The Instigator
YYW
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
WMdebate
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

DDO should NOT ban profanity.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
YYW
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,438 times Debate No: 24974
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (3)

 

YYW

Pro

DDO Rules apply.

Round 1) Acceptance.
Round 2) Opening Arguments.
Round 3) Rebuttal to Opening Arguments (i.e. round 2)
Round 4) Response to reubttal and Closing Arguments.

Stipulations:

Profanity for the purposes of this debate shall be limited to "swear" or "curse" words commonly understood to be offensive in the English language including (but not limited to) a**, b****, c***, d***, f***, h***, p*** and etc. including all derivitives of the aforementioned list and combinations therein. Profanity for the purposes of this debate shall not include obscene material, as proscribed by the legal definition of obscenity, persuant to Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973). http://scholar.google.com...

Arguments should apply to and in no way be interpreted to have effect beyond DDO.

Arguments should avoid speculative reasoning.
WMdebate

Con

I accept and thank my opponent for instigating this debate. Good luck to you!
Debate Round No. 1
YYW

Pro


Resolved: DDO should NOT ban profanity.



DDO- Debate.org (this lovely website we all love so much)


to “ban”- make illegal or otherwise preclude/prevent on the forums, in debates or otherwise.


Profanity- see definition above



Introduction:



This is a very simple (practically a joke, but not really) debate. Almost every member in one way or another has used profanity at on point or another. I’m tired of pretending like it isn’t ok. Are you?



Argument 1



S1-P1) In order for something to be banned on DDO, the banned activity must cause harm to DDO members.


S1-P2) Profanity does not cause harm to DDO members.


S1-C) Profanity should not be banned on DDO.



Argument 2



S2-P1) In order for something to be banned, the banned activity must not infringe on the spirit of the free exercise of ideas on DDO.


S2-P2) Banning profanity infringes on the spirit of the free exercise of ideas on DDO.


S2-C) Profanity should not be banned on DDO.



Argument 3



S3-P1) If something is banned on DDO, it must be enforceable without undermining the members of the DDO community.


S3-P2) Enforcing the banning of profanity undermines the members of the DDO community.


S3-C) Profanity should not be banned on DDO.



The inevitable conclusion:



DDO should not ban profanity.



WMdebate

Con

I thank my opponent for posting an argument and for instigating this debate.

I am arguing that Debate.org should ban profanity. Or the Con position in this debate.

Profanities could be used to directly insult members of DDO, causing them harm.

My opponent states that “Profanity does not cause harm to DDO members.

The prevention of harm is central to the existence of laws (a ban on DDO would be considered a law). John Stuart Mill noted this principle in On Liberty, where he argued that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

The definition of harm, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is “physical or mental damage.” One of the usage examples is “the scandal has done irreparable harm to his reputation”.[1]

Furthermore, in law, there is a concept called “emotional harm” where mental shock without impact from an external source could be considered a form of harm.[2]

A**, b****, c***, d***,” and “p***” are all words which could be used to directly denigrate members of DDO while they are engaged in debate. This denigration can harm members of DDO who are on the receiving end of such insults. It could also result in harm to their reputation, such as calling a DDO member a s*** or a w**** on a public forum for example.

Some of the examples of profanity provided by Pro are inherently offensive and harmful terms.

B**** and c*** could both be considered highly offensive terms, especially when applied as an insult to women. Readers of DDO might be offended simply by noting that the words are being used openly. There is no reason, other than shock value, to allow these words.

Allowing the mentioned profanities means the floodgates are open for use of even more offensive and harmful terms.

Words like the N word, the F word (the one applied to homosexuals) are fair game in a system where profanities are freely allowed. Racial and ethnic slurs are words which should not be spoken in any kind of polite discussion and are harmful when used. A ban on them protects DDO members from harm.

Banning profanity does not unduly infringe on the free exercise of ideas on DDO.

My opponent claims that “In order for something to be banned, the banned activity must not infringe on the spirit of the free exercise of ideas on DDO” and that “banning profanity infringes on the spirit of the free exercise of ideas on DDO.

First I would note that DDO is about debating. Profanities are irrelevant to the strength of an argument. Compare the statement “Obama’s policy on X is a terrible idea” with “Obama’s policy on X is s***”. The second argument is not stronger than the first because a profanity is used. What possible reason could there be to want to have profanities in a debate? A profanity laced debate is not stronger than a civil one.

DDO should promote intelligent debate; allowing profanities can dramatically lower the level of discourse on the site.

DDO is not a site built for flame wars and trolling, rather is a site where debaters are awarded points for such things as good behavior in competition. The internet is full of places where uncensored debates can be had. One need only look at places like the comments section on Youtube (particularly a few years ago), to see just how crass and unintelligent the level of discourse is there.

Great debate programs such as Intelligence Squared or law school moot court competitions do not require the use of profanities to create great and stimulating debate. The strength of the competitions comes from the strength of the arguments made by the debaters not by the intensity of their swearing.

My opponent states that “Enforcing the banning of profanity undermines the members of the DDO community.”

Very little is lost by banning profanities. Furthermore, there are other things not allowed on the site even though they technically undermine DDO members. For example, there is an 8,000 character max on debate rounds, which undermines DDO members who might want to make longer arguments. The character max is an example of DDO disallowing something, even though it undermines some DDO members. So my opponent’s argument that “if something is banned on DDO, it must be enforceable without undermining the members of the DDO community” is flawed.

The rights of one person end where the rights of others begin.

The French Constitution states that "Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law."

Because profanities can cause harm to members of the DDO community, banning them, though a slight infringement on the rights of those DDO members who wish to use profanities is, on balance, a better outcome for all DDO members collectively. In this case, the end justifies the means.

Conclusion

The potential harm to DDO members through the use of profanities greatly outweighs any potential usefulness they might have. Banning profanities does not in any great way undermine DDO members.

I urge all voters to vote Con and uphold the dignity and civility of DDO.



[2] First considered in the case of Queen's Bench in Pugh v. London etc. Railroad Co., 2 QB 248 [1896].

Debate Round No. 2
YYW

Pro


My opponent seeks to preserve “the dignity and civility of DDO.” Perhaps this is because he is new here, and is thus far unaware that there is neither dignity, nor civility to DDO.



Some Irrefutable Evidence:



DDO members (myself included) have insane opinions, so insane that they could be neither dignified, nor civil. Source: http://www.debate.org...



DDO members generally agree that Nutella is the only reason to live. For all DDO members who are out of Nutella, suicide must be imminent. Suicide is neither dignified, or civil. Source: http://www.debate.org...



DDO members frequently go on the internet, which is a vast array of pornography and advertisements. Advertisements are neither dignified or civil. Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com...



DDO members endorse mass murder by arguing that the United States was justified in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mass murder via nuclear bomb is neither dignified, nor civil. Source: http://www.debate.org...



How could people with insane opinions, who live only for Nutella and it’s hazelnutty goodness, who frequently expose themselves to unsolicited advertisements and pornography, who favor mass murder, possibly be dignified or civilized?



Simple! They couldn’t! I would argue that is because DDO members are neither dignified or civilized in any possible way that they are so bloody freaking awesome, but that’s just me. I love and accept DDO members as they are. My opponent, by contrast, wishes to encroach on the free and unfettered expression of DDO members by recasting DDO according to the parameters of “dignity and civility.”



I scoff at such nonsense! Scoff, I say!



*scoffs*



My opponent charts a litany of reasons why profanity should be banned. Fvck that! Among the reasons CON explores to attempt to justify banning profanity:



Profanity’s potential to be used to “directly insult members, causing them harm.”



My opponent’s confusion of how words convey meaning is staggering. The mere word “@ss” or “bitch” alone does not have the potential to directly insult or cause harm. For example, the sentence “The @ss is in the barn.” could easily refer to a donkey in its appropriate place of residence. Similarly, the sentence “The b!tch is sick.” could refer to an a female member of the canine species who is presently ill. As such, I have proven beyond any doubt that words take on meaning based on the context in which they are used. Ergo, the words themselves are not what is offensive, but rather the meaning they are intended to convey. (Behold! My opponent’s “Inherently offensive” argument is VANQUISHED!)



HOWEVER, my opponent suggests that we ban words based on their POTENTIAL to cause harm to other members, rather than their actually causing harm. What preposterous nonsense! Any words have the potential to cause harm by being offensive! For example, the phrase “Your life is meaningless because you are a failed abortion.” has TREMENDOUS potential to cause offense! Given, the sentence is conspicuously devoid of profanity, but I can hardly think of a more offensive thing to call a person than “a failed abortion.”



If preventing harm by banning words that have the potential to cause offense is an appropriate way to regulate content, what would my opponent propose? Ban the word abortion? What would the right-wing religious members of the site have to debate about if we banned the word abortion? What would feminists have to demand the right to? DDO would simply implode.



Additionally, my opponent naïvely asserts that “banning profanity does not unduly infringe on the free exercise of ideas on DDO.”



I refer my opponent to the “failed abortion” example. If my opponent wishes to ban words on the basis of their potential to be offensive, he is summarily obliged to ban the comprehensive sum of the English language -without exception. But why? (you may ask) The answer is simple! ALL words in the english language have the inherent potential to be offensive, they must only be arranged by a person with the intent to insult. Even the most basic words have the potential to be offensive, one must only use them with the due diligence of insulting creativity. And I must say, DDO members are among the most creative people I have ever known. Should we all ban ourselves because we all have the potential to be offensive? I should hope not! (It seems that my opponent is WRONG! Banning profanity, by his standard of “potential” for offense” DOES -in fact- unduly infringe on the free exercise of ideas on DDO!)



My opponent’s proposal to ban all words that have the potential to cause harm by being offensive, is furthermore offensive to the most basic notion of truth. Yes. My opponent hates the truth. But YYW, how can this possibly be the case? To explain, I invoke the chilling rhetoric of the great philosopher “V” from “V for Vendetta.” Read below:



“Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.” Source: http://www.imdb.com...



Because my opponent wants to ban all words that have the potential to be offensive, and ALL words have the potential to be offensive, it may be logically deduced that my opponent wishes to ban all words. Words, which might I add, “offer the means to meaning” that are “the enunciation of truth.” My opponent assails the very concept of truth in his ludicrous attempt to ban profanity. How could a policy that assails the very concept of truth NOT infringe on the free exercise of ideas on DDO? How could banning the comprehensive sum of the english language NOT undermine the members of the DDO community? How could “intelligent debate” possibly occur under such rhetorical tyranny?



Finally, my opponent argues that “the rights of one person end where the rights of others begin.”



I agree wholeheartedly! The right of one DDO member to -repeatedly- call another DDO member a f*ckhead (as one DDO member did here: http://www.debate.org...) should not be infringed! All DDO members should enjoy the right to call each other f*ckheads without restraint! Why? Because it is the buggering, motherf*cking internet, damnit! It’s the c*nting internet! It’s not elementary, middle or high school! It is not law school or moot court! It is the assdou*heing internet, where the free exchange of ideas -however profane- OUGHT not be infringed!



Employing the Rawlsian notion of justice as fairness, whereby the rights of all persons are consistent with each individual being afforded an equal and adequate volume of rights, it is natural and proper that every member of DDO should enjoy the unrestrained opportunity to call one another f*ckheads forevermore, because NO person has any right to enjoy the right NOT to be offended.



Regulating content on the basis of personal offense (or the respective potential herein), is absurd. Where the content of ones posts are regulated under such a scheme, a party must only feign indignation to invoke the censorship of another. If in a just system, rights are to be distributed to ensure that each person enjoys an equal quantity of them, regulating speech on the basis of the potential for personal offense presents tremendous potential to overwhelm the right to free expression of one, because such a person’s free expression might infringe on another’s invented right NOT to be offended. I fear for the horror of such a world.



Oh, and btw. the French Constitution (however French or constitutional it may be) holds no water in the high courts of DDO.



In Conclusion



I have a dream, that one day profanities and common vernacular will be used side by side with one another in the posts of DDO members! I have a dream that the long enduring discrimination against profanity will end, and that freedom of speech will ring throughout the land without restraint! I have a dream today!



Peace and love,



YYW



WMdebate

Con

I want to thank my opponent for posting his round.

This is an argument about banning profanities only.

This is not a debate about banning all words in the English language as my opponent claims, and I have not called for such a ban. This argument by Pro is an irrelevant straw man and a distraction. This is a debate about a particular and small set of words that have an extreme potential for being used in a harmful and offensive manner. It is unfortunate that non-curse words can also be used to do harm, but that is beyond the parameters of this debate.

This is also not a debate about banning joke debates, insane opinions, devil’s advocate arguments or even trolling. There is a difference between allowing joke threads and insane debate opinions and allowing the use of language which can, in some instances only[1] be used to directly harm members of the DDO community.

Furthermore, the banning of profanities at least forces DDO users to be a little more creative in insulting each other which makes it harder and thus decreases, at least somewhat, the instances of flagrant abuse and harassment of DDO members on the site.

I extend the unaddressed argument from the last round that some words are inherently offensive.

My opponent argues that the potential for harm of profane words depends only on the context in which they are used. However, my opponent has chosen to defend ALL curse words in his argument and therefore his “context argument” is false for at least those profanities which cannot be used in a non-offensive manner in any context (as I pointed out in my last round). For example, there is no possible use of the profanity and ethnic slur “N word” in which it would deemed completely harmless. There is quite a list of ethnic slurs that are included in the definition of “profanity” that similarly cannot be used without being deemed offensive and harmful. For Pro’s argument that profanities do not cause harm, Pro would have to include ethnic slurs which were ignored in his last round.

This is a site for civil discussion.

Dear readers and voters, my opponent claims that because I am new to this site, that I cannot argue that it is a site meant for dignified and civil discussion. First I would note that I have technically been a member of this site for a year. Second, I refer my opponent to one of the most famous debates on this site: “THE OFFICIAL IZBO TRIAL”[2] During the trial bluesteel, the prosecutor arguing in favor of the resolution to ban the notorious banned votebomber and verbal abuser Izbo10, noted several important points about DDO. First quoting the then President of the site: "the core value of this site is the integrity of honest debates." Profanities add little to nothing to the integrity of honest debates.

The prosecutor also noted how Izbo10 on several occasions used profanity laced tirades against members of DDO such as "double r before fvcking voting on debates and whining that i am discussing rks argument you might have wanted to figure the fvck out that guess what the debate was about rk's argument. Fvcking moron." And calling members of DDO “f***tards” on several occasions (even during his trial). This kind of language, as argued by bluesteel during the trial, degrades the quality of the site. This is exactly the kind of conduct that banning profanities would help prevent.

Furthermore, there is a difference between allowing joke threads and insane debate opinions and allowing the use of language which can be used to directly harm members of the DDO community.

As a practical matter, allowing profanities increases the workload for moderators.

If moderators have to be on the lookout for every single offensive and harmful use of profanities it would increase their workload. As being a moderator is a voluntary position, and DDO wishes to encourage members to volunteer as moderators, it is practical for DDO to decrease their workload. Note that this point was also raised in the Trial of Izbo10.

The constitutional right to freedom of speech applies only to public places, not private websites.

Note the text of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

DDO is not Congress, it is a private website that is free to set the parameters for how much freedom of speech they wish to allow.

Additionally, "fighting words" are not protected by the 1st Amendment.

Profanities in general have an enormous potential to be used as fighting words. The "reason why fighting words are categorically excluded from the protection of the First Amendment is not that their content communicates any particular idea, but that their content embodies a particularly intolerable (and socially unnecessary) mode of expressing whatever idea the speaker wishes to convey.”[3] Such uses are not protected by the First Amendment.

DDO is not “the internet.”

DDO may be *on the internet* but it is not *the* internet. DDO is a website accessible through the internet. The fact that profanities are allowed and indeed should be allowed on the internet, does not mean that they should be allowed on DDO. It’s the same reason that while free passage is allowed on open public property, such as streets and parks, it does not mean that people are allowed to come into your private property and do whatever they wish. DDO is free to decide what language to allow and what language to prohibit within the site. As I noted in my last round, Pro is still welcome to go to any other site with looser standards than DDO and use as much offensive and harmful profanity as he wants.

Contrary to my opponent’s unsupported allegations I do not in fact hate truth.

Pro cites to the movie V for Vendetta in an attempt to prove that I somehow hate truth, yet it’s extremely difficult to make the connection between what my opponent states, and the argument that I somehow hate truth. Furthermore, my personal feelings on truth or the value of profanities is not the subject of this debate. This is yet another example of my opponent taking his arguments beyond the parameters of the debate and into the realm of irrelevance.

The quote of the French Constitution was merely to show the relationship between freedom and laws.

I merely pointed to the text of the constitution because of the statement “the natural rights of each man [have] no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.” I did not mean to imply that the French Constitution governs DDO. However, in law it is possible to cite to secondary or persuasive authority that may not be law within the jurisdiction, but that nonetheless can be pointed to for its logical or intellectual value. Such as when an American Court in New York looks at a decision from California or England on an issue that is new to the jurisdiction of New York but that has been decided in California or England. I see no reason why I should not be allowed to cite to a document that makes a logical statement and use it in support of my arguments. Furthermore I used a statement from John Stewart Mill for basically the same reason and Pro did not object.

Conclusion.

Some words included within the category of “profanity” cannot be used for anything other than harm, but Pro proposes allowing ALL profanities. The potential harm to DDO members through the use of profanities greatly outweighs any potential usefulness they might have. Banning profanities does not in any great way undermine DDO members.

I urge voters to uphold the core values of this site for integrity of honest debate.

Vote Con!



[1] See the argument about ethnic slurs.

[3] R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992).

Debate Round No. 3
YYW

Pro



In this final round, I will respond to my opponent’s third round responses and I will conclude with closing arguments (pursuant to the outline in the first round).



Some Nonsense:



CON says: “This is an argument about banning profanities only.”



YYW says: Bullsh!t!



CON has consistently proposed that the metric for banning words should be their potential to be offensive. His condemning words: “Profanities could be used to directly insult members of DDO, causing them harm.” While his original reasoning may only (at this present time) apply to profanities, his the slopes of his logic are slippery indeed. Applying the same (slippery slope reasoning, from his third argument presented in Rd. 2), indeed here “the floodgates are open” to ban the entire english language! What comprehensive bullsh!t! Because “the floodgates” to imprudently, impractically, unjustifiably, intolerably and irreducibly ban the whole of the English language, my opponent’s arguments fail on all counts. He is obviously smoking crack. I ask you, judges? How could you give a win to a crack user? To quote a random 1980’s nobody: “Crack is wack.” Give the win to YYW (pro) and say no to drugs.




CON says: “Undressed arguments” from the last round” were left undressed.



YYW says: Bullsh!t!



CON has this fettishistic obsession with the inherently offensive nature of some words. What nonsense! Words have no “inherent” meaning. Words are given meaning by what a majority of people consider them to be, and again, their meaning varies by context. CON uses the “N” word as a prime example. I say bullsh!t!



Where two brothas’ in the hood be talkin’ at each odda, and Jerome say some sh!t like: “My nigga, how’s it hangin’?” and Bad Bad LeRoy Brown is all like “It’s hanging down down low, my nig, all the way to the ground!” There is nothing inherently offensive about that interchange whatsoever, in the context it was presented (an African American urban neighborhood, for example, between two young African American males).



CON wishes to impose his linguistic nazism on Jerome and Bad Bad LeRoy Brown as if he knows better than they do about what words are or are not offensive! The audacity! I favor linguistic freedom, and support the right to employ any word of anyone’s choosing from the whole of their respective lexicon, however spicy said word may or may not be.



CON says: “This is a site for civil discussion.”



YYW says: BULLSH!T! and RACIST BULLSH!T, at that!



CON would choose to segregate words based on what he calls “inherent” offensiveness, and among the words that he considers to be “inherently offensive” are the aforementioned “N” word. Jerome and Bad Bad LeRoy Brown are as civilized as you and me, but my opponent has the audacity to call them and the words of their culture “uncivilized.” This unfettered racism and prolific intolerance is as offensive as it is inappropriate in this, the year of 2012. But I, YYW, have a dream! I have a dream that this linguistic Jim Crow’ness may be forever purged from the rules and regulations of DDO! I have a dream that Jerome and Bad Bad LeRoy Brown will be able to use the words of their respective culture without fear of reprisal from linguistic racists like my opponent! Let freedom ring from the political forums to the personal forums! Let freedom ring in every debate without exception! Let freedom ring throughout the fruited plains of DDO! I have a dream today!



CON says: “As a practical matter, allowing profanities increases the workload for moderators.”



YYW says: BULLSH!T! BULLSH!T! BULLSH!T!



If we let freedom ring (as I have described above) throughout the fruited plains of DDO, there will be no need for moderators. We will be advancing freedom in a way that I described in my first round syllogisms. In support of freedom, I quote the great philosopher John Lennon: “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!” I have a dream that a brotherhood of man may unite behind the principle of freedom of speech. Where there are no rules, there is no need for enforcers of any kind! In such a brotherhood, no moderators would be required. We would be self regulated by ourselves, and live in perfect harmony.



Btw, my opponent hasn’t demonstrated how banning profanity would necessarily make DDO members more prone to harass other members than they are now. Why? Because he can’t. But, he thinks that you all will, and so as judges, how can you give a win to someone who thinks that you are all prone to verbal violence! I love and trust the members of DDO, and believe that we have no need for moderating! The moderators themselves would be free! Free at last! Free at last, my brothers we would be free at last!



CON says: “Freedom of speech only applies to public places, not private websites.”



YYW says: BULLSH!T! (And that my opponent needs to take a course in constitutional law, lol)



The fundamental idea of the first amendment right to freedom of speech is the notion of free expression, what John Milton described in Paradise Lost as “the marketplace of ideas.” It is to protect the freedom of that marketplace that the framers of the US Constitution took every measure to protect the right and liberty of the people to freely discuss without fear of reprisal any idea or principle, in any way that is not obscene, that they may choose.


If my opponent knew anything about free expression, he would have taken the time to read Miller v. California, where the Supreme Court of The United States held that the word “f***” is constitutionally protected by the first amendment. He would further recognize that the precedent of RAV v. St. Paul (the case he cited) has long been abandoned as bad law, and what hasn’t been abandoned has been narrowed and constrained in favor of unfettered free speech, pursuant to evolving social toleration and norms of social exchange. The “fighting words” doctrine was finally abandoned in totality by Snydar v. Phelps (2011), which held that laws designed to quash free expression of any kind are inherently unconstitutional. My opponent should read up on his legal jurisprudence.



In conclusion:



Throughout the course of this debate, we have learned that my opponent is a racist crack addict who doesn’t know how to properly make legal arguments.



My arguments and responses have been bathed in freedom of speech, the life blood of a functioning democracy. I support the right to use any word that anyone so chooses, because words are the means to meaning and for those who avail themselves to listen, facilitate the enunciation of truth.



The outcome of this debate compels an affirmative ballot.


WMdebate

Con

Despite my opponent’s humorous arguments, this is technically a serious debate

My opponent has posted some very funny arguments in rounds 3 and 4 and I’ve learned that my opponent has been advertising this debate as a troll debate. My opponent even posted a question on my profile asking me if I thought this debate was serious after round 3. However, he neglected to mention anything in the Round 1 description that would indicate that this would not be a serious debate.

There was also no indication in his Round 2 opening arguments other than the line “This is a very simple (practically a joke, but not really) debate”. Otherwise his Round 2 arguments appear perfectly serious and straight forward. The fact that my opponent stated that it was “not really” a joke coupled with his conduct up to Round 3 would indicate to a neutral observer that this was meant to be a serious debate. There wasn’t even an indication in the comments section that this would be a troll debate and I was not familiar with my opponent’s debating style beforehand.

Therefore, in all fairness, I argue that voting on this debate should be based on the usual voting requirements for DDO debates and on the rules set in Round 1 of the debate and not on our ability to out-troll each other. I have made stronger arguments than my opponent and I would not have participated in the debate had I known that it was a troll debate.

Now onto my case:

There are profanities that cannot be used in a harmless manner

Although the “N word” might be harmless when used in certain contexts, such as in the example provided by my opponent, my opponent failed to address other ethnic slurs mentioned in round 2.

A partial list of ethnic and racial slurs includes:

Ch!nk

W*tback

R@ghe@d

K!ke

G**k

Those are words that cannot be used in a harmless manner. I don’t know of any Mexicans who would call each other w*tbacks, ditto for the other words on the list. My opponent has not provided examples for how these words can be used in a harmless manner. Therefore he concedes that these profanities cannot be used without causing harm and should be banned.

(A much larger list is available at http://tinyurl.com...).

Other profanities that cannot be used for anything other than harm

In addition there are harmful words directed towards LGBT people such as:

D!ke

F@g

Those are also words that cannot be used without harming the subject of the words.

The fighting words doctrine is still good law

My opponent makes several incorrect arguments about US law. Snyder v. Phelps (2011) dealt with the extremely offensive conduct of the Westboro Baptist Church in a public place. It was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Speech on a public sidewalk, about a public issue, cannot be liable for a tort of emotional distress, even if the speech is found to be "outrageous". It did not overturn the fighting words doctrine as my opponent claims. The fighting words doctrine remains good law, although it has been narrowed over the years.[1]

The following are examples of cases in which speech was considered unprotected and classified as “fighting words”:

  • Flashing a sexually suggestive sign repeatedly to a young woman driving a car (State v. Hubbard, Minnesota Court of Appeals, 2001).
  • Yelling racial slurs at two African-American woman (In re John M., Arizona Court of Appeals, 2001).
  • Repeatedly yelling the words “wh*re,” “harlot” and “Jezebel” at a nude woman on the beach (Wisconsin v. Ovadal, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, 2003).
  • Calling a police officer a “white, racist motherf*cker” and wishing his mother would die (State v. Clay, Minnesota Court of Appeals, 1999).
  • Calling a police officer a “f*cking @sshole” in a loud voice and attempting to spit on the officer (State v. York, Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 1999).

Profanities have an enormous capacity to be used as part of fighting words and should not be allowed on DDO.

The word f*** may have been declared constitutional but that does not apply to private websites

A private website can choose what words it will ban and what words it will not ban. As noted earlier freedom of speech applies only to public places. Therefore DDO has the ability to ban profanities without violating the law.

The free exchange of ideas is not hindered by a ban on profanities

There is very little that profanities add to the free exchange of ideas and there is virtually no idea that cannot be exchanged without the use of profanities. “Freedom of speech is not advanced, the government asserts, by a stream of profanities with little or no intellectual substance.”[2] Furthermore, profanities can always be implied by the use of symbols “#$%@!*” to say the words without actually writing them out, therefore the ban is quite a small burden in practice. Note how we have both “written” an enormous amount of profanities on this debate by altering just a letter or two with a symbol.

Profanities increase the workload of Moderators

My opponent is proposing an unrealistic scenario in which DDO members would police themselves without a moderator. However, without someone to enforce the rules of DDO who would have the power to deal with all of the Izbo10s that might show up on the website and have full freedom to insult DDO members all over the debates, comments sections and forums.

Allowing profanities greatly increases the workload of moderators since they have to sort between harmless and harmful uses of profanity. By banning them it at least takes the issue away from the table.

Banning profanities will not lead to a ban on the English language

My opponent’s alarmist arguments on this are unrealistic, since we are only discussing a ban on a few harmful words and not a ban on the entire English language. DDO could never ban the entire English language since that would prevent any member on DDO from doing anything other than post pictures. There is no danger of a slippery slope situation here. However, allowing profanities does allow for the use of words that cannot be used for anything other than harm and it also allows words that have a great potential for harm.

I am not a racist

My opponent makes an incoherent argument that I am a racist. I deny his allegations and I assert that I have stated nothing in this debate which could be construed as racist. Although technically my opponent’s own satirical example on usage of the N word, could be interpreted as having some racist undertones given the stereotypical descriptions, actions and names of his proposed African Americans in “the hood”.

Whether I use crack is irrelevant to the debate

I do not use crack, and even if I did, it has no bearing on the resolution.

Summary

My opponent made three main arguments for why profanities should be banned:

(1) That profanities do not cause harm to DDO members.

This is false since profanities can cause harm to DDO members and in some cases they can only be used to cause harm to DDO members.

(2) Banning profanity infringes on the spirit of the free exercise of ideas on DDO.

This is false since there almost no idea that cannot be expressed without the use of profanities.

(3) If something is banned on DDO, it must be enforceable without undermining the members of the DDO community.

This is false since almost everything that is prohibited on DDO, such as posting arguments that are longer than 8,000 characters, undermines DDO members in some way.

Conclusion

Some profanities cannot be used for anything other than harm; therefore the main thrust of my opponent’s argument is invalid. Had my opponent limited his argument to profanities which have harmless uses, then he might have had a stronger case, however he did not. For the protection of DDO members from harm and abuse by trolls, DDO should ban profanities. It is a small limitation that can serve a lot of good.

Vote Con!

I thank my opponent for taking part in this debate with me.

Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 2 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Lol, YYW
Posted by Ore_Ele 4 years ago
Ore_Ele
continued from RFD

Ultimately, Con argued that profanities could harm and so should be banned. Non-profanities are outside of this debate. Con could say that they all ought to be banned or ought not for different reasons, but that is a different subject for a different time (i.e. it is a strawman).
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
Just wanted to clarify, lol
Posted by WMdebate 4 years ago
WMdebate
Hehe, no worries. I figured by your tone that you were joking.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
And as a disclaimer, My opponent is an upstanding member of DDO who is neither a racist, nor a crack addict, nor an enemy of truth. This is TOTALLY a troll debate.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
If it was a serious debate I would have made it about a serious topic, but no worries. I like you, WMDebate. If you want to debate anything, just let me know. =)
Posted by WMdebate 4 years ago
WMdebate
Yeah now you post it :-P... thanks for the warning.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
This was a troll debate, lol.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
I'm glad you enjoy it, Mouthwash.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
This is so good.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 4 years ago
Ore_Ele
YYWWMdebateTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Normally, I would have given conduct to Con for Pro's attitude throughout the debate, especially in the last two rounds. But Con did present new evidence in the last round, so it neutralizes out. Because Pro brought up some new arguments (court cases) in the last round, some of Con's last round arguments had to be considered. Pro worked with a lot of unsupported assumptions without evidence. Ultimately, Con argued that profanities could harm and so should be banned. Rest in comments
Vote Placed by Valkyrie 4 years ago
Valkyrie
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Reasons for voting decision: i agree words cannot actually hurt someone if they are used in the way you are suggesting
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: Assuming this was a troll debate by Pros round two, he was more entertaining and had more DDO examples. Much of cons case falls under round one outline: merely speculative. Although had truth Pro had more examples as well as entertainment... If this wasn't a troll debate tell me so as my choice would change.