The Instigator
theaceb
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
U.S_Patriot
Con (against)
Winning
43 Points

Debate.org should allow swears, personal/opinon attacks, and racial/sexual/religious slurs

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,505 times Debate No: 1195
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (17)

 

theaceb

Pro

The debate.org terms of service are:

1. No use of profanities or swear words.
2. No personal attacks against other members or a member's opinions.
3. No use of racial, sexual or religious slurs.
4. No threats or implications thereof.

I can only see justification for the 4th one. The others I find completely unfounded. If people want to debate using swears and personal attacks they should be able to do so. Not allowing people to use these things in their debates, inhibits their debating style.

If someone is truly offended by what someone else has wrote, no one is forcing them to read it.
U.S_Patriot

Con

1. No use of profanities or swear words.
2. No personal attacks against other members or a member's opinions.
3. No use of racial, sexual or religious slurs.
4. No threats or implications thereof.

Everyone one of these rules is justified. Debating is supposed to be a civil, organized arguments between two people of different points of view. It is not supposed to be an online fight.

The first rule is obviously justified. Use of swear words and profanity is not encouraged anywhere, and there is a reason why it is considered extremely rude to use this type of language between anyone except close friends and relations. It only highlights the fact that the person lacks a sensible vocabulary, and can find no others words than rude language.

The second rule, no personal attacks on a member or a member's opinions, is also easily justified. Why is there a need to attack someone you do not even know? Is it not also considered extremely rude to personally attack someone's views? Besides, if you stoop down to the level where you need to attack your opponent's, it is obvious you can find no other point, and have run out of constructive things to say.

This rule ties in with the first. As easily justified as the others.

In conclusion, these rules are needed so that the best can come out of each debater in each debate, rather than it falling into an uncivilized, dirty argument. I see no reason why you want these rules taken away from the site.
Debate Round No. 1
theaceb

Pro

"Everyone one of these rules is justified. Debating is supposed to be a civil, organized arguments between two people of different points of view."

This is labeling use of profanities, insults and attacks as non-civil. The concept of civility is a very objective one. There are many people, such as myself, who would say that using profanities does not at all qualify as uncivil. To me a mark civility, is accepting, and respecting the fact that people use profanity.

"The first rule is obviously justified. Use of swear words and profanity is not encouraged anywhere, and there is a reason why it is considered extremely rude to use this type of language between anyone except close friends and relations."

There are a number of places that directly or indirectly encourage profanity, but regardless of if it is encouraged in many places, it is rarely explicitly prohibited. Just because you allow something, does not mean you encourage it.

"It only highlights the fact that the person lacks a sensible vocabulary, and can find no others words than rude language."

Fundamentally, profanities are words that may represent a certain state of mind, type of person, or level of intensity, not necessarily a lack of vocabulary. Also people are allowed to use substitute swear words such as heck or dang or "censored" swear words like f*ck, so prohibiting the printing of a swear word does not prohibit people from conveying the meaning of that word.

"The second rule, no personal attacks on a member or a member's opinions, is also easily justified. Why is there a need to attack someone you do not even know?"

While there may not be a need to personally attack someone, I see no need to prohibit it, it reflects a person's debate style.

"Besides, if you stoop down to the level where you need to attack your opponent's, it is obvious you can find no other point, and have run out of constructive things to say."

This is very true, and if someone resorts to personal attacks, it may be an obvious indicator as to who won the debate, if someone is digging themselves into a hole in a debate, let them.

Essentially I'm just saying that prohibiting the use of these things is inhibiting a person's debating strategy and style, and censoring a person's personality and background as a whole.
U.S_Patriot

Con

"not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others". (Definition of civil from Google Definitions)

Well, the simple fact that profanity is not encouraged in our society is proof that curse words and the like are obviously considered extremely rude to use. This is directly contrary to the definition of civil. If you consider allowing someone else the use of profanity in your direct presence, that is your own personal preference. However, the preference of our society is clearly defined, and which is why the preference of the many out rule the preference of the few, in this case you. Profanity is not clearly prohibited in places because it is a given rule that people abide by social rules. Why do you think children are sharply discouraged from using profanity? By your rule, we should allow them their right to use such language. Again, to utter such language in the presence of others not your close friends it is extremely rude.

On the second point of profanity as a demonstration of vocabulary, it is clearly demonstrated here. Curse words are usually a demonstration of excessive emotional expression. Words such as f*** are usually applied in situations where you experience extreme disappointment, or extreme pleasure, both of which usually have no place here. Also, your point that people usually replace such words are a demonstration of the fop as curse words bring about as a result of them being said. My last point here is that no one explicitly says "heck" or "dang" here. They have no place in a civil debate between two sensible people.

My last point is about what a debate is, and how it needs no personal attacks on a person or their point. A debate is a formal discussion and argumentation of a point. The key word here is formal. Formal as in being of accord with the generally accepted rules of the society we live in. In our society, it is extremely rude to insult or attack another person, especially for what they believe in or in the way they exist. Attacks on a person are not "apart of the style of a debater". Debating is formally arguing the merits of cons of a point of a position. Attacking someone simply has no place in that form of activity.
Debate Round No. 2
theaceb

Pro

theaceb forfeited this round.
U.S_Patriot

Con

I understand your predicament. Anyway, here is my reply to your argument in the comments section.

"not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others". (Definition of civil from Google Definitions)"

A definition of profanity: "common or vulgar". I will go with my first instinct and say that vulgarity is rudeness, and that your point here is meaningless.

I actually do not have to defeat any of your points. You know that our society does not tolerate rude, unneeded attacks on anyone, especially total strangers attempting to engage in a healthy, civil debate with you. All you are doing here is speculating on the meanings of words. I have nothing more to prove. Rather, I will say that the rules on Debate.org are in line with what is considered acceptable when it comes to interacting with others. This topic is completely unnecessary, serving no purpose than to create a similarly unnecessary debate.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
Thanks, I just see it as a freedom of speech issue, while of course I realize that since debate.org is a private forum, they have the right to make rules however they want. I really only put that in here because of the 25 character minimum for comments.
Posted by U.S_Patriot 9 years ago
U.S_Patriot
Good job to you as well. I am actually surprised you came out with such a good argument for such a peculiar point of view.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
Man I got owned hard in the voting, good job U.S Patriot.
Posted by Mr.Cactuar 9 years ago
Mr.Cactuar
Both of you have good arguments, as using profanity, when used correctly, DOES justify a stronger sense of meaning, like using d***** instead of dang it. Nonetheless, in most cases where people like to use cuss words in place of a regular word it seems that a replacement for the word is not available because that person's vocabulary is too small to fill in the blanks. I'm kind of neutral on this argument, as Con stated strong justifications to the rules, but some of the rules can be bent just a little to fit somebody' s debating style. I have to go with con on this one, though.
Posted by solo 9 years ago
solo
Give it a rest already. You got spanked. Get over it.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
I was finishing my argument and the timer said I had 10 minutes to post, then when I went to post it said I forfeited, it's done this to me several times, there's some error in the site. So anyway here's my argument for round 3 in several arguments, sorry about this.

"not rude; marked by satisfactory (or especially minimal) adherence to social usages and sufficient but not noteworthy consideration for others". (Definition of civil from Google Definitions)"

Profanity does not necessarily contradict this definition of civil. According to dictionary.com here are the definitions of rude:

1.discourteous or impolite, esp. in a deliberate way: a rude reply.
2.without culture, learning, or refinement: rude, illiterate peasants.
3.rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; uncouth.
4.rough, harsh, or ungentle: rude hands.
5.roughly wrought, built, or formed; of a crude construction or kind: a rude cottage.
6.not properly or fully developed; raw; unevolved: a rude first stage of development.
7.harsh to the ear: rude sounds.
8.without artistic elegance; of a primitive simplicity: a rude design.
9.violent or tempestuous, as the waves.
10.robust, sturdy, or vigorous: rude strength.
11.approximate or tentative: a rude first calculation of costs.

Profanity and it's connotations do not necessarily fit any of these definitions.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
According to dictionary.com here are the definitions of profanity:

1.the quality of being profane; irreverence.
2.profane conduct or language; a profane act or utterance.

According to dictionary.com here are the definitions of profane as an adjective:

1.characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.
2.not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular (opposed to sacred).
3.unholy; heathen; pagan: profane rites.
4.not initiated into religious rites or mysteries, as persons.
5.common or vulgar.

The first four apply to blasphemous speech. The only one that may apply to curse words, is the fifth. If profanity is used as infrequently as you say, then common would not apply to curse words. What is vulgar and what's not depends on each individual interpretations.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
"Well, the simple fact that profanity is not encouraged in our society is proof that curse words and the like are obviously considered extremely rude to use."

I assume your referring to American society. I'd say that the idea of a defined American culture is a flaw. I agree it does exist in a very broad sense, but people participate more prominently in smaller societies. Not all of these societies within the U.S. don't "not encourage" profanity.

Consider the N-word. In most of American society it is considered a profanity. However in black urban society, between two black people, it is often considered permissible and not discouraged. Therefore you cannot say that all profanity is universally discouraged by American society. To prohibit profanity on that basis is to exclude certain people from using their regular speech.

"If you consider allowing someone else the use of profanity in your direct presence, that is your own personal preference. However, the preference of our society is clearly defined, and which is why the preference of the many out rule the preference of the few"

I have already contended that not all of American society prefers to not use profanity. Even if it were I would contend that it is more important to allow people to speak however they would based on their individual tendencies rather than ill-defined, provincial societal tendencies.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
"Profanity is not clearly prohibited in places because it is a given rule that people abide by social rules. Why do you think children are sharply discouraged from using profanity? By your rule, we should allow them their right to use such language."

Profanity is not prohibited in these places because they are allowing people the personal choice to use profanity and to view profanity if they wish. Also yes I would allow children the right to use profanity, I don't find anything harmful with them using profanity, and if their parents don't like that, they have the right teach their children however they wish.

"Words such as f*** are usually applied in situations where you experience extreme disappointment, or extreme pleasure, both of which usually have no place here"

These are not the only cases in which the "f" word is used, it is an extremely broad word and can be used as almost any form of speech, usually meant to describe intensity.

"Also, your point that people usually replace such words are a demonstration of the fop as curse words bring about as a result of them being said"

I don't know why you use the word fop here, the definition of fop is:

a man who is excessively vain and concerned about his dress, appearance, and manners.

I assume you're saying that people uttering the actual words that heck and dang substitute, is offensive to people. I'd disagree with this, seeing as the word itself and the substitute mean the same thing and are used the same way. You're suggesting that just hearing the texture of the word itself offends people, rather than it's meaning and connotation. It's the equivalent of bleeping out a curse word on television, viewers know what word is being said, so why censor it's actual pronunciation, it's extremely meaningless and juvenile.
Posted by theaceb 9 years ago
theaceb
"My last point here is that no one explicitly says "heck" or "dang" here. They have no place in a civil debate between two sensible people."

Once again this is defining who can say what and how one can debate on debate.org. If I want to say "Why the heck do you want to prohibit profanities here?" I should be allowed to. It is simply denoting my extreme disapproval for your stance and adamant support of my stance.

"In our society, it is extremely rude to insult or attack another person, especially for what they believe in or in the way they exist."

Once again, I hold to it that this site should allow people the personal choice to use profanity on their own personal tendencies and not prohibit profanities because of societal tendencies.

"Attacks on a person are not "apart of the style of a debater".

I would beg to differ. There are many debaters on debate.org that incorporate personal attacks in their debates. For instance Solarman1969 uses personal attacks in almost every one of his debates. To prohibit personal attacks is to inhibit his debating style. Also he has won 1 out of 28 of his debates, proof that his debating style doesn't cause people to vote for him, so like I said, if someone is digging themselves a hole, let them.

Bottom line is that I think people should be allowed the personal freedom to use profanity and personal attacks, and that debate.org should not form it's policy based on obscure societal tendencies. It is discriminatory to people who frequently use swears in their debates and everyday language.
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by U.S_Patriot 8 years ago
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theacebU.S_PatriotTied
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Vote Placed by PoorRichardsAlmanack 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by ScrewSociety62 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Willdavisfilms 9 years ago
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