The Instigator
Reasonable_Theist
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
sammykeyes12
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Jokes are jokes, nothing is insensitive.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/9/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 614 times Debate No: 73183
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Reasonable_Theist

Pro

People should be allowed to say whatever they like without fear of being censored, no matter how offensive their words are.
sammykeyes12

Con

It isn't a matter of censorship. We have a right to say what we want to say (First Amendment), but we also have a responsibility to respect other people's rights (USCIS.gov). Jokes can be insensitive. There are blond, racist, and horrible jokes out there that are offensive. We don't know a person's individual case, but they can be offensive. That is violating the right that we have to be respected.
Debate Round No. 1
Reasonable_Theist

Pro

We do have a right to respect other people's rights, you are correct. However, banning certain phrases or jokes is an imposition upon the First Amendment. Yes, there are certain things that can "cross the line", but we have to remember that humor is subjective, and plastic. Just because somebody doesn't like a joke, that doesn't mean that they have the right to prevent that joke from being said.

In 1978, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation decided that the government had the right to enforce censorship on public airwaves [1]. This was an OK decision, because it was on government funded airwaves. When it comes to private airwaves and public (as in outdoors) conversations, the government has no right to enforce censorship. If you find something offensive, you can either change the station, leave the conversation, or ask them to stop, but you do not have the right to enforce you standards of proper conversational etiquette upon other people.

In 2012, comedian Daniel Tosh was heckled at a performance after he made a rape joke [2]. He responded by joking about the heckler being gang-raped. This was met with outrage by some, but Tosh's fellow comedians came to his defense [3], saying that he had every right to make the joke. It wasn't as if Tosh singled someone out at random, he had been heckled. Even if someone views his humor as off-color, he had every right to say what he said.

[1] https://supreme.justia.com...
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[3]http://www.theguardian.com...
sammykeyes12

Con

The title of this argument was "Jokes are jokes, nothing is insensitive." This title was misleading because my opponent is arguing the banning of offensive jokes, not whether or not jokes are insensitive.
A quote that is good for both of my contentions today is by Lynn Namka, Ed. D. "Jokes are defined as being funny both to the teller and the audience. Otherwise they are just lame attempts to make the insensitive person feel good and puffed up while you feel bad." [1]
Insensitive jokes destroy relationships. Everyone wants respects in a relationship, so if you are badmouthing the other person, they don't want it to happen and they can just end their relationship with you. The jokes are meant to bring other people down and at the same time, they burn down your relationships.
Jokes can be insensitive and just a cover-up for when you insult someone and don't want to look bad. That is the worst thing that can happen. If I were to insult you right now, you would be offended. But, if you were to insult me right now, you would probably not think about whether or not it is right. People tend to think that if someone insults you, then you have a right to get upset, but if you insult others, then it's fine. This is because humans are naturally self centered beings [3] and we think of ourselves first. But, everyone is equal and so everyone deserves a right to feel good about themselves and not be insulted.

Jokes are meant to be funny, not offensive, because, otherwise, it's not a good joke.

[1] http://www.angriesout.com...
[2] http://howmentalk.com...
[3] http://www.express.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
Reasonable_Theist

Pro

Reasonable_Theist forfeited this round.
sammykeyes12

Con

Since my opponent has forfeited a round, I believe that it would be best since I have posted in all three rounds, and for the reasons both above and below.
1) Insensitive jokes destroy relationships.
and
2) Insensitive jokes are just a cover-up for you when you insult someone.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by BarbieSoFetch 2 years ago
BarbieSoFetch
Well the title was a bit stingy. There will always be insensitive joke and offensive. Now, I live in Texas and racism is a huge element of it. There is a huge difference between a racist joke and just a racist comment. Whether it's the freedom of speech or not, some jokes just cross the line and it is offensive and not intended to be a joke. It's all about the way you perceive the joke. For example: If I were to make a holocaust joke, that is completely insensitive. And saying something is a "joke" is just an excuse to not get in trouble for saying stuff like that.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
Behind every joke, there's a little bit of truth.
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