The Instigator
debate250
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DetectableNinja
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Expletives Should Never be Used

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
DetectableNinja
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,807 times Debate No: 18335
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

debate250

Pro

Expletives should never be used because they can be extremely offensive. There is no good reason why people should use expletives as they can damage others seriously. Expletives also have bad meanings behind them and are often considered inappropriate. If anger is the issue, there are much better ways to get out the anger such as breathing, doing a sport, yoga, or doing a hobby. There is really no good reason for expletives in today's society, and many people view them as negative. My opponent could argue that all of the items I suggested instead of expletives take longer. This may be true, but you can do all of them within 5 minutes. This is longer than saying a word, but a few minutes could save someone months worth of damage and save friendships. Overall, expletives are extremely offensive and should never be used.
DetectableNinja

Con

I thank debate250 for creating a debate of this nature--it should be an interesting one.

Now, to begin, I'll provide a definition for expletive, as defined by Dctionary.com: ex-ple-tive (n):
an interjectory word or expression, frequently profane; an exclamatory oath. [1] Or, in more simple terms, I'll be considering an expletive to be a "swear word," or an obsenity in general, as that is the implication I'm receiving from Pro.

To be clear, I am merely refuting the idea that expletives should not be used--NOT arguing that expletives should be used.

I'll present my opening argument with my refutation of Pro's position first.

Refutations of Pro's Arguments

Most of Pro's arguments are centered around two central ideas, which I shall refute.


Expletives are "extremely offensive," and "have bad meanings behind them."

Most of us would indeed agree that expletives generally have "bad meanings," as dictated by our society. However, what Pro seems to be suggestng is that the words themselves have bad meanings and are offensive, therefore they should never be used.

My main refutation with this is in the subjectivity of language. To explain my point, I cite a two-plays-in-one play that I worked on, written by Tom Stoppard, entitled Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth [2]. In the first play, Dogg's Hamlet, nearly every character speaks a "foreign," language called Dogg. I say "foreign," because, in reality, the language uses all English words, albeit with altered meanings. For instance, more polite or innocuous phrases such as afternoon and squire mean in Dogg "get stuffed," and "bas%@$#," respectfully. On the flipside, an insulting phrase, "cretinous git," which we could recognize as insulting, means in Dogg, "What time is it, sir?"

The point of that reference is this--words only have the meaning which we give them. Theoretically, any phrase can be insulting, so why not use any words whatsoever?

As you can see, the subjectivity of language makes it so that the offensiveness argument doesn't wash.


Alternate Activities

My opponent then moves on to argue that we can do alternate activities to deal with anger. The main two problems I have with this statement are thus: 1) the examples he cited are long term anger management, and 2) expletives are not used soley for anger--but I'll get to that second contention momentarily.


Opening Statements

I'll be using two main points to defend that we should all be able to use expletives at will.


1. We all have the right to expression.

When discussing whether anything should be done or not done, we must take into account whether we have the right to do such things. And it is true that, generally speaking, we all have the right to expression.

For Americans, the right to freedom of speech and expression is guarenteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution (or Third Article of the Bill of Rights) [3]. For any non-Americans, or Americans, for that matter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, in Article 19, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression." [4]. So, do expletives fall under the category of expression? Of course! Thus, it is established that we all have the right to use expletives for any kind of expression, whether it be anger, or artistic, or otherwise.


2. Never use them?
Ever?

The second big point that I wish to make is that to suggest never using expletives is too extreme, and that there are appropriate and inappropriate situations for use.

For example, if one were to stub his/her toe, would it be offensive to swear to his/herself? No, as either a) no one is around to hear it, or b) the aggression is not directed at any person, and is understandable in said situation. Another example of an appropriate situation is, in certain situations, in informal settings with informal friends. If no one takes issue with their use, why suggest a complete elimination of their use?


Thank you, and I await my opponent's reply.


References

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth, written by Tom Stoppard.
[3] http://www.constitution.org...
[4] http://www.un.org...

Debate Round No. 1
debate250

Pro

My opponent's first argument about interpreting language in different ways does have a flaw. This argument doesn't work because as a society we've assigned meaning behind our words. While that particular book may have changed the meanings of common words, it's not the way that most members of our society think of words. We invented language in order to communicate with each other. We cannot communicate with each other if each word means something different to each one of us. Therefore, we've made them mean the same thing. Because of that some words are offensive. Expletives fit into that category, and therefore, should not be used as they do have bad meanings according to what most of our society believes. Therefore, that argument does not work as we've assigned words meaning, and that means that expletives do have bad meanings and meanings behind them because of the way that people have constructed language.
My opponent's second argument is that when expletives are used for anger; the other items that I suggested were long term. However, I'd say that all of them can be achieved within 5 minutes to the extent where any anger would be gone. However, it could save someone days, weeks, or even longer of being upset and having broken relationships. I would definitely say that something that is only 5 minutes long is worth saving someone that pain and the relationships that could be broken by one simple word. They are much better ways of dealing with anger, and therefore, are better ways to express stress and anger as they don't take that long, but they can save a consequence that could last a very long time. Overall, expletives should not be used for anger as there are fairly short activities that can get out anger and yet save pain and hurt.
One of my opponent's other arguments is what people have the right to do. However, we shouldn't always do what we have the right to do, yet my opponent didn't realize this while making their argument. People have the legal right to buy five bottles of alcohol and drink it in one go. They have the legal and moral rights to do that. However, it's damaging for their health and could have serious consequences. What people have the right to do isn't always the best option. Also, someone could argue what people don't have the right do like having a revolution against a bad ruler, and that protesting is actually what is morally right even if people aren't allowed to express their opinions in that place. We are not here to debate that point, but what people technically have the right to do isn't what is always right. Expletives are just like the wine; they may help temporarily, but in the end just like the wine will damage health; expletives will damage relationships and make everyone feel worse in the end. Overall, just because someone has the right to do something; it doesn't make it the responsible or best thing to do.
Firstly, if nobody is around to hear the expletive, that doesn't make it alright to use it. Let's say a five year old walks into the room at that moment. They could end up hearing something damaging. You cannot take that risk that nobody is about. Someone could come, and then, major consequences could ensue. However, let's eliminate even that risk. Let's say that the person is in the middle of a walk which nobody is on, and there are no people for miles, or if someone, was driving alone in a car on the way to work. The first problem with using them then is that because of the way the human brain works, you'll get used to saying them. If that happens, then when it's not appropriate you'll not think about it, and because it's your natural response, you'll end up using them. Even if that didn't happen, it's damaging to yourself. Why should you say a word so harmful and so offensive? It doesn't provide any benefit to you in the end. Then, you have said something that is offensive and bad, and it could end up damaging you because there is no reason that anyone should say those things. There's just no good reason even if you're alone as it doesn't help. I think this translates to my opponent's other point about informal settings. They just have such bad meanings that it doesn't matter who's there just for your own personal sake you shouldn't be saying those things. Also, someone could feel uncomfortable but not want to express it. This fact would probably not make them enjoy being with their friends and ruin the occasion for them. You can't take the risk, and it's better to be safe. Overall, you shouldn't say it for your own personal sake, and you don't know guaranteed who's around and who will take offense and not take offense.
Overall, expletives are bad and damaging. People should not use words which society assigns such bad meanings. They only make society worse and ruin friendships. When has expletives actually helped relationships? It ruins many more than it helps. There isn't any good reason why such harmful words should be used. I like the following quote because it expresses the importance of friendship. The reason for this quote is because this is what can be ruined by expletives. All of the trust that one once had which is expressed in this quote can suddenly go away and pain and misery can follow instead. Here is the quote,"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him" (Ralph Waldo Emerson). This quote just proves the trust and belief that can disappear if these words are used. Overall, expletives should never be used as nothing good comes out of them and they are extremely painful and damaging.

Sources:
http://www.lifeoptimizer.org...
DetectableNinja

Con

Thanks for the reply.

Refutations of Pro's Defense

1. Interpretation of Language

My opponent attempts to refute my point by saying that "as a society we've assigned meaning behind our words." While this is true that, generally speaking, swear words have negative connotations and meanings, he's missing the point. Pro's argument relies on the idea that people can be offended by expletives, and thus should never be used.

Again, I'll repeat my refutation of this: practically any word or phrase can and does offend some people. People may have a bad experience with something, and ccan be offended by any mention of a reminder of that event. If we allow words and phrases which offend people to be used, then why make a special exception for expletives?

On top of this, while Pro constantly says how damaging and hurtful these words are, he never provides any support except for the assertion that friendships get broken by a person saying one expletive. It's honestly begging the question that a swear word can destroy an entire relationship.


2. Anger and Expletives

Again, with this, Pro only addresses half of my argument. He says that indeed those techniques can eliminate anger in five minutes. While I see what he's saying, he assumes that the only reason expletives are used is for anger--my argument will now start to go in the direction of refuting that.

I did not make it clear, but what I was implying was that expletives are used for other things, such as artistic expression, or expression for entertainment. This can be backed up by citing any number of movies (Step Brothers), TV shows (The Sopranos), music (Reel Big Fish), plays (Death of a Salesman), musicals (Avenue Q), or standup comedians (George Carlin). To say that none of those things should use expletives ever is a denial of civil liberty and expression. To say that they don't count as expletives is both untrue, and it negates the resolution, which says that expletives must NEVER be used.


Defense Against Pro's Refutations

1. Right to Expression

It is very true that certain things we have the right to do we shouldn't. But I am not arguing that we should use expletives, merely that it is unreasonable and not right to say we should never do something which does have justifiable uses, as well as something which we have the right to do. And again, Pro claims that expletives damage relationships without examples.

As an aside, in political philosophy, it has been practically agreed that people have the right to revolution, so that argument is refuted as well [1].


2. "Never use them? Ever?"

With Pro's refutation of my first point about no one around to hear the words, he assumes far too much for his refutation to be plausible--namely, that swear words are automatically damaging and offensive and bad--none of which have been proven. That extreme assumption makes both his point about someone overhearing as well as his point about "why would you say that," fallacious at best, and downright silly at worst. Not only that, but to further refute: in response to the agument that someone could overhear, that would be akin to saying that, because I could be hit by a car while crossing the street, I should never cross the street--it's simply a farfetched notion. In fact, the only valid point he makes is that one may grow accustomed to expletives, and even then, people do have self-control. These same statements from me apply to his views about the informal situation--sure someonecan be uncomfortable, but, tying in with hi later statement about trust, why wouldn't someone express their discomfort?

And, lastly, to address his final paragraph: again, I sound like a broken record, but he makes unfounded claims that expletives make society worse and ruins friendships. As well, he makes a very poor connection between use of expletives and lack of trust, and thus, he still fails to defend his resolution.

Thank you, and I await his reply.


Reference

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
debate250

Pro

Firstly, my opponent's first argument may be somewhat true, but it does have a flaw. My opponent said that any word could bring up painful memories. I'd agree to this like if someone has just gone through a divorce; any mention of someone's relationship can bring up painful memories and emotions. However, expletives have a much higher chance of offensiveness. Many more people would get upset hearing expletives then other common words. Talking about a relationship wouldn't offend most people, but expletives would offend many people. We have assigned words meaning, and because of this, expletives are offensive to many more people than the mention of a specific event that will only be painful to one individual. Overall, my opponent's argument doesn't work because of the meaning that we've assigned words and language, so that one particular word like an expletive can be offensive to more than a few specific individuals.
I'll use a possible example of how an expletive could damage a friendship. Firstly, if the person was sensitive, an expletive used directly at them could be very harmful or painful on its own. This could be extremely damaging to a friendship, and it may take that one person weeks to recover. It can be very shocking and hard on that one person. Secondly, what if the expletive was used in a discriminatory way? In this case if somone is discriminating against race or gender and using expletives as their means of doing it; now expletives on their own have gotten a lot worse. This could offend someone even more if they feel like they're being discriminated against by the other person using expletives. Overall, with sensitive people or people who feel like they're being discriminated against it is very easy for someone to get extremely offended thus ruining a relationship by using one expletive.
I'd agree with my opponent that expletives can be used for art. However, I'd say they shouldn't be. My opponent says that it's a denial of expression. However, there are much more creative ways of expressing yourself than expletives. Some of the best songs and books never use expletives, yet they're often the ones that are most popular. It's not denying expression; it simply getting rid of this bad language that should never be used. What if someone didn't do enough research, and took one of their children to one of these plays or movies with expletives? Then, by the time that they've walked out the child has already heard the bad langauage. If we had no expletives, there would still be other things that wouldn't be appropriate, but at least it would eleminate some of the risk. Also, as I said before, some of the best pieces of art ever never used expletives. Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, William Shakespeare, and the list goes on. These are authors that barely ever use expletives, yet they are considered some of the best writers of all time. Therefore, it wouldn't be a denial of creative expression; it would just be getting rid of the bad expression. Any emotion or event could still be potrayed well without expletives. Overall, I believe that most of the best art even never used expletives, and people can still express themselves very well without expletives.
Firstly about political philosophy that may be true, but The Bill of Rights is a legal item whereas that is simply an idea. It could be illegal to protest, but people could still do it because it's morally right. This applies to expletives because people do have the right to use them, but they still shouldn't. Also, I'd like to ask my opponent what other justifiable uses do expletives have? When have expletives actually helped relationships? As in my earlier example with friendship I have proven how expletives can damage relationships. Someone could be sensitive to them and feel uncomfortable, and that could ruin the relationship. If soemone is calling it directly at someone, that can make that person feel really bad about themselves and start wondering what they did wrong when there is nothing that they did wrong, and this can make them feel upset and not want to spend time around the person who called them that expletive. Finally expletives can be used in a discriminatory or derogatory manner. Even if that's not the person's intention or if it is a joke, it could go wrong and really damage a person. Discrimination is a big issue, and expletives certainly don't help as they can make that discrimination even worse. Also, even if someone means it as a joke, they shouldn't make jokes like that, but then they've said it, and the fact that they used an expletive has made the joke a lot worse. If this happens enough times, it can leave a person feeling incredibly bad or even have suicidal thoughts, and the expletive could have helped to do that bad effect. Overall, expletives can majorly damage relationships, and therefore, they should never be used.
Firstly, I believe I've already adressed in my previous paragraphs who expletives can be damaging or offensive. Also, as to the someone overhearing, depending on the situation. With my opponent's car example if the chances were high enough of the person overhearing, it would be more like crossing a six lane interstate. You wouldn't do that as it's too big a road to cross. The same thing applies to expletives. If there is a 5 year old, in the next room, and you stub your toe you're not going to close the door or say it quietly as it's an automatic reaction. The 5 year old could overhear, not understand, and start using the word, and then everything's gone wrong. Or what if you were in a busy shopping mall with little kids all around? Then again there would be a high chance of someone overhearing. Overall, in some situations there is a high chance of someone overhearing the language, and therefore, it's one of the reasons not to use expletives. I'd agree with my opponent; that people do have self-control, but people also have automatic ways of reacting to certain situations without thinking about it. If you get used to saying expletives while you're alone if you injure yourself while you're out, you're not going to think of the situation you're in; you're simply going to do what you always have done and use that expletive. This could lead to someone overhearing, and especially if it was a young kid, this could lead to problems. Secondly, someone might not express their discomfort. If someone's enjoying an evening out with friends, and someone uses an expletive, this might make the person very uncomfortable. However, they might not want to say it. Firstly, they might find it embarassing in front of their friends to say that. Secondly, they might think that it could ruin their evening out. Finally, they may think that it could estrange their friends by making a comment like that, and their friends would think less of them beause of it.
Overall, expletives can make friendships worse by making people who don't like expletives uncomfortable. Alternatively, they can be used for discrimination in discriminatory jokes that should never have been told in the first place which can make them worse. Overall, expletives are bad and should never be used.
DetectableNinja

Con

Once more, thank you for responding. Seeing as my opponents rebuttal wasn't exactly organized into sections, I'll rebut each point based on my own R2 sections.


Rebuttal/Defense Against Pro's Arguments

1. Interpretation of Language

I have a feeling that this round will make me sound like a broken record. However, not only does Pro make unfounded claims about how damaging expletives can be, but, not only that, he never provides any reason why expletives should never be used ever across the board: besides the idea that people are offended.

Even then, I could agree that discriminatory or racist expletives ought not to be used; however, this does not apply to every expletive.


2. Art and Expletives

My opponent does make a valid point here that there are indeed other ways of expression than expletives. However, an artist's reasons for choosing those words is none of our business--merely that of the artist's. My opponent then tries to use the argument that children could hear expletives. This argument fails for two reasons: 1) The idea that children should not hear expletives is an opinion, not fact, and 2) the fault and responsbility falls on the parent, and most definitely not the artist: if a parent is that upset about their child hearing expletives, than they should take it upon themselves to do the research.

As well, Pro proceeds to use the same point about not taking risks that I have rebutted before. After this, my opponent says something which is vey untrue. Pro says that the best pieces of art have not used expletives. However, this, in many cases, is false. The example I will look at shortly is good ol' Billy Shakespeare. William's plays were, in many instances, just as crude, violent and bloody as they were beautiful. In Shakespeare's arguably most well-known play, Romeo and Juliet, there is a street fight which arises from a bit thumb. In older times, the biting of one's thumb was the 16th century equivalent of saying "F you," or giving someone the finger [1]. So, indeed, many many many works of art do indeed use expletives or equivalents to expletives. On top of this, Pro says something which does mildly offend me: he implies that there is indeed such a thing as "bad expression." I'd agree to calling something "inappropriate," or something similar, but "bad?" There isn't such a thing.


3. Our Right to Expession

At this point, I feel my point has been made by the idea that something is our right--but I do recognize the fact that something being a right doesn't make it a good idea. However, I do not have to show that expletives are a good idea--I am merely negating the resolution.


4. Never Use Them?
Ever?

Again, my opponent demands that I show that expletives are justifiable in other situations. But, again, to argue that expletives should not never be used is not to argue that expletives SHOULD be used. Not only that, but the very fact that I have provided a justifiable use of expletives shows that there are situations in which expletives are acceptable to use. In addition, once again, my oponent has not proven that expletives always damage relationships, and, again, I do not need to show that expletives are helpful.

Pro then proceeds to make the same assumptions as before--discrimination and harming relationships. He then makes a very emotionally charged, and, to be frank, ridiculous claim that a single expletive can make someone suicidal. However, a person cannot have suicidal thoughts based off of an expletive alone; indeed, suicidal thoughts are always brought on by many different life circumstances and mental illnesses, such as depression and insomnia [2]. To make the terribly charged statement that a bad word can cause someone to wish to die is unreasonable.

Next, my opponent follows the same assumption that children hearing expletives is bad, and that if a five-year-old heard me swear, they'd begin using the word themselves. However, if a person was truly concerned, onecould teach the child why the word is inappropriate.


All in all, my opponent's argument has amounted to little more than the idea that expletives sometimes offend/make people uncomfortable, and has not given enough evidence to show that expletives shoud never be used across the board. Thus, the resolution sill does not stand.


Thank you.



References

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.emedicinehealth.com...

Debate Round No. 3
debate250

Pro

In response to my opponent's first argument I'd say that people being offended is enough. If people get seriously hurt and offended, then that's a good enough reason for us not to use them as a society. Why would we keep doing something that has a high chance of offending someone? My opponent's argument is the equivalent to arguing that we should allow bullying to go on in schools. It has a high chance of seriously hurting someone, but my opponent's argument is the equivalent to arguing that bullying should continue because of right of free speech. However, isn't the fact that the bullying hurts the person more important than free speech? This applies to expletives. If it hurts people, then why should our society use them? Also, with discriminatory expletives it's very easy to make something that wasn't intended to be discriminatory into a discriminatory expletive depending on perspective. Depending on the person, one person may view something as not being discriminatory, whereas another person may be very offended and feel that they're being discriminated against. Overall, people being offended is a good enough reason for expletives to not be used.

Secondly, my opponent argues that children overhearing expletives being bad is an opinion. I'd agree it is an opinion, but this whole debate, and every other debate on this site is a matter of opinion. Therefore, I am of the opinion that children should not overhear expletives. It's extremely damaging, and when children call each other the expletives and try it out; it's even more likely to ruin friendships than it is for adults. It will probably also get the children into big trouble. I challenge my opponent to provide examples where children overhearing expletives is good. Secondly, about it being the responsibility of the parents; sometimes the parents don't do enough good research. If they don't do the research, then it's too late. Once the children have heard the expletives, there's a problem. This problem wouldn't be a problem if the artist never used expletives. It would be a lot better for the children. Also, even with adults, why should we use expletives in our society when they're so hurtful? It would be a lot better if we cut them out. Overall, expletives should not be used because there is a big risk that children could overhear them, and they are offensive words.

Thirdly, even though Shakespeare may have put that scene in, what did it actually add? They could have had an argument over something else. Shakespeare could still have used his amazing and stunning language without this being the instigator for this scene. Even if the some of the best pieces of art do use expletives, there are many which don't. There can still be great art without expletives, and it is unnecessary in any piece of art as it can be offensive. There was no need for these pieces of art to use expletives, and they can still have the amazing effect that they have on readers. Also, I'd like to debate the other point in this paragraph: the point about there being bad expression. This would be a great debate in itself, and it's one I'd like to have. However, if my opponent wishes to pursue that point further, I'd argue that there is such a thing as bad expression. If something is inappropriate or offensive, then why isn't it right to call it bad? If something ruins people's lives, hurts people, and damages friendships then it's bad. It's had bad effects on people, and therefore, I'd argue that it could be called bad. It's an interesting debate in itself, and I'm happy to pursue it further if my opponent is. Overall, expletives don't add anything to art, and they can offend viewers potentially; especially, if they are young.

I'd like to ask my opponent here about how they can possibly argue the opposite of expletives should never be used without suggesting that it could be appropriate to use them. The exact opposite would be expletives can be used, or expletives can sometimes be used. It's impossible to say that expletives can't never be used without arguing that they can be used. If my opponent is arguing this, then their argument doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense what they're arguing for in this case. Overall, I'd just like to ask my opponent how they can be saying that expletives should not never be used without saying that expletives can be used.

I'm not arguing that expletives always damage relationships. That's not what I'm trying to argue. I'm arguing that expletives have a high chance of damaging relationships, and they should not be used because of this high risk. It can do this because someone can take serious offense, or a joke can turn discriminatory. Expletives make a statement that is probably offensive anyway even worse. It can cause a serious amount of damage. Again I'm not saying that someone will want to kill themselves over one expletive alone. I'm saying that expletives over a longer period of time can make people want to kill themselves. High school is a good example where this could happen. I think that my opponent would agree that if someone was laughed at for a long enough time because of their race or because they were gay; it could make them want to kill themselves. It's happened in the past. Expletives can aid that. If someone is called an expletive to aid the discrimination, it can then make them want to kill themselves faster or have a larger desire. Expletives in themselves can be an extremely painful form of discrimination. It probably won't do that with one single expletive, but over a long period of time; it can seriously damage people even to the extent where they may think of suicide. Overall, expletives used for discrimination or by calling someone expletives over a long enough time may have extreme consequences such as suicide.

My opponent follows with the argument about children. However, I think my opponent could agree that children often don't think about their actions, and once they know the word, it could be damaging. If someone has a five year old child, they go to a movie with them thinking there will be nothing bad, and then they hear an expletive; the parent could take the child out, but the child's still heard. The parent can sit down with the child and talk about how they're never to use that word. However, the child may not listen or understand how bad it is. They could go and talk about it to their friends the next day. Then from this the expletive has spread. My point is that they child may not listen, or they may want to try out using the word. They might also get really frustrated and use it as a resource for their anger. It's much less risky if the child could never hear the expletive in the first place.

Overall, there were many flaws in my opponent's argument. They cannot see how damaging expletives can be and what they can do over time. I believe that expletives offending people is enough. If they offend a lot of people, and we assign bad meanings to these words as a society; then why would we want to use them? That's enough of a reason in itself. Overall, expletives shouldn't be used because of the amount of harm that can potentially be created by them.
DetectableNinja

Con

I'll keep this short, as Pro's arguments have relied on reasoning which I have rebutted already.

Rebuttals
/Defenses

1.
Not only is my opponent reiterating a tired principle which he hasn't adequately defended, he also blatantly contradicts himself here. One of my arguments revolves arond the idea of different people looking at things in different ways. My opponent suggested that that was not good enough. However, here he turns around and uses that argument in his favor, saying discrimination is subjective. So I ask: which is it? Is my argument as valid as yours, or is your defense invalid?


2.
At this point, my opponent is arguing a point in a ridiculous manner. He states that it is his OPINION that children hearing expletives are bad, and then assumes that his opinion is valid with NO evidence backing it up. This same problem is riddled throughout my opponents arguments. Secondly, I remind my opponent that, in the agreement we made before, and just using common sense, it is not my responsibility to show when children hearing expletives is good--on the contrary, he must prove why it is bad. The resolution is talking about a complete stopping of something; ergo, he must show why we should end it other than baseless and unsupported assertions.

This is in no way meant to be a copout of my responsibility, but the truth is that it isn't a given that expletives are what my opponent claims they are. Sure, they have a negative connotaion assigned to them, but my opponent is honestly just saying things now.


3.
The same thing applies here: my opponent continues to claim that expletives ruin lives and destroy relationships with no back up. Please prove your points. As well, who says that art doesn't add anything to art?


4.
I have indeed shown that expletives can indeed be used--namely due to free speech and artistic expression. My opponent's rebuttal of this relies almost soley on the assertion that "people could be offended; ergo, it shouldn't be used." But, I 'd like to offer the idea that, perhaps part of the art piece could possibly be to offend people. What my opponent is suggesting is a detriment to expression, plain and simple.

Not only that, but if you see my #2 response, I do not have to show tht they are good to use (although I believe I have).


5.
Really, this section shows the fallacy in my opponent's thinking. He says that, in reality, we should ban expletives to prevent people from being offended/prevent the risk. However, he is using the same overzealous reasoning of risk that I deconstructed earlier.

On top of this, what Pro really seems to be arguing against is bullying and discrimination, not the actual expletives themselves. His reasoning seems to be that expletives are a tool for bullying, and thus shouldn't be used. However, the same can be said for ANY form of expression. To make a special case for a certain set of words would be rather ridiculous.


6,
For this last section, please see my abve response for the children passage.


Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
debate250

Pro

I wasn't suggesting that everything could be taken as discrimination which is what my opponent appears to be saying here. I was saying that language that many people could take as discrimination. It's ridiculous to say that everything could be taken as discriminatory, and even though it can, it's very unlikely for a lot of language to be taken as discriminatory. Asking how someone is couldn't be taken as discriminatory for most people. Actually, as to the fact that I turned around my opponent's argument, firstly you can do that in debate. Secondly, that one argument can be used for multiple purposes; it may be a similar argument, but it's definitely not the same. My opponent is arguing that people see things different ways as a reason for expletives whereas I see it as because people see things different ways, expletives shouldn't be used because it's offensive. This is the point of debating to turn around points to your advantage, and I cannot understand how my opponent is using this as an example of contradiction because this is what you do in debating. Thirdly, I believe I have defended my point well since I have put forward a large variety of examples. However, I'll summarize that point again; expletives can be used for discrimination or interpreted for discrimination. It is ludicrous for my opponent to suggest that this couldn't be offensive if expletives were used for discrimination. Also, some people can interpret expletives as offensive because of the meaning of the words, and if they are called that expletive, it can seriously damage them. It can make them think that they are not liked, and a joke can turn very bad. While my opponent keeps saying I haven't provided adequate defensive, I'd like to ask how because I believe I've defended my arguments well, and I've provided a lot of evidence as to how it could be offensive. I do not understand based on what I've done how my opponent cannot understand my argument.

As to my opponent's second point of course my opponent has to defend it. My opponent is being a hypocrite now saying that I haven't done adequate defense, and then in their argument providing absolutely no evidence for a rebuttal to my point. I've made a point, and I'd expect my opponent to try to defend it. They say that they're not giving up on their responsibility, but by not even trying to respond and saying it's not their duty is really getting out of their responsibility. Debating is about responding to your opponent's points, and my opponent hasn't done that, yet they say that I've not done any defense. This is a ridiculous thing to say. However, despite this I will provide more evidence for my opponent to understand my point. Children hearing expletives I believe is bad firstly because there is no positive at all. I've challenged my opponent to provide a challenge, and they haven't done that. If nothing good comes out of something, then why should it be done. It's like having a revolution against a great government; it just has no benefit. Secondly, through one child hearing expletives it spreads. Soon all of the kids in their class will be using these expletives. Schools have policies against this language, and although there are other reasons, it will get kids in trouble. They may have been great kids but just hear their friends using these words and then start using them. It may get well behaved kids in trouble. While my opponent could argue that their parents could stop them, this is not realistic. The parents aren't everywhere and may not even know that the child knows the word until they get called into the Principal's office. However, this isn't a strong enough argument on its own. This is just surface level, but it is true, and my opponent needs to do some rebuttals to show how this isn't the case. Now I'd like to look at a deeper level to support my surface level argument. I would like to delve into the moral issue of why kids or anyone for that matter shouldn't use expletives. It is simply wrong. Why would you use words with such bad meanings? Why would you do something that is so offensive? It doesn't help us; for the most part these dreadful words only harm. People don't often say the meanings of the words or think about the words when they're saying them. Then after it's ruined friendships because their friend feels like that person is calling them something when they never intended it to sound that way. This isn't a hard concept it is simply consequences like someone would teach a young child. You do a negative action, and there will be some kind of negative consequence. Do a positive action, and then there will be a positive consequence. These words mean bad things and are mean which means that they simply shouldn't be used. Overall, I do feel it's my opponent's responsibility to reply to my argument which I've made.

My opponent in their third argument seems to be calling expletives art. Here I'd just like to point out that they never mentioned this anywhere else in their debate. Also, how are expletives art? Nobody thinks of a word alone as art. There are some amazing and beautiful words, but they need to be used in some manner to make art. I don't understand what my opponent is saying right there. Also, they may make art, but it's not a good piece of art. Instead it's an awful and offensive piece of art that should never have used those words in the first place. I will continue this in my next paragraph when I'll talk about art and why expletives shouldn't be used. Although I believe I've provided adequate evidence to how expletives can ruin lives, I'll summarize. My opponent seems to be avoiding responding to my point. They haven't actually provided any evidence of how I've not made my point will. However, I'll still summarize. People can interpret language a certain way, and expletives run a high risk of being offensive. People shouldn't call other people something so mean and attacking. It doesn't benefit people. They can be interpreted in a bad way. I do not see how my opponent cannot see that if someone calls their friend an expletive as a joke; it can go wrong. It can start a horrible argument which can then result in a relationship falling apart. Overall, expletives can very easily be interpreted badly and shouldn't be used.

Expletives may be made to be offensive, but they're offensive in the wrong way. People get angry at the expletive rather than what they're meant to get upset by. There was a quote to display, but I've forgotten the quote. However, it gave a shocking statistic, and then it had an expletive in that same sentence. In the end it said that you cared more that they used the expletive than the shocking statistic. Expletives aren't a creative way, and there are many more effective ways to express what you want to say and create an emotional response to the right thing. Overall, expletives aren't the best way to express emotion or make people feel a certain way.

Overall, my opponent has provided very limited evidence for their side. Expletives should not be used because of how offensive they can be, and my opponent has displayed no positive reasons to justify expletives.
DetectableNinja

Con

I thank debate250 for creating this debate with an interesting resolution. Similar to my R4 argument, I shall first refute and defend my opponent's arguments and my own, respectively. Then, I shall present my concluding statements.

Refutations/Defenses

1.
With regards to Pro's sentiments about the multiple-perspective argument, he is indeed contradicting himself. He says that my argument that any phrase can be considered offensive is invalid, but then turns around and says that any expletive can be considered offensive and discriminatory. He then uses a red herring in the form of talking about how debate works. Not only that, but he says that it is ludicrous for me to think that expletives aren't offensive when used for discrimination; but this is COMPLETELY irrelevant. The issue that he is pushing is that expletives should never be used, not discrimination. His statement would be akin to saying "It is ludicrous to believe that knives aren't deadly when they're used for murder." Of course, but he's drawing an automatic correlation that ALL expletives are used for are discrimination, which is clearly false, as I have demonstrated in previous rounds.

He then says that he has indeed defended his claims--this is a flat out lie. All he has presented is heresay evidence and hypotheticals, with no true sources or real-life examples to back up these claims.


2.
I think at this point my opponent is just acting dishonest. He claims that I have not defended my position--indeed, he is being the true hypocrite. I have rebutted his heresay claims AND presented counter-examples,with sources and evidence to back my claims; he has not. He then again resorts to his speech about debating. He says that he's said why children hearing expletives are bad before--in fact, he just stated why in this last round. Not only this, but this is also a bare assertion.

He then challenges me with the idea that expletibes will spread among children. To this, I still remain firm that it is the parent's responsibility. And not only that, but if a child hears an expletive, as they most definitely will, why care? Apparently Pro hasn't shown why, as all he's said is that they are horrible, but with no real examples or solid evidence to prove it. Lastly, he says I should refute his arguments--which I have, as I have shown before.


3.
I will admit that this was a typo by me. I wsn't calling expletives art, but what i MEANT to say was "who says expletives don't add anything to art?" Apparently Pro says in his usual vehement and unfounded way. He claims this is founded in the same principle that he first said was invalid. Thus, the same contradiction.

And, again, he relies on the "what if," idea. While this might work for other resolutions, I hope the voters will see that to suggest a complete removal of something requires more than a what-if: it needs concrete examples.


4.
Pro here claims that there is some fabled quote, but can't seem to find it that will support his claim. Unfortunately, this real example was never brought forth, and to believe it exists based on heresay is illogical. He then decides to pass judgement on the whole set of words--again, with no support.


Conclusion

Overall, I hope that you the voters will see the sheer fallacy in my opponent's arguments, which, as I have indicated, are pure heresay, unfounded and, to be honest, misdirected. Not only are the arguments he gave very weak, but they are more directed toward a bannign of discrimination, not expletive words themselves.

While his lack of support is bad enough for his case, I have presented at LEAST one case (artistic expression) with evidence to back it up, if not MORE, that justifies the use of expletives in at least some cases.

In other words: He didn't support his resolution, I reuted it and provided counter-examples. Thus, the resolution is negated.


Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Logic_on_rails 5 years ago
Logic_on_rails
I did an extremely similar debate on this issue. Suffice to say, I found that the pro side can not win as there are reasons to swear (my debate was on 'no reason to swear' as opposed to 'good reason') , and when limited to individual subjects (like an artist in the case of 'never should be used') it is impossible to refute everything using broader arguments.

Now, something like 'An increase in the use of stronger expletive is on the whole bad for society' would be very interesting to debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
I think Con missed the straightforward argument. Profanity is language reserved for expressing very strong emotions. It's use ought to be restricted to when there is a need to communicate strong emotion and when there is a good chance the audience will understand it correctly. Use it art, cited by Con, is a good example of that, but it's more general. Pro won several of the points, but Con only needed one example to defeat "never."

Pro should use headings and leave an extra line after paragraphs. A "wall of text" is harder to read. There were a few spelling errors in the debate that running the speller checker (look for the link before submitting) would have caught. It wasn't a big problem.

Use phrases like, "My opponent has still not refuted ..." to restate a point.

Overall, a good debate with clear arguments.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Pro please space out your paragraphs.
Posted by debate250 5 years ago
debate250
Sorry for repeating all of those comments. There was an error message, so I didn't think that it had posted them, so I posted them again, but it must have posted it the first time.
Posted by debate250 5 years ago
debate250
Sorry for repeating all of those comments. There was an error message, so I didn't think that it had posted them, so I posted them again, but it must have posted it the first time.
Posted by debate250 5 years ago
debate250
Yes, you are arguing that they can be used in certain situations, and I'm arguing that they can't ever be used in any situation.
Posted by debate250 5 years ago
debate250
Yes, you are arguing that they can be used in certain situations.
Posted by debate250 5 years ago
debate250
Yes, you are arguing that they can be used in certain situations.
Posted by debate250 5 years ago
debate250
Yes you are arguing that they can be used in certain situations.
Posted by debate250 5 years ago
debate250
Yes you are arguing that they can be used in certain situations.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
debate250DetectableNinjaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A good debate by new members. Golly! Pro's problem is that the resolution says "never" and that's difficult to argue. Con scratched up odd cases, as in art, and did well enough to get the edge. Con might have more directly argued that it's appropriate when a person needs to convey strong emotion to a known audience. Pro won the free speech point, allowed is not necessarily wise. Pro also successful argued that it's about probability of offense. But art needs strong words sometimes.
Vote Placed by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
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Reasons for voting decision: SG: Wall of Text. Arguments: Swear words are not always harmful. Everything can be interpreted as mean.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument is negated by Con's explanation that there are appropriate and inappropriate situations in which to use expletives. "Never" using them was rather a high burden on Pro. SG to Con for Pro's walls of text. Con also organized contentions a lot better with appropriate headings making his portion of the debate a lot easier to read.
Vote Placed by Lickdafoot 5 years ago
Lickdafoot
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Reasons for voting decision: Con pretty much won by saying that using them alone doesn't hurt anyone (which refutes cons case entirely.) He also made his case clear, had good arguments and refuted cons arguments. Pro made a lot of assertions that were not backed up by facts. Con also gets SG for making a case that was easy to follow.