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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

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Would you ban a particular type of movie because it will have a bad influence on one person?

Let's say you were going to make a fictional movie about crime, a "crime thriller," something like the new "Jack Reacher" by Tom Cruise. Let's say you knew a million people would find the movie entertaining and somewhat stimulating. But you also knew the movie would influence one person to go out and commit a crime. Would you make the movie for the sake of entertaining the one million, or would you refrain in order to prevent the crime?

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    Dec 23 2012: In my opinion, if they ought to refrain in order to prevent a crime or simply misbehaviouring, I think we should not have movies, literature, theater, and so on. But the question is pretty different if we're speaking about a movie or a book in which bad conducts against people, nature, etc., are stimulated or invigorated: in that case, it's necessary to define clearly where the borders are.
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      Jan 12 2013: Sean, I can't follow this comment very well. Is English your first language? At first you seem to say we should not have movies at all. But then you seem to say we can have movies if we define where the borders are? Can you break it down for me?
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        Jan 12 2013: Greg, I'm sorry for my bad English. This language isn't my first language, I'd like to speak it much better, but I consider that if I don't take the risk of be mis understood, I couldn't contribute to TED's questions or debates, and that's a pity.

        What I wanted to say isn't that we should not have movies, but that movies were not possible if we were totally or fully bounded with plenty of rules. I also wanted to say that society must anyway clarify what's and what isn't right or convenient for all its members and then, the borderlines must be respected.

        I dont know if I have explained it a little bit clearly, sorry very much if not. About my participation in debates etc., related to my English level, the question is to participate or not to participate. I think that if I beg the tolerance of you the English speakers, I could take part as I'd like.

        Thank you very much.
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          Jan 18 2013: Okay, Sean, but how meaningful is entertainment, how important is it that people get entertainment? I'll return to the original question in the body of my question, which is, if you could make a movie that would entertain a million people, but cause one person to become the victim of a crime, would you make it?

          Some people would say entertainment is trivial, but being the victim of a crime is really, genuinely horrible.

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