Explain Richards View And Arguments Regarding The Legal Restrictions And Prohibitions Of Pornography

798 Words 4 Pages
This essay will explain Richards view and arguments regarding the legal restrictions/prohibitions of pornography, explain and analyze the Miller test, and finally conclude by evaluating Richards’ arguments.

Millian liberalism would not allow the prohibition of pornography because it falls within the scope of private not public morality. The state must allow individuals the maximum ability to live within their own rights and pornography is not the law’s business when it is produced or involves consenting adults for the consumption of adults in private. Any harms that may result from pornography do not harm individuals in a way that would justify its prohibition. While there is not a clear definition of obscene, it can be understood to mean
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The Miller test uses community standards which imposes view of the majority onto views of the minority. This violates the spirit of a liberal reading of the First Amendment because it restricts content and therefore speech. Speech and individual liberty should be protected. Content should not be prohibited, especially when it is based on community standards because they are “unsupported by reasoning of any intelligible kind” and do not rise to the “dignity of moral reasoning that justifies the deprivation of liberty.” Richards also argues that pornography should not be prohibited because it has some redeeming values such as creating ideas that individuals may like, providing a release for individuals who may not have access to sexual partners, and it can also reduce the incidence of certain …show more content…
Additionally, he would allow the state to prohibit the distribution of photographic pornography involving minors as subjects, because they could not have made a voluntary and rational choice to consent and their exploitation should not be encouraged by allowing their exploiters to benefit from what can constitute criminal activity. Additionally, Richards would allow for “reasonable regulation” of obtrusive distribution of the obscene, in order to protect the liberty of persons who would otherwise not wish to be exposed to it. Outside of these restrictions, Richards would allow for the state to apply temporary restrictions or repressed expression when necessary to protect the system of equal liberties, rather than to make these restrictions permanent by turning them into

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