Irving Kristol's Pornograpy, Obscenity, and hte Case for Censorship

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Irving Kristol's Pornograpy, Obscenity, and hte Case for Censorship

After reading Irving Kristol’s essay called Pornography, Obscenity, and the Case for Censorship, we found positive and negative examples concluding his research. Kristol makes major claims throughout the course of his essay. A few examples of these major claims are in paragraphs [7-9] when he uses a story about an old man in a hospital ward, dying an agonizing death. The old man loses control of his bowels, and they empty themselves on him. Kristol states that this is a private moment that should be kept private. Kristol asks the reader to think about this sad scenario and what it would be like to see this on television. Kristol relates the claim to sex, saying that it is a private moment and shouldn’t be viewed by the public. He says viewers wouldn’t want to watch the old man losing his bodily fluids on himself because it’s a personal matter and it just needs to stay private and unseen by the public. In paragraph [8], Kristol again rebuts his major claim when he relates humans to animals. He claims sex is like death, it is found both within humans and animals. As Kristol (1971) says, “When sex is a public spectacle, a human relationship has been debased into a mere animal connection.”

In paragraph [11] Kristol makes a major shift change from his claims in the previous paragraphs. The placement of this paragraph was poorly chosen because it steps outside of Kristol’s main argument, which states that humans and animals are the same.

In paragraphs [5 and 7], Kristol uses the rebuttal method, which means to repeat the same point in different words. In paragraph five Kristol talks about public nudity and how it is so improper to have in our soci...

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...ure condition has not improved as a result of the new freedom.”

Kristol shows his major claims to the reader and makes a connection through rebuttal that gives his essay meaning. Kristol also uses very dramatic statements, which help his argument claims. Despite having these major claims he fails to show support to the reader that his facts are true. He has no hard-core evidence that supports his research. Even further he fails to connect with the opposing side about his argument about pornography, obscenity, and the case for censorship.


Faigley, L.& Selzer, J. (2000). Good reasons with contemporary arguments. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kristol, I. (1971). Pornography, obscenity, and the case for censorship. In L. Faigley & J. Selzer (Eds.), “Good reasons with contemporary arguments.” (pp. 535-538). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
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