Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ignorance, BAD! Argh!

On October 19th, Thomas posted a list of the 100 most commonly banned books to his blog. This led to a discussion in the comments about American Puritan values and the desire to protect our children. Here's a clip from my responses, so you have an idea of what you're missing:

What the world needs now is not "love, sweet love" (although that's another thing that there's just to little of), but an intelligence booster shot.

People whom nature would have culled from the herd in times past are living and breeding now. Blame advances in medicine, or the general plenty of the USA, but America is becoming the hub of stupidity. In countries where medicine is not as advanced, and resources not as plentiful, people in general seem to be more capable of critical thinking (but then lack education, sigh).

Thank GOD (if there is a god), or Al Gore, or whomever, for the Internet(s), a place without borders, or rules, or arbitrary leaders so out of touch with reality that they are unable to function. Of course, there is also chaos and anarchy and a great number of sites with content I disagree with. But so what? Suffering a little chaos in return for freedom is a bargain.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
This quote is sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson, which is just further evidence to fuel my belief that people are either stupid or ignorant. What Jefferson said was: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." Actually, browsing's Jefferson page, I found this quote:

I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason.
  • Letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller (1814) who had been prosecuted for selling the book Sur la Création du Monde, un Systême d'Organisation Primitive by M. de Becourt, which Jefferson himself had purchased.
How on-the-spot is that, eh? Actually, reading Franklin's quotes, I agreed with a lot of what he said. There is definitely a commonality of opinion between us. I pondered for a moment that I might have been born in the wrong era, but then I remembered: there were no flush toilets or computers back then; so I snapped out of it.

[Note: This may not be my most-researched post ever, but it's got to be close.]

Whoops! Forgot to include this link:

It's a post about the FCC. Particularly, I enjoyed the comment by Ron Toms, about a third of the way down the page. Here's a clip:
To live in a truly free society, you have to be willing to be offended occasionally. ... Are my children's eyes and ears safe from offensive things? God I hope they never are. Unlike so many people in America today, I want my children to learn how to THINK.

1 comment:

  1. YES!!!

    I have felt this way for a =long= time. In fact, I blogged about it a few years ago. You can find it on my site ( ) by looking in the archives for July 2001 and scrolling down to the post entitled, "Grandma Had A Little Lamb".