Interesting that no one's revisited the topic of censorship on E2 since the first wu in this node.

I was prompted to weigh in after I saw a noder called Spuunbenda freak out over a node by Roninspoon, one telling how to blow up a building with a sack of flour and two rounds of ammunition.

Spuunbenda's take on it was that Roninspoon was being blatantly irresponsible for sharing this knowledge. Behind S's argument, I think, is this thought: That those of us who have knowledge that is potentially dangerous should not share that knowledge.

I don't agree.

St. Thomas Aquinas: Nothing is inherently evil, though it's misuse may make it so.

Most folks invoke that little bon mot when talking about booze or guns, but I think it's just as applicable when talking about bomb recipes.

An argument could be made that the greater good would be served by disseminating as much information as possible about as many subjects as possible to as many people as possible. Not to be smarmy, but I call that education.

What if, for example, those of us in the U.S. suddenly found ourselves living under martial law, or in a brutally oppressive police state? Would you not want to know how to blow stuff up if The Man came after you?

"Knowledge is Power," it's often been said. And I'm always skeptical when people talk about denying other people knowledge, whether it's a priggish schoolmarm who's gotten all flustered over the f-words in "Catcher in the Rye," or whether it's some ignoramus in Congress who wants to shut down the Internet.

A review of the public statements of politicians, nosy soccer moms and stick-up-the-butt religious types who advocate these sorts of things almost always reveal that they're afraid of something - usually of having they're own standard of living or position of power compromised.

Granted, no reasonable person wants to see a child take a bomb recipe and blow up his house. But that's why we have parents.

Censorship is clearly and demonstratively dangerous. And I think there's little room for it on E2.

Also, as Spuunbender so eloquently points out with his/her follow-up node, you can fight free speech you don't like with ... your own free speech.