The Instigator
Yunior4life
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
logicalrobot
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Censorship

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
logicalrobot
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/13/2012 Category: News
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,834 times Debate No: 25131
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

Yunior4life

Con

Personally, as a future member of the journalism industry and the overall media, I know that censorship compromises freedom of speech and freedom of press. We are the life line of this country, don't we have the right to know, no matter the circumstances?
logicalrobot

Pro

So Con's argument against censorship is that we have a right to know. Yet he has done nothing to prove this other than give a bare assertion. We cannot assume that natural rights exist. As con, he must prove they exist. To clarify, this debate is about the ethics of censorship since con is arguing that government has a moral obligation against censorship. As pro, I will be arguing that in certain cases, Government should censor certain things. To do this, I will use the ethical theory of consequentialism/utilitarianism. In other words, that the morality of an action is based off of results and that results that maximize happiness and minimize pain are moral. In certain circumstances, the press might release information, as wikileaks did, that could endanger national security. As such, based off my ethical system, government would have to censor the info to minimize pain.

In conclusion, there are times that government has the moral obligation to censor speech. The resolution is affirmed. Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 1
Yunior4life

Con

First of all, to my opponent, I am not aggressive. In fact, I have trouble becoming aggressive. I respect his/her opinion and arguments. Although, that's beside the point.

He mentioned the government can use censorship to protect people from mass hysteria. What's to say they can't use it for the exact opposite reason. My opponent also mentioned I have no examples of how censorship could be abused. Shall I remind my opponent of countries such as North Korea and Cuba, where censorship is all too common and human rights are compromised.

Surely, curiosity is human nature. Was the Roswell Incident real? Has the cure for cancer already exist, is the government just not telling us so we pay medical bills?

Places like China go as far as censoring the internet. How would you likt it if Youtube and Facebook were non-existent just because the government has too much power? Should creativity be at risk of being censored?

We have human rights. Once of those basic rights, is the right to knowledge. Thank you. :)
logicalrobot

Pro

I thank Con for posting his argument so quickly. However, I am not even sure he read my argument. This debate is not about whether government can censor (they could just ignore their constitution), but whether they should (moral obligation).

The moral system he appears to be arguing for is based on a concept of human rights (positive rights). Yet at the end he argues that censorship gives government too much power. This is a contradiction since the definition of positive rights are rights given to you by the government. This would require massive involvement on the government's part, which according to my opponent is bad. As such, his ethical system violates the law of non-contradiction and is illogical.

On the other hand, my ethical system is non-contradictory. Notice I did not argue that all forms and levels of censorship were good, only those that maximized happiness and minimized pain. Until my opponent can offer an ethical system that is logical and says that censorship is wrong, my ethical system should be preferred. Thus, I urge a Pro vote.
Debate Round No. 2
Yunior4life

Con

First of all, my opponent is trying to turn this debate into a moral issue. Morality should never be the basis of government. Justice and fairness should be.

Pro, argues that this debate is no about "Can the government censor?" but about "Should they?"
As I stated previously no they shouldn't. Just because something is allowed, doesn't mean we should do it. I can stuff my face with 10 slices of pizza, does it mean I should? No

Pro, also mentioned I have not given example why censorship is bad. As you can read, I did.

I can give a list why censorship is bad in all corners. Here we go.

1. Dictators use censorship to promote a flattering image of themselves and for removing any information that goes against them. Whose to say the government can't do this too?

2. Political parties around the world already use media censorship for their own benefit. It stifles the opposition, broadcasting only a particular point of view.

3. Censorship makes us believe what were are told, not what we are not. Why do conspiracy theorists exist? Because they believe the government isn't telling us something.

4. Area 51, 9/11, New World Order. Do you really think the gorvernment should keep all those things censored.

5. It makes the US complete hyprocite. The Constitution says we have Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion, Petition and Protest, so why does the gorvernment censor this? For there own benefit.

Thank you. By the way, the voters can vote for whoever they want. Vote whatever you like! :)
logicalrobot

Pro

I thank my opponent for this response. Unfortunately, his answer is full of illogical conclusions. First of all, he claims this debate is not about morality. But then he says that the government should not censor. Should implies a moral obligation, so yes this debate is about the ethics of censorship. Furthermore, he contradicts himself when he states that it is not the job of government to legislate morality but gives them a moral obligation to uphold justice and fairness (also ethical concepts). Perhaps my opponent should look up the definition of morality first.

As to his rebuttals, they are also contradictory. I have not said that he did not give instances of bad censorship, I merely pointed out that a few bad examples does not imply that censorship in all circumstances is immoral. I would like to point out that my opponent has done nothing to refute my ethical system of utilitarianism or propose one of his own that is not logically contradictory. Under my ethical system, government should censor when the results of said censorship maximize happiness or minimize pain. Until my opponent addresses this point, I should be considered the winner.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 2 years ago
Zaradi
Yunior4lifelogicalrobotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I really don't like the way this debate went down. First off, I do have to point out a flaw in pro's argument: should does not imply a moral obligation. That would be what the word "ought" does. If con had brought it up, I would've discounted util right off the bat. But since he didn't, I'm forced to keep it and weigh it in. And since your example, linked by util, prevents more harm and creates a bit more pleasure, and was never responded to, I have to give pro the win.
Vote Placed by acvavra 2 years ago
acvavra
Yunior4lifelogicalrobotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made it clear that Con was contradicting himself on the issue of morality.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
Ore_Ele
Yunior4lifelogicalrobotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am a little sad that no sources came up for either side. This was clearly a topic that has a ton of source opportunity. Anyway. Con never really provided any reasoning other than the fear that censorship might be abused. This is a logically fallacy (slippery slope), and while Pro didn't (though should have) directly point this out, they did argue against it without listing the fallacy. Pro provided the counter of preventing mass hysteria, which Con never countered, only tried to outweig