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Outrages in our times

Book burning is not a new phenomenon. And the equivalent in the digital world is simple deletion. But both involve choices to destroy something that has been created, which many find offensive.

On the other hand, many find what is written offensive. The millions upon millions of books and articles out there include glorification of hatred, encouragement of psychopathically predatory behaviour, and glamorization of various forms of perversion. Can one justify destroying those?

And who decides what is obscene versus what is merely provocative, meant to prompt people to think outside their complacency, their prejudices, and their sacred cows?

This is no easy question. And perhaps the ultimate answer is to refrain from censorship of reading materials for adults, while maintaining a conservative approach to what children and other vulnerable persons may access. (Granted, we are all vulnerable to some extent.)

In the end, readers must decide for themselves what is too far beyond the pale and what is acceptable.

Have you ever come across a book or article that you consider indefensible?

[Photo courtesy of Jonny Caspari of]