Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Steerpike, Apr 4, 2008.
When, if ever, is self-censorship appropriate?
What do you mean by self-censorship exactly?
And when do you think it's appropriate?
I was going to ask the same thing.
When I think self censorship, I'm thinking having the foresight to stop yourself from saying something incriminating or stupid.
To apply the act of censoring (or censorship) to one's self-expression (whatever form that expression might take).
What if someone works for a company that is violating the law, perhaps in the area of safety, and if the person "blows the whistle" they will lose their job, should they exercise self-censorship or not?
What if someone's SO or a friend asks for an honest opinion, but that honest opinion will hurt their feelings?
Or what about journalists, those working on reports, writers or artists?
So are we basically talking about white lies here? Because white lies don't necessarily hurt people, but they're not honest either.
We are talking about the gamut of human interaction where self-censorship could be an issue.
The truth, and damn the rest. (imo, not telling the truth is just a form of egotism. I.e, you're putting yourself in a position where you make a judgement on what others can cope with, while keeping your own sense of right and wrong free from being challenged. ..of course, people are generally very good at disbelieving something they couldn't possibly have heard, anyway. :lol
What about in the case of whistleblowing? There can be risk to the interests (such as employment) of the potential whistleblower by speaking out. It then goes beyond what "others can cope with" to what the potential whistleblower can cope with in terms consequences.
What about a new relationship, should people who are new acquaintances just blurt out things unasked for? Do you tell someone you are trying to cultivate a friendship with that their taste in movies/music or whatever stinks in your opinion?
other than stopping unneeded profanity, I usually never self-censor.
Well, if you think security with money and so on is more important, then that's probably it.
But it never really happens that way in real life. I mean, instead you have the option between being a member of the team, and between fighting an uphill battle that might get you frozen out and fired, and where the legal business is an "unresolved" problem, that may or may not be yours to challenge in the first place. So in that case, you're stuck, obviously. But if you're not afraid of losing your job, don't mind living really cheap for a while, and so on - maybe you'd be more outspoken?
Of course. After that it's the question of "do you really have a smoking gun, or do you simply make to much of it... really"? Which is the accompanyment to the "that's just ridiculous, a troublesome employee, and this is why we got rid of him in the first place".
I had that problem with one job I had. Because.. anyone who know me really well can tell you that I'm an incredible liar if I want to be. And those who know me slightly less will say I'm unbelievably honest and trustworthy, in addition to being a walking ethics- manual. But that time I ended up knowing a little more about personell- policies than I was supposed to, and just how unethical it was. I also had that confirmed by the boss, because I asked nicely about it. About how things were pulled together - with having the under- chiefs not knowing about the personnel- policies, but who had simply been presented with unknown "targets" to make things more efficient. Meaning that the personnel- policies were never really evaluated, and all the bosses who did anything problematic (such as question it) would just be flushed away (along with the employees now, in effect, working for them, not the firm).
But I had no real smoking gnu, or any opportunity to put this together with the details on how the contract- engagements were maintained or changed, and so on. So without any clear legal grounds, or way to alert the union, what should I do? Make a spectacle in the papers? Won't happen. Not that I didn't speak my mind about it, anyway.
But if I had a longer career ahead of me there, I would have had the choice between keeping a good job and sucking up to the boss. Or moving on elsewhere. I'm sure there are a lot of choices involved in those sorts of situations that just don't have anyhting to do with principle. For good and understandable reasons.
Still - if you're going to pull that over to public office, then things become different, right away, no? Because to have industry- secrets in policy- making.. that's not supposed to work. And that's also a reason why it's important to have a real split between the bureacracy and the policy- makers, for example. Because we should obviously be able to force the policy- makers to do those kinds of mythical choices between principle and practice, yeah?
That's more personal, isn't it. I mean, I can think of several reasons not to be friends with people who.. think Jimi Hendrix is something they sell at SubWay. But.. maybe someone who doesn't like real music, and who think a synthesized orchestra sounds better than the real thing, and who has miserable taste in general, including clothes, and use huge layers of pink make- up ....maybe they still have some sort of other quality, so it wouldn't really be an issue? ...allright, maybe not.
But protocol is a good thing, sometimes, I have to admit that.
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