The Instigator
jamccartney
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
alexwle888
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

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

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 674 times Debate No: 43534
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
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.

1. You must use proper grammar and spelling.
2. Arguments must be intelligent.
3. Sources must be cited, if there are any.
alexwle888

Con

Freedom of speech should be a privilege. People are not really forced to speak. Your opinion on how taking away speech is like taking away a leg or an arm, well it depends on what you are trying to speak about. For example, when a person tries to speak saying that he would kill someone, is it really taking away a leg or an arm? People can do this if they would like to but people would likely might have to suffer the consequences. Like saying if a police officer tries to interrogate a criminal for his actions, does he have to? No, even if it is a right or privilege, he will suffer the consequences of not speaking up.
Debate Round No. 1
jamccartney

Pro

Hello and thank you for accepting this debate.

I want to begin by saying that the government should not be able to take away a person's right to speak. When that happens, the government becomes to be corrupt. Here is why freedom of speech is important:

It helps people share 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.[1]

We, as a society - as a species - cannot let that happen. Our actions are very important, and if taken away, it 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?

[1]http://george-orwell.org...
alexwle888

Con

Hello and you're welcome.

First of all, knowing how speaking might be able to share opinions, it actually depends on what kind of situation you are in. For example, you are trying to argue against police forces on releasing the world's most wanted criminal in the world. Knowing how even though the criminal robbed many banks, killed many people, drunk driven, etc. you would still want to release the criminal? You would not know what would happen if the criminal is released. Making bad decisions make be caused because of freedom of speech.

If freedom of speech is a right, people would be going out of control and the world will be at chaos. If people have freedom of speech as a privilege, people can choose whether to speak or not, which makes people in a fair place of whether or not to suffer the consequences if there is any.
Debate Round No. 2
jamccartney

Pro

Hello. Thank you for responding.

I want to begin by asking you a question: Would you be OK if the government restricted your speech?

First, allow me to explain to you what would happen.

1. Assuming you have a Facebook account, you would not be able to post all of your opinions and standpoints on the site. I do not know if you have any interest in politics. For this example, I will assume you are. Imagine you dislike a certain congressman, and you wanted to share your opinion. If your freedom of speech was nonexistent, you would be incapable of posting that opinion on Facebook or any other area of the Internet.

2. Since you are on this website, I know you enjoy it. If you had no freedom of speech, we would not be arguing this topic. Tell me: How would you feel about that? I know I would not be fond of it.

3. If Congress passed a law, of which you are extremely opposed to, would you just sit there and let it happen? I wouldn't. I would do something about it. But without freedom of speech, I could not; I wouldn't have the right.

Just think about that question and then think about what you are arguing for.

I will now refute your arguments.

"[I]t actually depends on what kind of situation you are in." I see your point, but I have another question: If you had an opinion on something, you would want to express it, right? It doesn't matter what opinion it is.

Bad decisions are not made by speech. Freedom of speech does not mean that government officials have to listen to you. If my friend was in prison, I could go up to the prison and yell "Let him go!" thousands of times. It would not change the fact that he is in prison, nor would it change the mind of the government.

Freedom of speech will not produce chaos. Speech and actions are very different. Saying "I will blow up a building" is completely different from actually blowing up a building. I am arguing for freedom of speech, not actions. Yes, I do want freedom of actions, but that is not what this is about. This is about speech.

*And for the record, I would not "argue against police forces [sic] on releasing the world's most wanted criminal in the world."*

I look forward to your response.
alexwle888

Con

Hello and you're welcome.

I want to begin by answering your question: Would you be OK if the government restricted your speech?

I would actually be OK if they would restrict my speech. Again, it depends what the situation that you are debating about. About you example, Facebook is a social networking site which it actually doesn't really matter as much as actually giving your speech in front of the nation or country.

I would like to ask you this question: Would you like to suffer the consequences of freedom of speech if there are any?
Debate Round No. 3
jamccartney

Pro

jamccartney forfeited this round.
alexwle888

Con

alexwle888 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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