The Instigator
InVinoVeritas
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
adrianiscorrect
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Holocaust denial should be legal in United States

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
adrianiscorrect
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,934 times Debate No: 22150
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

InVinoVeritas

Pro

Resolution: Holocaust denial should be legal in United States.

I will attempt to affirm the resolution, and the opponent will attempt to nullify it.

The first round is for acceptance.
adrianiscorrect

Con

Ok. I am in.

I am arguing for a Federal law that prohibits Holocaust denial.

I wish my opponent luck. I have a feeling this may be an easy win for him but I will try my best!
Debate Round No. 1
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Criminalizing Holocaust denial in the United States is a blatant violation of freedom of speech.

Here is a list of exceptions to freedom of speech [1]:
1) Incitement: Denial of the Holocaust in itself does not directly incite harmful actions. It simply rejects the occurrence of an event; no conspicuous implications regarding committing a crime is involved.
2) Obscenity: There is nothing sexually vulgar about rejecting the Holocaust, and this exception is primarily encompassed by language of a prurient nature, as upheld in the famous Miller v. California case. [2]
3) Child pornography: Denial of the Holocaust has nothing to do with this.
4) Fighting words and offensive speech: This is strongly related to the incitement exception. If the motive of the speaker is simply to instigate a fight, then this speech is not necessarily protected under the first amendment, though this exception is used sparingly. If one holds the belief that the Holocaust did not occur and wishes to say so, he may be saying it to share his belief rather than to incite a fight. The rejection of a historical event cannot be directly associated with "fighting language."
5) Threats: Denial of the Holocaust does not act as a threat. Rather, it is simply the expression of a belief that does not pose any direct harm to anyone.
6) Commercial speech: This involves false advertising and such, but it only is relevant to businesses, so it is not germane to the matter at hand.

Therefore, based on current statutes of freedom of speech, there is no reason to disallow Holocaust denial in the United States.

[1] http://www.fas.org...
[2] http://www.oyez.org...
adrianiscorrect

Con

InVinoVeritas, thanks for the argument. I am not going to lie, it makes a lot of sense. Just so you know, I think you are alright :D

Here are my rebuttals and all that.

Holocaust denial could incite harmful actions. At it's most extreme Holocaust denial imply's that all the jews who were involved are part of a big confidence scheme to garner sympathy and reparations. Reparations that certain groups could believe they don't deserve and would attempt to take back. This scenario has happened a few times (1).

I would also argue that Holocaust denial falls squarely into the "Defamation" exception as well. Claiming that someones relatives where involved in the biggest hoax of the twentieth century..I would be interested to see how that does not fall under libel or slander. (1)

(1) - http://www.fas.org...
Debate Round No. 2
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Holocaust denial in itself does not incite harmful actions. The reactions of certain people to holocaust denial would be harmful, but that does not mean that people should be barred from expressing such a belief.

If you were to scream "Burger King caused the 9-11 attacks!" and a group of Burger King's corporate executives were there and beat you up, it would not be your fault if you actually believed in what you were saying (and it is difficult to prove otherwise.) You would have had the right to express your own belief, and although it may make Burger King look bad, it would be legal for you to do it. It is ridiculously difficult to prove with certainty that someone is expressing a belief that he/she believes in [1]; in fact, it's virtually impossible based on modern police inquiry.

[1] http://www.fas.org...
adrianiscorrect

Con

Thanks dude for being cool about me completely messing up my last argument. I have been doing this stuff on an iPad and uploaded my argument before I had finished it...palm face.

And you are right in your previous argument, but I am not talking about a corporation bar fight scenario. I am talking about dangerous groups spreading defamation about a minority and certain violent members of that group acting on those incorrect historical assertions.

Whilst I would not be against a group believing, for example, that by some fictional divine right the people of Baltimore feel they are better than the people of Phillidelphia and then some riot breaking out at a sports event. I mean, I would be against the riot. But I would not argue that we should outlaw general superiority beliefs just incase.

But the holocaust happened. There has been too much primary and secondary evidence to even try to argue otherwise with a straight face. To suggest that it was all or partially a lie is beyond offensive but can be used to incite hatred against people. And can be damaging to children who are taught these things and then grow up with a warped and twisted world view.

Holocaust denial (and I would argue, genocide denial in general...but for this debate just holocaust denial for now) should be outlawed because denial is the last stage of the act of genocide (1). It is not just some skin heads sitting in a bar talking about how the Jews tricked the world. By denying the Holocaust happened they are themselves taking part in the genocide themselves and keeping it going. The definition of genocide Is the systematic extermination of a racial or cultural group and denying that a genocide happened is the last stage of this process.

By denying the holocaust they are attempting to assist the perpetrators with getting away with the worst crime imaginable.

(1) - http://www.learning4u2.com...

(2) - http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 3
InVinoVeritas

Pro

InVinoVeritas forfeited this round.
adrianiscorrect

Con

I enjoyed this, cheers dude, we should do this again.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
My bad, dawg. Just missed it.

Voters should give Con conduct... But actually judge the debate, anyway.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
"...someone is expressing a belief that he/she does not believe in"***
Posted by adrianiscorrect 4 years ago
adrianiscorrect
Dammit, I was doing another debate and I sort of posted it half finished....balls and crap.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Yes.
Posted by adrianiscorrect 4 years ago
adrianiscorrect
Seeing as there is no law against holocaust denial in the US I am arguing for a federal law that prohibits holocaust denial?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
InVinoVeritasadrianiscorrectTied
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: FF, which caused con's rebuttals to be dropped and conceded. So I give weight to the argument that it violates two of the exceptions of freedom of speech, and thus vote con.