The Instigator
jamccartney
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
WilliamsP
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Is freedom of speech a privilege(no) or a right(yes)?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,698 times Debate No: 42474
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

jamccartney

Pro

Freedom of speech should be a right. There should be nothing that states that the government can take it away from you. In my opinion, taking away speech is like taking away a leg or an arm. It just should not be done. If the government limited speech anymore than it already does, I would do something about. Please give me a good reason for your take on the matter.
WilliamsP

Con

I do agree with a majority of what you said. However, I have reason to believe that the freedom of speech is a privilege that must be earned. One does not have the right to say whatever he or she wants to say. If that person has been well discipline for a good portion of their life, they will be able of saying anything they wish as long as it is not offending to a public official or that it is any false propaganda. I truly believe that freedom of speech is a privilege to be earned, not a right to be reserved. "Freedom of speech" means that a person can literally say everything he or she wishes. I do not agree with that. Now, partial freedom of speech is fine, but full right of saying whatever you want to say is not right. Insulting a police officer, politician, or administrator? That is not a right or privilege. That is against the law, and if it were not, it definitely should be.

Can a child say anything he or she wants to say? No. Can anyone in fact say anything at any given time? No. Certain expressions will and should be prohibited due to its context. Freedom of speech is in fact a privilege, not a right. A right is given at birth, but a privilege is earned throughout your life. A child shall not practice freedom of speech at all times. I could go on and on about this subject, but due to this debate having multiple rounds, I will save some points for later parts of the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
jamccartney

Pro

Well of course a child cannot speak whenever they want to. The government is limiting their right to do so. It lightens up the older you are, but not completely. Yes, there are some people who have committed awful crimes, but we still should not take away anyone's right of speech.
Here is why freedom of speech is important: It helps people air their grievances and opinions, as well as make decisions of their own making. If you do not have the right to speak freely, your ability to make your own decisions or to make group decisions is limited. This is exactly what George Orwell predicted when writing '1984'. He could see the possibility of governments limiting human speech, as well as all other daily actions as well.
We as a society - as a species - cannot let that happen. Our actions are very important, and if taken away, limits our daily lives. Not being able to speak freely to the government would just prove Orwell right. Like I said before, limiting speech is like limiting movement. It's unreasonable in almost every way.
I would like to make one more point: If you go back far enough in human history, there is was no government; there were no leaders. All there was was people, living together. They could talk freely, act freely, and live freely. People are born with the ability to speak, move, and live. What gives the government the right to take that away?
WilliamsP

Con

I see your points, but that does not mean I must agree with all of them. One does not simply have the right to speak freely at any given time. Now, freedom of speech, I truly believe, is a privilege. Now, nearly all people have the privilege of freedom of speech, but those others do not have it due to their actions.

If we were face to face debating this issue, I could emerge as the victor. But this is an informal debate, and therefore I am not going to make myself sweat. - I hope you have seen my points and I hope you strive to agree with them.
Debate Round No. 2
jamccartney

Pro

Okay, I just want to point out that you did not give any evidence for your opinion. I also want to say that this gives me more room to explain my point, so here I go:

If someone did not have freedom to express his ideas, and he/she had a marvelous idea that they wanted to share, they may not be able to do it. Here's another example: If a government official committed a crime and one man knew about it. That man could only release that information to the news channels if he had freedom of speech. See what I'm getting at here? If you don't have freedom of speech, what can you really do?

In your response, please explain your point instead of telling me you would do better face to face. If you really want to win this, you will need a good response.
WilliamsP

Con

I never stated or implied that one does not have the right to freedom of speech. I said, and if I did not, I will say it now, that it is a privilege that must be earned and that after it is earned that it is to be enforced. Now, you gave me a specific case of a government official having committed a crime and that only one man knew it and had to use freedom of speech to express the truth. Of course! I did not speak of cases like these and I actually appreciate that you have done so.

Now, the first amendment does state that citizens have the right to freedom of speech. However, it does not protect certain kinds of free speech: insulting an officer, swearing to a politician, etc. It is these kinds of free speech that I am mostly addressing. I should have made this point before, but it is not too late to do so. That is why I am saying it now. No one can say ANYTHING at ANY time. You must agree with this. I see this debate in two ways: Your argument somewhat works for traditional speech while mine goes more into depth and includes other things that yours does not (certain kinds of free speech). I do not take freedom of speech literally. If you interpret the saying 100% seriously, it would drive this nation and this world to chaos.

I do agree with you when it comes to that humans have been given the gift of speech and that they must use it. However, this use must be somewhat restricted to protect the people of this Earth and to avoid chaos. I could seriously write an entire 5,000 word essay about this very topic, but I believe that this is an informal occasion and that we can hold ourselves back a little. Also, I believe I have made my point. - Now, this debate is in the hands of the people. I am anxious to see the vote.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by WilliamsP 1 year ago
WilliamsP
I look back at this debate with some level of disgust.
No votes have been placed for this debate.