The Instigator
NobodyMove
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
joepbr
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Freedom of speech should be practiced in all instances without exception

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
joepbr
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,219 times Debate No: 53946
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

NobodyMove

Pro

Use your first for acceptance. I'm arguing that right to practice freedom of speech takes precedence over including but not limited to racist and sexist comments made in public.
Regular rules. You know them.
joepbr

Con

I'm going to assume that the first round is for acceptance only.

I must notice that the resolution claims that freedom of speach is absolute, and should have no restriction, therefore, if I can prove even one single case where freedom of speach should be restricted, the resolution will be disproved.

Thank you, and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
NobodyMove

Pro

Hey, thanks for accepting the debate. Before we put forth our arguments, I'd like to invite your attention to the fact that I'm arguing for the protection of all kinds of speeches by the federal law (along with its equivalent in the ancient and medieval periods) and in no manner do I condemn public moral defamation of any subject caught using any kind of speech including but not limited to hate speech. I simply argue that freedom of speech - in all forms - should be recognized as a universal human right.
Due to time constraints, I won't be convering hate speech and controversial opinions in this round, over which the whole debate revolves around. I'll make my case in the next round.
Hope you have the best of times arguing, and hope you hope to demolish my arguments utterly.

That being said, please allow me to state my case that free speech may be protected:

#1: Free speech is a human right.

The Oxford Dictionary defines freedom of speech as "the right to express any opinions without constraint or restraint."[1] As such, free speech then allows people to express their opinions, regardless of their nature. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares freedom of speech as a human right and states that federal law in all governments around the world should safeguard this basic, intrinsic human right. [2] It is important to realise that free speech doesn't allow people to act according to their own whims according to the definition.

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#2: Importance as a democratic ideal:

Restrictions imposed by a federal authority on the expression of speech naturally and subsequently debar people from expressing their honest opinions on matters included in the restricted category. This discourages essential and productive economic and political public debates. Freedom of speech is an absolutely intrinsic part of democracy without which a democratic system cannot function and hence is an essential prerequisite to run a democracy. [3]

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#3: What history teaches us.

Free speech as a right did not take deep roots in society until the 17th Century.[4] If we observe history before this period of time, we find that death and destruction on an unprecedented scale has been caused in the name of various causes.[5] Many were slaughtered and tortured for committing blasphemy and other similar offenses where they were denied the right to freely express themselves.[5] We come to understand that when free speech was yet to be recognised as a human right, many were executed for committing the apparently innocent crime of expressing their harmless opinions.
---
There've been regulations passed in certain countries prohibiting the use of hate speech. While hate speech is a loose term, (this is a point I'll make in the next round) it can be defined as "speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation." (notice that it doesn't include threatening behaviour) [6] Hate speech can then prove to be hurtful and offensive to certain groups which makes it a major and highly debated realm of free speech.
I'll make a case for hate speech in the next round due to severe time constraints which is the crux of this debate, anyway.

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

[2] http://www.un.org...

[3] http://www.youthmedia.eu...-

[4] http://law2.umkc.edu...

[5] http://markhumphrys.com...

[6] http://dictionary.reference.com...
joepbr

Con

Thanks pro for presenting your argument. I must say that I really liked all of your points, and the main reason for that is because none of them support your resolution. As I pointed in the acceptance round, the resolution does not present a simple defense of freedom of speech as a right, but it specifically claims it to be an absolute right, that should not have any kind of exception whatsoever.

In this argument, I intend to prove that such a right is

[1] Not recognized by nation or any international institution

[2] Not desirable to be recognized by either a moral standpoint or by common sense

[3] A logical impossibility

Freedom of speech have never been recognized as an absolute right

In your argument, you say you are arguing for the “protection of all kinds of speech by the federal law”, claiming that this is a human right that should be recognized. I believe that in that point, you are referring to the article XIX of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let’s see what this article states: (1)

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers

As you can see, this article does not provide protection to all kinds of speech, but only for the expression of opinions, information and ideas, so any kind of speech that isn’t an opinion, information or an idea isn’t protected by human rights. Under your own definition (2), for example, hate speech isn’t any of those, but merely a form of attack to a person or group.

Also, it’s important to notice that, even if laws don’t explicitly state exceptions to freedom of speech, it doesn’t mean they can’t exist. The 1st amendment of the US Constitution, for example, doesn’t set any exceptions to it; however, the Supreme Court of that country recognizes several cases where the freedom of speech should be restricted, including, but not restricted to the following cases: (3)

- Obscenity

- Child pornography

- Incitement to lawless action

- Defamation

- False advertisement

- Infringement of copyright

- Publishing of national security information

Considering that the United States is one of the countries that grant the broadest protections to free speech, it’s safe to assume that every country recognizes at least as many exceptions to freedom of speech as the US does, and therefore, no country recognizes this right as absolute.

Freedom of speech shouldn’t be recognized as an absolute right

You claim in your first round, that Freedom of Speech “takes precedence” over a non-exhaustive list of events, but since your resolution specifically asks for it to be practiced in all instances without exception, it can be inferred that you believe that the right to freedom of speech takes precedence over any other right, like for example, the rights to life, human dignity, safety, property or other freedoms. My point here is: That’s not morally acceptable!

In fact, the exceptions made to the right of free speech I pointed above are basically the recognition that other rights should take precedence. The right to life, for example, is one of the most important, if not THE most important human right. Placing the right to free speech above the right to life cannot be justified morally, once it would result condoning with incitement to murder.

There is also the more classical case of falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater, with the sole intention of creating mass panic. This could cause several deaths as a result of a stampede, and endanger the physical and psychological integrity of many people. By advocating for the recognition of the freedom of speech as an absolute right, would mean not only letting this type of action go unpunished, but also promoting it (your resolution clearly states that unrestricted freedom of speech should be practiced, and not just accepted in all instances). Morality and common sense dictates that human life and integrity should be protected over a simple liberty.

Unrestricted freedom of speech is a logical impossibility

It’s actually impossible to find a right that is so absolute that any type of exceptions can’t be attributed to it. Take for example the right to life: many people believe that this right takes precedence over literally every other, however, even in that interpretation, there is still one exception to this right: when it contradicts itself. That is, in a situation when it’s impossible to guarantee this right to a person without taking it away from another. The right of self-defense is derived from this contradiction.

The same thing could be applied to the right to free speech. Even if it was recognized as a right superior to every other, without exceptions, there would still be cases when one person could use their right to free speech to deprive someone from the same right, like for example, by interrupting the speaker in a debate or discourse. In that case, it would be logically impossible to unconditionally grant the right to free speech to both the speaker and the interrupter at the same time. Therefore, an absolute right to freedom of speech is impossible.

That said, I believe I have proven that allowing freedom of speech to be “practiced in all instances without exception” is something that isn’t, shouldn’t and can’t be done.

(1) - http://www.un.org...

(2) - http://dictionary.reference.com...

(3) - https://www.fas.org...

Debate Round No. 2
NobodyMove

Pro

According to it's definition, as we've already covered, freedom of speech dictates that I reserve the right to express myself in speech.
Thus, I have the right to change the resolution of this debate on this website, (but not without repercussions which follow) unless it states otherwise. Either way, this is to show you how the right to free speech is practiced beyond the simple realm of theory.
However, it would be insane and unfair to change the title of this debate at this juncture as my voters would agree.
Therefore, I would change the title of this debate to only something remarkably similar, to reduce the insanity created.
However, even the slightest forms of insanity should be invariably met with (a penalty) a point of conduct being awarded to con.
Owing to my high moral standards and respect for my adversary due to my religion, I will not make new arguments in this round to make this fair. (Chu-Chink.)
(In my defense, I created the resolution in a drunken stupor which should be penalized regardless, with a point)
The new resolution of this debate is: "Hate speech should be a part of free speech."
Also, it is imporant to notice that you haven't made any points to counter this, thus I am the hitherto default winner.
I do not break any rules of this website by doing this since I am still arguing for my case, but due to time constraints, haven't been able to do so in this round. [1][2][3]

However,
I must say, you've made absolutely remarkable points in the last round. Shame, they don't count.
joepbr

Con

I'm sorry, but I believe that you couldn't be more wrong.
Just because the right of free speech prevents a government from arresting or censoring whatever you say here, it doesn't mean that changing the resolution of a debate is right. Changing the resolution of this debate is breaking the most basic rule of debating: that the instigator and contender must argue the resolution originally presented. Ignoring the given resolution at the start of the debate is basically a concession, and not a simply conduct violation.

Now, you also claim that I have not provided any point to counter your "new resolution", but I actually have: When I analyze the article XIX of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I came to the conclusion that it only protects speeches that are opinions, information or ideas, while hate speech is none of those, but rather a form of attack (I could also add that changing the resolution of a debate also doesn't fit the definition of opinion, information or idea).

But since you have allowed resolutions to be changed, even though that shouldn't be allowed, I decided to ignore the rules of debating too and play along with your "rules".

I hereby change the resolution of this debate again to the following:

"The United States Should Institute an Official Presidential Underwear"

Now you may ask: "What the hell is a presidential underwear?!"
Well, we know that most countries use some symbolic element to represent the power that is invested in their head of state, usually used in inauguration ceremonies or special events, like for example:


Crowns:





Presidential sashes:

File:Dilma Rousseff - foto oficial 2011-01-09.jpg



Mitre, cane and other religious garments:



Presidential collar and mace:


Swords:


Military uniforms:


And other weird clothes:
File:Captains Regent Tomassoni, Rossi, Mancini and Selva.jpg


However, the president of the United States - recognized as the most powerful person in the world - doesn't have any kind of special symbol. Don't you think that the American president doesn't deserve a symbol that is worthy of his power?

Of course, he shouldn't just make a lousy copy of those losers above, so the only thing we can do is creating a symbol completely original, that can be deserving of the title of "symbol of the president of the United States".

That's why I propose that we institute a symbolic piece of clothing that is so mighty and powerful that all the others leaders of the world will kill themselves out of envy: the Presidential Underwear.



Inspired in the most powerful superhero of all times, w
hen using this article of power, the president, can put fear into any enemy of America, like Superman do with his enemies, be they communists, Arab terrorists, Persian terrorists, Pakistani terrorists, vietcongs, Chinese, Japanese, Nazis, dictators of banana republics, British colonists, innocent Native-Americans, the Spanish Armada, Mexican hats, Confederates, the German empire, the Russian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Russian revolution, the French revolution, Napoleon, Napoleon II, Napoleon III, Napoleon IV, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Canadians, Swiss, Norwegians, Bhutanese, the Principality of Sealand, and everything else that exists, have ever existed, will ever exist, or is just made up.



Admit it, you would think twice before attacking the United States if Obama wore something like this.

Debate Round No. 3
NobodyMove

Pro

I hope you're taking notes, lads. Someone doesn't fancy a free conduct point.

"I'm sorry, but I believe that you couldn't be more wrong."
And, I'm sorry, but I believe you couldn't be more wrong. Sound more credible?

"
Just because the right of free speech prevents a government from arresting or censoring whatever you say here, it doesn't mean that changing the resolution of a debate is right."

"Ignoring the given resolution at the start of the debate is basically a concession, and not a simply conduct violation."

Look at you shoving what's right in a debate down my throat. You know what's right in a debate? Citing sources. [1]

You should mention at the end of that paragraph, that those are strictly your high-school teachers' opinions [2] - not facts - since you haven't cited even a single source for all that long blabber, which I'd honestly come to expect.
Seems only one of us did our homework to check the rules of a debate. (Me. Applause.)

"...it only protects speeches that are opinions, information or ideas, while hate speech is none of those."

The article 20(2) of the UDHR controversially restricts the usage of hate speech [3] so, I'd rather stick to the First Amendment of the US Constitution which allows me to express myself freely in speech, seeing that I live in the US.

The First Amendment's protection is extended by the federal law, which doesn't include protection from repercussions. Hence, the conduct violation

Here's a list of Supreme Court cases, where the Constitutional Right of free speech allowed those accused of committing hate speech, or 'attacking' people verbally, insulting their dignity, to run free. [4]

"But since you have allowed resolutions to be changed, even though that shouldn't be allowed, I decided to ignore the rules of debating too and play along with your "rules"."

"Rules"? When I said there's a lack of them, you're claiming I called dibs? To what, traffic rules?
I've covered the rules of debating on this very specific website last round so, no luck there.

Oh, and it looks like it's not just me who's deviated a bit off the point.
Although, take note, your deviation isn't nearly similar to the original resolution which essentially knocks the debate over.
Hold on, someone here wants to say something...

Conduct point: "You shall not pass!"

"However, the president of the United States - recognized as the most powerful person in the world."

The image of a balding muscular Russian schmuck
comes to mind.









"That's why I propose that we institute a symbolic piece of clothing that is so mighty and powerful that all the others leaders of the world will kill themselves out of envy: the Presidential Underwear."

Don't think the rest of the presidential symbols need to be dropped to the knees, every time the president decides to take a dump.
Also, swear I just heard the toilets scream they have the exclusive right to the 'actual' presidential symbol.

"Admit it, you would think twice before attacking the United States if Obama wore something like this."

If he looks like a dandy like that, if I were Putin, I'd wouldn't think before attacking the States.

[1] http://www.debate.org...
[2] Writing debate with her.
[3] http://www.article19.org...
[4] http://civilliberty.about.com...




joepbr

Con

OK, I think I should apologize for taking my digression a bit too far. However, this serves to prove my point.

In the last round, my opponent says the following about my claims that changing the resolution of a debate is wrong:

"those are strictly your high-school teachers' opinions - not facts - since you haven't cited even a single source for all that long blabber, which I'd honestly come to expect."

First I'd like to say that I never had a high-school teacher saying anything about debate rules to me, my conclusions that one shouldn’t have the right to change the resolution of a debate comes from a logical deduction, and as such, it doesn't need any sources, but I guess it wasn't very well
clarified in my last round, so here it is:

Debate is defined as "a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides"[1]. Such a proposition (or resolution) is the central part of the debate. The entirety of the discussion that makes up the debate revolves around this proposition; therefore, if you change the proposition you are changing the whole discussion. A different resolution cre
ates a completely new debate from zero. In a site like DDO, if you want to engage in a different debate, you must create a new challenge, and not hijack an ongoing debate ignoring the original resolution.

If everybody who realizes that their original proposition has been successfully refuted feels they have the right to change the resolution, what would prevent people from inserting "presidential underwears" everywhere? Voters are supposed to judge the arguments regarding the resolution proposed at the title or in the first round, if one of the debaters ignores every rebuttal to that proposition and instead starts arguing about something completely unrelated, that is and should be considered a concession.

Yet, I still decided to engage in all the multiple debates that were created here. This will probably result in a difficult task to the voters, about whether or not they should consider what was discussed in these digressions or just regard all of them as conduct violations. I'll address this issue later, now here are my rebuttals to the "other debates":

You say that the article 20(2) of the UDHR addresses the issue of hate speech, I believe that you are referring to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, not the UDHR (your own source says that: [2]). But anyway, both the UDHR and the ICCPR were signed and ratified by the USA, and therefore have the force of law in the USA, (according to the article VI of the American Constitution [3]) as much as the First Amendment.

Now, you seem to favor the First Amendment [3] over those treaties, even though they are equally lawful in the US, because it has a more broad scope and doesn't make any restriction to free speech - which gives the impression that it grants more freedom, however, I proved in the original debate that an unrestricted freedom of speech is neither possible nor desirable. The truth is that, because ofthis fact, it is necessary to make exceptions to the First Amendment, even though it doesn't predict this possibility.The result is that this extremely broad scope of the amendment turns freedom of speech into a blurry concept, open to interpretation. Without a clear definition of what kind of speech should be protected or not, the First Amendment could be interpreted in a way to create unacceptable restrictions to free speech in the name of things like the war on terror, for example[4].

Therefore, the definition of free speech under the First Amendment is much more uncertain and prone to be undermined than the one set by the UDHR, and as such doesn't actually grants more freedom, despite the impression.


As for the third debate,it is a fact that the USA is the only existing superpower in the world currently [5], being unmatched in economic, military and political power, therefore, any person that finds himself in the position of leader of such power, is clearly in a more powerful position than anyone else in the world. It doesn’t matter what “Russian sc
hmucks” think of it.

Don't think the rest of the presidential symbols need to be dropped to the knees, every time the president decides to take a dump.”

Come on, symbols of power like this don’t have to be worn all the time. The Queen doesn’t use her crown 24/7, but only in special occasions. The same would be true for the Presidential Underwear, it would be reserved only for events like presidential inauguration, in which the leaving president would drop the underpants of power and pass them for the new president to put them on.

"If he looks like a dandy like that, if I were Putin, I'd wouldn't think before attacking the States."

Well Putin would have to be pretty naïve or stupid to attack a country only because its leader uses ridiculous clothes, but if he was so naïve, he might as well as believe those underpants actually do grant superpowers to the president, so I'm sure he would think twice.


A suggestion to the voters:

Well, it's clear for people reading this that this is not a debate anymore, but a schizophrenic jumble of at least four different debates:

1 - The actual debate originally intended, which resolution is: "Freedom of speech should be practiced in all instances without exception"
2 - The second debate proposed by Pro:"Hate speech should be a part of free speech."
3 - The resolution proposed by me:"The United States should institute an official Presidential Underwear"
4 - There is also a fourth debate, which wasn't clearly stated, but represented most of the discussion held in the rounds 3 and 4. The resolution of this debate would be something like this: "It's not wrong to change the resolution of a debate"

In regular conditions, the voters should only judge only the arguments and sources relative to the resolution stated in the title and/or in round 1, and regard everything else as conduct violations, however, this would result in everything said after round 2 being
disregarded, so I suggest the voters to make a change the voting system that would allow all the debates to be judged:

- The points for Arguments will be still used to judge the Debate 1 (since this is the main debate);
- The points of conduct and Spelling & Grammar would go to the arguments/sources regarding the Debates 2 and 3, respectively;
- And the points for sources would go to the fourth debate (being the debate that actually dominated the second half of this [multi-] debate, it's fair to grant it more points than the other two concurrent debates).

I must stress that this is only a suggestion, and the voters have all the liberty to vote in any way they understand to be the most appropriate, I just believe that these changes will allow everything that was said here to be considered, and actually give pro a chance to win, since otherwise his concession on Debate 1 would result in an automatic loss.

Since this is the last round, any objections to this suggestion will be discussed in the comments, so I advise the voters to check them before voting.

[1] -http://www.merriam-webster.com......
[2] -http://www.article19.org......
[3] -https://www.constituteproject.org......
[4] -http://www.globalresearch.ca......
[5] -http://post.queensu.ca......

Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Oldmanjenkins 3 years ago
Oldmanjenkins
Make sure to look up the details of the first amendment. Legally, there are certain things that aren't protected by free speech. Such as yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theatre. Look it up.

Other than things that obviously put others in direct harm, there should be no restrictions on free speech. I don't care if you are the most disgusting racist, you should be able to speak your mind and not be punished for it. Political correctness is out of control these days.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
NobodyMovejoepbrTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Oy. Pro's actions were... strange, to say the least. Pro: You can feel free to assert whatever you want in a debate, up to and including an attempt to change the resolution. Just as we're free to ignore that as it's ridiculous. You, for all intents and purposes, conceded, but tried to avoid doing so. S&G was equal enough, and sources weren't worth scoring, but Conduct and Arguments to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.