editing and censoring, cont. (71)

Thu, 23 Mar 89 19:51:53 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 762. Thursday, 23 Mar 1989.

(1) Date: Thu, 23 Mar 89 08:40 CST (39 lines)
From: Marshall Gilliland <GILLILAND@SASK.USask.CA>
Subject: Censorship: read other LISTS, too (35 lines)

(2) Date: Thu, 23 Mar 89 13:31:02 EST (12 lines)
From: Joseph Raben <JQRBH@CUNYVM.bitnet>
Subject: Re: editing and censoring, cont. (138)

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 89 08:40 CST
From: Marshall Gilliland <GILLILAND@SASK.USask.CA>
Subject: Censorship: read other LISTS, too (35 lines)

Any organization or individual with responsibility to someone MUST exercise
restraint on occasion, whether the restraint be in the spending of funds
for purchase or support, in the giving of permission to use facilities, or
in giving moral support. We do not live in a utopia (thank goodness) or
have the serenely moral nature postulated for us by some past visionaries.

We may err in the particular restraint we place on others, certainly, but
the forgiveness of error by those aggrieved by an action is itself an action
that acknowledges human beings' imperfections.

The roiling bubbles of controversy about censorship at Stanford and the
gently (thus far) simmering bubbles of censorship in HUMANIST, highlight
our imperfections. They are highlighted elsewhere, with bright spotlights,
and I suggest those locations are the proper, primary places.

It is true that some members of HUMANIST may not see into these places: the
private bulletin boards such as THE SOURCE and COMPUSERVE, or the gigantic
bulletin board of USENET that exists primarily for the academic community.
I see the special interest group BOOKS and occasionally look in on other
groups, and the number of messages about Rushdie's book and its
ramifications is staggering. If readers of HUMANIST wish to see what is
being said about or contribute to the discussions about censorship and tasteful
jokes and administrative action then I suggest you try to get access to
USENET or subscribe to ETHICS-L. The subjects are covered at exhausting
length already, and I support Willard's decision to let them stay in other
groups and not repeated in HUMANIST.

No one group can provide each member of HUMANIST all that any person wishes
to see; let us not pretend that it can do so. If you think that something
vital is missing in this LIST then by all means subscribe to additional
LISTS, and if you cannot do so then find a colleague who will forward
messages to and from you.

Marshall Gilliland
GILLILAND@SASK (U of Saskatchewan)
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------20----
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 89 13:31:02 EST
From: Joseph Raben <JQRBH@CUNYVM.bitnet>
Subject: Re: editing and censoring, cont. (138)

I have nothing to add to Sperberg-McQueen's and McCarty's statements, but
I wish to endorse them. In my twenty years as editor of COMPUTERS AND THE
HUMANITIES, I encountered numerous decisions which could have been called
censorship but which I attempted to resolve on reasonably objective cri-
teria of relevance, adeqacy of presentation, and soundness of methodology.
Fortunately, questions of good taste almost never arose. But as Michael
points out, every act or refusal to act is ultimately a moral action. The
only relevant question is what set of moral standards we apply.