Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Personal Responsibility

I was reading a discussion on Gates of Vienna. It came to a point where the question was asked about where we should draw the line between government interference and personal privacy.

It occurred to me that this is not the first time I have heard this question asked and I suspect that it won't be the last. The discussion had to do with censorship. The question was along these lines: If someone is creating ""art" that encourages despicable behavior, is it the government's place to censor that art?

It seems to me that one of the crucial points for this experiment we call the United States of America is a dependence on the populace to exercise a high degree of personal responsibility. Each citizen is expected to respect the fact that their freedom ends where the exercise of it harms their neighbor. The law is unable to enforce personal responsibility in all areas, therefore, it is the sphere of the individual to do so in all areas not addressed specifically by the law.

I believe it is the place of each and every citizen to engage in individual censorship of such "art" by being openly critical of the subject matter and refusing to view it. It is even, in my opinion, the duty of the individual artist to censor him/herself. (Unfashionable as that view may be today.) If you know that someone looking at your art may be strengthened in their wish to do harm to another, keep it to yourself.

If we are unwilling to exercise personal responsibility, there is no rule of law that can protect us from ourselves.


Sunflower Desert said...

Happy Independence Day ya'll!

Call Me Mom said...

Thanks Sunflower. The same to you. We've all been pretty busy of late so this blog has been somewhat neglected in favor of our individual blogs.

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