Ponder some simple questions:
– should your words ever be censored?
– what is censorship?
– are there legitimate cases where you shouldn’t be allowed to write particular words?
Censorship has been a contentious issue ever since we started etching stone slabs. People have always wanted to supress words for moral, religious, security, political, and financial reasons. I think most bloggers are aware that words can stir emotions and impact real world events. Our words can harm as much as they can help. But does that mean we should never be able to write our words? Should I not be allowed to write an anti-holocaust post or an anti-African American post or a post criticizing all of the Pope, President of the United States of America, and judges of The Supreme Court all in one fell swoop?
These topics have been bantered about for ages, and frankly I have no desire to revisit them. Seriously, I don’t. But there is a new case on the block, an interesting and relevant to bloggers case. I don’t know if you realize it or not, but at least one blogger has attracted the attention of his government with his words. He was threatened with litigation, but they backed down. Now he’s turning the tables, and with the help of the Institute for Justice he’s taking them to task. His name is Steve Cooksey, his blog is The Diabetes Warrior
There are a few issues involved in this situation, and I think it’s important to seperate them.
Is nutrition advice medical advice and can it be controlled?
This is not such an easy topic. Dietitians and the USDA claim it is. I claim it can’t be. Food is fundamental to life. It’s essential. Without it we die, and without proper nutrition we get sick. Life has evolved over billions of years on this planet and in all that time life has eaten other life. We have naturally selected the foods that made us grow as a species. And now, particularly when the food being pushed on us by these “offical” bodies is anything but natural — how many of you grow wheat in your gardens or make your own corn and canola oils? — and the results of following such advice have been frankly disastrous, how does it make any sense to censor movements back to our evolutionary good senses?
Should governments be able to restrict speech to specific groups?
Should individuals be allowed to give medical advice to someone? What is the impact and what is the remedy? Someone could take your advice, make a wrong decision, and die. What can their family do about it? They can sue you, and because you have no liability insurance, you are going to lose everything. That’s not good, but is it wrong?
Dialogue is necessary to find the best answers. We need to use words to express ideas, to find truth. If we are not allowed to talk about medicine or food or holocausts, if we are not allowed to challenge convention, regardless of subject matter, then we are in trouble. Ideas then spread unchallenged.
Is advice opinion?
When my doctor advises me to take a statin — which by the way I refuse to take — he states that he’s making that recommendation based on the best experts’ opinions. Nobody knows whether any professional advice will work. Nothing can be guaranteed in medicine, finance, politics, religion, auto-mechanics, engineering, or any other subject matter. All advice is clearly opinion, in my opinion anyway.
In my opinion we should never censor opinion!