Foreign countries censor television shows such as Game of Thrones. Please elaborate in detail why this is NOT warranted. All facts must be cited.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As you work on this assignment, one key point you will need to investigate is what George Moore referred to as the naturalistic fallacy, or the fundamental incommensurability of "is" and "ought" statements. In other words, while some issues, such as the degree and type of censorship practiced by various governments is a matter of fact, whether they are justified in such censorship is a matter of opinion.

Next, you might want to focus your work on a specific country and a specific type of censorship. For example, Saudi Arabia and China both forbid works that include explicit sexual content. Many Islamic countries censor material that is blasphemous. Russia, Egypt, and China censor materials they consider subversive. Other countries, such as Canada, insist on a certain percentage of Canadian content on television, specifically in order to encourage local creative industries, but do not prevent you from downloading or streaming any foreign materials you wish to see.

If you want to argue against censorship, you could make a case that it is ineffective, as technology such as virtual private networks and pirated DVDs can circumvent many forms of censorship. Arguing against religiously based censorship is more complicated. From the point of view of liberal secular societies, it limits freedom of choice. Some religious groups feel that state-enforced religion leads to nominal rather than genuine belief and is therefore theologically problematic.

Another possible line of argument would be grounded in John Stuart Mill's "harm principle", namely that it is only morally defensible to limit liberties when one can prove that the acts being restricted cause specific forms of harm. He believes that in open debate, the best ideas will always win out, something that some philosophers accept and others contest.

A useful recent article on Chinese censorship of television can be found at:

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