Banning books

Some welcome push-back against lazy, Pavlovian reactions to any hint of “book-banning” backed by superficial clichés about freedom of speech. Mark Hemingway, in defense of book banning:

But it’s Myracle’s contention that “knowledge NEVER hurts” that is most risible. It’s a near perfect distillation of the fuzzy post-modern sentiment that intentions trump outcomes, and on a basic level, it’s empirically untrue: If I gave al Qaeda the plans to build a suitcase nuke, I’m pretty sure that knowledge would end up hurting a lot of people. That’s an extreme example, but it’s also true that every  responsible parent makes determinations every day about how much they should inform their children about the tragic and difficult aspects of life relative to their need to know and maturity level. As a practical matter, it is universally understood that knowledge given to those who are unprepared to responsibly apply it will, in fact, hurt.

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