinking there's no age restrictions on books? If there are, they're definitely not enforced.
 

Redflash

New member
Mar 21, 2012
57
0
0
The reasoning behind all of this seems pretty obvious, albeit deeply flawed.

As someone has said, books like To Kill A Mockingbird or Huckleberry Finn stir up the inner racist or the inner PC hound of various people, respectively. The first one can't stand the idea of white people being seen in the damning light that book presents them, and the second feels the need to charge around protecting people of other races from being offended without actually waiting to see if they are offended or not.

Books like Catch 22 challenge the entire concept of war, and the idea that a war fought for a good cause somehow becomes a good war for those experiencing it on the ground.

Then things like Harry Potter, Goosebumps and Twilight contain obvious allusions to or elements of witchcraft, superstition, folklore and magic. Personally I view them as legitimate works of fiction like anything else, drawing on subject material that is rooted in our culture and history and perfectly valid. But to certain deeply conservative persons and religious zealots you have but to mention the word 'witch' or 'vampire' and they immediately reach for their pitchfork, so reactively, mindlessly overprotective are they of their children's mental and spiritual well-being.

Don't believe me? When I was younger I watched in horror as my best-friend's parents held a big ole bonfire in their backgarden, torching Pokemon cards, pokemon backpacks, pokemon plush dolls, pokemon bedding and smashing Gameboy cartridges with a hammer and encouraging me to do the same (I didn't, if anything I pointed out there were plenty of less fortunate people who they could have given all that stuff to). This was all because his parents had found out that some Pokemon drew inspiration from Japanese depictions of spirits. Actually no, that's too logical. I just remembered the reasoning given was in fact that Pokemon was made by Buddhists and therefore was Buddhist, which made it an intolerable presence in their happy little household.

Ignorance is terrifying and it's everywhere. It doesn't appreciate classic literature, it doesn't appreciate seeing other people's point of view, and it doesn't hold to allowing children (in whose name most censorship is carried out) to read things for themselves and to form their own opinions.
 

Saltyk

Sane among the insane.
Sep 12, 2010
16,755
0
0
Shadowstar38 said:
The wolves in Twilight are shape shifters not werewolves...I always feel the need to point that out for some reason.

Oh and, yeah, not sure why you're shocked about Harry Potter. We weren't allowed to watch the movies back in middle school due to the whole witchcraft being against Christianity thing (did I mention the bible belt is weird?)

Also I never a Goosebumps book but, if they're anything close to the TV show they show on the HUB bow, fuck right off. Kids can take horror in appropriate doses.

FalloutJack said:
The Giver
Well, the main character did display sexual urges in one chapter. Not really child friendly stuff.
In defense of the Bible Belt educational system, I always felt that it was less my teacher shared those views and more that they didn't want the one idiot who did to get them in trouble with the school board. You know. Child goes home and tells their parent that the teacher wants to watch Harry Potter (for whatever reason) and the parent throws a fit.

Mind you, they never said as such, but that was always my impression.
 

busterkeatonrules

- in Glorious Black & White!
Legacy
Jun 22, 2009
1,280
0
41
Country
Norway
I think censorship in school is a good thing.

By banning any book, the school system achieves two things: Draw kids' attention towards said book, and make it look attractive to them. Yeah. Remember, to a kid, school is basically the all-encompassing Ministry of Boring Stuff. Anything it actively seeks to keep out of reach has GOT to be SOME kind of awesome! This way, kids get inspired to seek out insightful, thought-provoking works which they otherwise wouldn't have given a crap about.

I don't believe for a second that any book-banning bureaucrat is actually intelligent enough to understand that this is what they're doing, but the positive effect cannot be denied!