The thesis of book two is about whether artists should be able to express their art freely or if it should be censored, because those who interpret art are often impressionable. The author argues that art should only be true, and any art that portrays god in a way that isn’t true, should not be allowed. There are several examples given, among them that god cannot change shapes because god is absolute. Another is that god would not act certain ways because god is not capable of malicious acts.
I don’t believe that art should be censored. No one knows everything, and therefore who are they to say whether my art is true or not. In The Republic by Plato, books two, three and five, two men are having a conversation about how to build the ideal republic. During these conversations, they decide that art, or literature, must be censored, as its purpose it to serve society. For example, when there are stories about heroes, they must always be portrayed as courageous.
This will have a desired effect on society of making young men valiant. They also talk about how poetry, or art, allow those who are receiving the story to commiserate with feelings that the characters are experiencing, thus transferring the feelings to them and making them weak. As a whole I generally disagree with these arguments, although they do have some merit.
While certain works of art definately have bad effects on society, such as social norms of very skinny women in magazines, censorship of all works is very dangerous. People should be allowed to experience what they want to as long as they are not doing harm to others, and should be given the oppurtunity to interpret art and include it in their life in a way that works for them.