Nerdfighters

I'm doing a persuasive speech on reasons why we should not ban books.

I'm just looking for input and valid sources if anyone wants to comment on why we should or should not ban books.

(p.s. my argument is that no, we should not ban books in schools and libraries.)

Tags: banning, book, books

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Some books are controversial and my tax money should not be spent on that. I can give you two examples right off the bat (that's a weird expression. isn't it), pornography and books on how to make bombs. Books such as "The Anarchist Cookbook" is one I would ban.

But why? I mean I understand the concept of trying to make sure that children don't see pornography, especially in schools. But for an adult who likes to read pornography, I say go you. You do what you want.
I work in a book store. I know plenty of people that purchase and buy said books.
Also why should BOOKS on how to make bombs be banned when one can simply Google how to do it. It's not hard, in fact, I just did it. (Not that I'm going to make a bomb, mind you, I just wanted to see if it was that simple.)

Pornography does not fall under the category of books necessarily, because to me when you say books you mean novels and picture books for children and similar things. However I do not thing porn should be banned from libraries because the whole argument that nudity can be a creative expression and why censor pictures  human bodies when it's something you can literally strip down and see in a mirror? 

We shouldn't ban books because it achieves nothing. The school and the libraries don't decide what our kids should be allowed to read, Parents do. 

Who is to decide what we ban in a country of free speech and expression? You could argue that books with two dads are tainting your kids and i could argue that books about Christianity are poisoning mine when in reality both books have the right to exist for both parties and because our children and our teenagers and us as growing adults need to be able to find exposure to topics outside of our norm to grow and develop healthy opinions on them. 

Books on how to make bombs should be banned, Well that's pretty vague. Books on Science should be banned? because blowin stuff up is the best part of science. Should we just pretend that if we don't have books on how to make bombs in libraries they go away and the information becomes untrue? Because trust me people who want to make more than a cherry bomb are not checking out a book from a local library. Should Kurt Vonneguts "Cat Cradle" be banned because it mentions concepts about how bombs could be made if you were a master scientist who had the ability to work on a molecular level? 

Nudity does not equal porn! Apple banned the Danish documentary book "Hippie" from their Danish store, because it contained pictures of nude hippies. They're probably just covering their asses (excuse the pun), but why is it that American prudency hysteria should be the universal ruler?

Have you had to turn in the speech (or make the speech) yet?

The important distinction to make is that there are different kinds of books and they require different arguments. 

Nonfiction (Science, history, philosophy ect)

- This argument centers are the spread and progression of ideas

Fiction (novels, whatever else counts as fiction)

- This argument centers around the spread and progression of art

People usually just group these two arguments together (with a general focus on either novels or non-fiction depending on how cool they are) which doesn't make any sense because there needs to be a distinction. Can novels have ideas? Yes, of course, but the focus of a novel is art—otherwise it wouldn't be a novel it would be philosophy. So when focusing on arguments centered around not banning novels you have to focus on the artistic value of literary works, because to be honestly any idea expressed in a novel can be expressed just as easily in a philosophical text—and the idea would probably be expressed with greater clarity too. So if someone bans the Catcher in the Rye and your argument is "they're limiting the spread of ideas and knowledge with this behavior!" you're not going to be convincing anyone—although if they are banning novels there's nothing stopping them from banning anything else. Still the argument for novels needs to focus on art.

However on the flip side, any non-fiction book, while being capable of progressing art or having artistic value in and of itself, is more about the spread of ideas than anything else and that needs to be acknowledged too.

These distinctions are necessary if you're going to strive for clarity, and if you're going to make sure you hit all your bases. 

Tom, I completely agree with you when you say that banning books achieves nothing. Parents really are the only people that should tell children to if they're allowed to read something. Even then, I think that's unfair, but agreeable.

And no, I have not had to make the speech yet. I present on the 3rd of December, I believe. I'm basing my argument mostly around fiction simply because that's what I've seen people in that particular class reading. I hadn't thought about that side, about novels being ART. I mean, I know they are, but the words hadn't formed in my brain yet. I really like that, because it's true. I might have to rethink my entire second half of the speech because of that. Whoops!

OK I will explain WHY some books should be excluded from PUBLIC libraries. There is some info that you don't want to get into the hands of the wrong people especially on MY tax money. Just because something is printed doesn't mean it is worth spending money to get the book. Libraries have limited budgets and must make choices. Yes you can find the info elsewhere but not on my dime. Lets use an extreme example of a book about making atomic bombs or genetic manipulation of viruses. Should a book like that be available to high school kids? In my opinion no.Not with my money. One thing you have to remember. Tax money is money force-ably taken, with threats of jail. Not donated money. It darn sure shouldn't be taken away just to be spent on Hustler magazine for teenagers. A choice has to be made.

Honestly you can make an argument about why you wouldn't want to spend your tax money on a public center that hosts any book. That's what invalidates it. I don't want to spend my tax money so people can read any religious text or something.

Libraries also host computers. People can go anywhere they want on these computers: including to websites about how to make bombs and look at porn. Your tax money is still going towards that. Although I don't really think you have to worry about someone making an atomic bomb. I don't know how easy it is to genetically manipulate viruses (though I do know it's too easy) but I don't think you have to worry about some clown walking into a library and learning everything he needs to learn from there. I'd be more worried about proper science students in our publicly funded schools.

Bombs however are different—but I'm sure information on bomb building is found in a lot of chemistry books whether they mean to tell someone how to build a bomb or not. Hell I've read about how to build a(n ancient) bomb in a high school history class (it's ancient but still deadly). It's common knowledge—in the sense that various basic methods can be found in various expected and unexpected place—it's easy to stumble upon on accident.

What I'm getting at is there's not even a symbolic use in banning books on how to build bombs in libraries. You get nothing out of it, not even the knowledge that you're not paying for someone to have access to that knowledge yourself.

ABREO I am a little confused. Are you saying that computers and google pretty much makes the knowledge available to everybody and therefore we shouldn't ban the books? If that is so then I say I disagree. Sure you can learn enough of the basics in chem class to figure out how to make a bomb. That doesn't matter. Kids are not exactly known for their good decision making abilities. Learning the basics and figuring out how to do stuff is different from following instructions. One takes time and education and the other doesn't. That doles not really matter anyway. The fact is we as a society have decided that libraries are ok to spend our tax money on. We can not buy every book therefore someone in authority has to make a choice of what to carry and what not to. It makes no sense to spend money on material that will cause trouble being there. As a society we have decided that some things should be restricted such as porn from minors. Just because they can find it on the internet does not mean we should provide it to them. 

This isn't "We can't afford to carry this book" This is BANNING IT.

Even if the book gets donated it's not library worthy. 

It's awful smut and no one should see it.

We are not saying "We don't happen to carry that book, I'm sorry junior" we're saying "That book is wrong and awful"

People have tried to ban John Green books for being pornographic for gods sake. Were not talking about giving hustler magazines to teenagers, it's pretty unanimous we don't want that. We're talking about telling people of all ages that they cannot read this novel for free because along with it's important message it happens to have a sex scene in it.

Shell Silverstines book the missing peice was not only banned it was pulled off of shelves that already had it. A CHILDRENS book. About not fitting in. Because it was considered raciest.

Also YOUR tax money is the communities tax money and we do vote about it occasionally. Plus as i said earlier a lot of books are donated. 

Even if it is donated the building and librarian's time is worth money. also some things are appropriate and some are not. We, as a society have the right to pass laws to enforce those social norms. It isn't banning the books from being accessed because they are able to purchase on their own. 

It's mostly a matter of how you deem something appropriate. You can say that pornography or how-to guides for arson are inappropriate for a public library, and I would personally agree with you, but when it comes down to it it's difficult to define in no uncertain terms what those two things are without dispute. Opinions can differ. If I were to say that Calvin and Hobbes books were harmful to our youth and have no place in the library, my opinion would be just as valid as yours.

But I don't think you need to concern yourself. Most libraries are having severe budget cuts, thanks to e-readers and internet resources. I'd actually be thrilled if they had enough money to spend on frivolous things that nobody wants to read in a public library.

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