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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

One Likes to Believe in the Freedom of Music ~ Dylan

This video was one episode of a T.V. show on CNN called Crossfire. The debate at the time was to discuss the proposed ideas of censorship on albums in music. The argument written down below is on the side of censors, represented here by John Lofton, newspaper journalist.  The argument at the time was spearheaded by the “Parents Music Resource Center,” which was an organization of concerned parents who were targeting specific musical artists for releasing what they deemed to be inappropriate content in their music. One of their main targets was musician Frank Zappa who is shown in this video fighting against this argument below.

All songs with inappropriate lyrics are immoral in content

All immoral content are to be censored

Therefore, all songs with inappropriate lyrics are to be censored

All X are Y

All Y are Z

/ All X are Z

This argument as it follows the form described above, is valid. And as with most arguments, the debate seems to boil down to the factual correctness and soundness of the argument. The premises here are completely subjective in this instance. Morality is completely an idea of your own mind and/or the ideas that were instilled in you by others as you grow up. Even the very idea of “inappropriate” is completely subjective to everyone’s own individual ideas. So on this ground, we can’t really say if these premises are true are not. Only your own personal opinion can decide whether it is factually correct or sound in your own mind. In my own personal opinion and as the title of this video (ripped from a Rush song) might suggest, I would have to say I am in a certain degree on the side of Frank Zappa, being completely bias since he is a personal hero of mine, but I also think that a great point is brought up by Zappa in the way of an anti-censorship rebuttal (4:35 in the video.) He basically says that hearing the deemed “inappropriate” side can help you make up your own mind on what is inappropriate to you. And I am completely for people making up their own personal decisions on any subject for themselves. But again, that is just an example of one person’s opinion on this subject. The factually correctness of this argument is completely up to you.

The result of the argument ended up becoming the Parent Advisory sticker put on album with lyrics deemed inappropriate. I think that this is an excellent argument to look at. The whole idea of censorship is such an important idea to discuss as humans. How far do we want to go in controlling other people’s work? Is it moral to censor things because we deem them immoral? And who gets to decide what constitutes as immoral? As I stated before, I personally believe that an artists work should be left up to the artist and that. But then again, is it for there to be a label to warn people about inappropriate lyrics in a piece of music so that they have a fair warning? Should there be a line of protection against things deemed inappropriate? Should there be censorship in music?



3 thoughts on “One Likes to Believe in the Freedom of Music ~ Dylan

  1. Great job on your post! I am often surprised by how little is allowed to be said in music without anything being censored. I agree that appropriateness is determined by the person listening to the music however I believe that when the Parental Advisory decided to step up against inappropriate language they were thinking about a way for parents of younger children to moderate what their children are listening to. That does not mean that artists’ work should be controlled and censored due to a small percent of the music listening population who are still young children. As for young adults and adults, I believe that they have the right to make up their mind about what they want to listen to. If they are against what a musician is saying, then they have every right to not listen to their music. As for the inappropriate lyrics label and its effects, it would be interesting to know what constitutes as inappropriate and how those labels affect sales for an artist. Personally I don’t care if there is a label on it or not.

    Posted by emilysaint05 | September 30, 2013, 4:49 am
  2. Thanks Emily! I definitely think that the decisions of what to listen to should be done with the individual themselves, and that the decision shouldn’t have to affect the artist’s music. Thanks for the comment!

    Posted by dylanaraki | September 30, 2013, 5:26 am


  1. Pingback: Emily 2013-2014 | Philosophy 12 - October 24, 2013

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