The Instigator
Misterscruffles
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
lannan13
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Resolved: Freedom of Speech Must Include the Right to Offend

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Misterscruffles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,685 times Debate No: 31843
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

Misterscruffles

Pro

First off, I would like to thank my opponent, as well as any commentators, and Christopher Hitchens. I would appreciate you participation in this debate, if you would be so kind.

The resolution I put forth reads thusly:
Be it resolved that Freedom of Speech Must Include the Right to Offend.
lannan13

Con

I assume that round one is for definitions and acceptance so I'll define a couple words that I think are going to key for this debate.

Must- means should http://www.google.com...

But if you think that Google isn't a creditable source then here's one that defines should as must http://www.merriam-webster.com...

So with that word defined I look forward to a great debate. (also my school is hosting a tourney that I have to monitor, so if I could ask you to please not respond until tomorrow)
Debate Round No. 1
Misterscruffles

Pro

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
-George Orwell

Due to ideas made popular in the renaissance and the age of enlightenment, many countries have introduced legislation allowing for freedom of expression. Even in civilized countries in which such legislation is weak, such as England, one usually still can express her or her political views without being gunned down in the street for disagreeing with a tyrannical regime.

It is these laws that allow one to freely give their opinion on a variety of topics, without fearing as to whether it will offend a psychotic religious leader or a power hungry despot. Without protection of "offensive" speech, it becomes all too easy for those in power to decide that any criticism of or opposition to them or their ideology is incurably offensive and therefore must be banned. It is in this context, that I urge you, dear reader to consider the proposition that freedom of speech must include the right to offend. Without such a right is becomes all too easy for governments and oppressive political movements to violate the right of free speech.

In closing, I would like to ask a question of the audience: to whom would you give the right to decide what it offensive, and therefore not protected by free speech? Who would you give the right to decide what you can read, what you can hear, and, most importantly, what you can say?

[1] September 11-25
"Western" Journalists call for censorship of western media that criticizes Islam
[2] Friday, March 29th, 2013
Islamist activists in Bangladesh demand that bloggers who disagree with Islam be prosecuted
[3] Saturday, March 30th, 2013
The Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef is arrested on charges that included offending Islam and the current Egyptian leader, Mohammed Morsi

[1] http://wapo.st...
[1] http://lat.ms...
[1] http://slate.me...
[2] http://bit.ly...
[3] http://nyti.ms...
lannan13

Con

1) Determination of a free speach

My opponent here brings up that if we illegalize the right to critize then the government has the right to determine what free speach is, but Pro contradicts herself by saying that they have introduced the legislation. So this leads to the question of if Pro introduced the legislation then why didn't he specify what is the reach of free speach. Second Liberals control Congress and they advocate liberty, so they would be pushing for a large strech of free speach. http://www.dorfonlaw.org...;

2) Phelps

Now for those of you who don't know the Phellps (Westboro Baptist Church) call for a persicution of gays and all. They hold up signs saying that God hates f@ggs and Soldiers go to hell. This is unexceptable! They even protest at dead soldiers funerals and finaly someone took them to court, but they failed. http://www.law.cornell.edu...

3) Islam

People in the Middle East have what we call Sharia Law, which is ruling according to the Quran where all people who aren't Muslum are in trouble. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org... year they exicute non believers in Islam. They behead homosexuals and discriminate against women. People in the Middle East fell deaply about there religon to where many people have even looked into cenosoring their television for their children. (see videos)


Debate Round No. 2
Misterscruffles

Pro

"Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears."
- Louis D Brandeis, Justice of the United States Supreme Court
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin, 1st United States Postmaster General

"My opponent here brings up that if we illegalize the right to critize then the government has the right to determine what free speach is, but Pro contradicts herself by saying that they have introduced the legislation."
Free speech is determined by laws, which are passed by the government, in response to political pressure. In many countries, political pressure has forced the government to pass laws protecting the right of freedom of speech. If that right is taken away, by laws that specifically limit what you can and cannot say, then your right to free speech is being violated. I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, that laws that specifically prohibit speech deemed as "offensive", or do not protect your speech if it offends someone else, violate your rights in such a manner.

"Westboro Baptist Church"
Their statements are incredibly offensive; I don"t think there"s any disagreement here. But to censor them would bring forth a precedent of allowing censorship imposed upon unpopular groups. Back in the days when the KKK still had political power, a black man advocating for racial equality was likely to be lynched, as his speech was offensive to the white southern majority. During the Rwandan genocide, when the majority Hutus massacred the minority Tutsis, Hutus who attempted to speak out against the genocide were silenced, as suggesting that Tutsis were equal was unacceptable was hate speech against Hutus, and you would likely be killed by a Hutu militia (such as the Akazu) for being a "racial traitor". I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, that while the Westboro Baptist Church"s actions might be offensive, the need to protect unpopular minorities outweighs any perceived good of censorship.

"year they exicute non believers in Islam."
It would be more accurate to say "Muslim Countries and NGO"s" than "Islam" in this case.

"They behead homosexuals and discriminate against women. People in the Middle East fell deaply about there religon to where many people have even looked into cenosoring their television for their children."
Indeed. Any you know why that is? It is because to them such expression is incurably offensive and must be banned. Islamists have extended their reach into even western media, and have begun to censor any criticism of them they find "offensive"[1][2].
I would like to remind my opponent than in Muslim and in Communist countries, conservative Christian voices such as his are silenced, as they are deemed irredeemably "offensive". May I remind you what happened when Salman Rushdie decided that he had right to free speech, regardless if it offended anyone.

I would like to thank the audience, my opponent, and everyone else reading this.
I submit to you that your rights do not end where my or anyone else"s feelings begin, and would like to once again ask the question: to whom would you give the right to decide what it offensive, and therefore not protected by free speech? Who would you give the right to decide what you can read, what you can hear, and, most importantly, what you can say?

[1] http://bit.ly...
[2] http://bit.ly...
lannan13

Con

1) Determination of free speech

My opponent completely evades my point of that she said that she had introduced the legislation so therefore it would be included in the bill on the limits of free speech and as I stated that the Liberals who control Congress and the Presidency would easily give a long stretch of free speech, as a matter of fact the Democrats are for Labor Unions and that is a major dependency on free speech, but the democrats would ensure that they get a say in matters. http://www.cnn.com... Actually the government is already starting to label some of the right to criticize. Look in Kansas where governor Brownback has taken steps to limit the right to criticize. http://www.queervoice.net... You might say that this is bad but actually look at Kansas' s social freedom ranking in the US which is #13 http://freedominthe50states.org...

2) Westboro Baptist Church

We can still protect minorities as we currently have anti discrimination laws in place. Heck, we even have affirmative action that allows the minorities a leg up in the world. http://www.merriam-webster.com... But you can see that the Phelps is a good reason on why the freedom of speech mustn't include the right to offend. It's already bad that they insult gays and Americans, but when they go and insult dead soldiers and God then they have gone way to far. (see video for more)

3) Islam

Christian voices are silenced, because of discrimination and that they are the ones being offense. Islam has posted horrible things and they have fallowed through on these horrible things that they have threaded (see last round). That is why the freedom of speech must not include the right to criticize because we're ending up with genocides due to this. Now let me explain before you say that I'm crazy. As I stated before the right to criticize allows for threats to go unheard of and when people don't get punished for those threats they sometimes go ahead and fallow through.

Thank you for the debate and please vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 4 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
Both sides in this Debate seem to be missing the fact that real freedom includes the freedom to ignore others. That is, the problem with many Free Speech opponents is that they forget they have the right to ignore. So, for example, if you insult my mother to my face, but I don't pay any attention to it, then nothing bad has really happened. The problem with many (not all) Free Speech proponents is that they somehow think that others should be required to hear what they say --and THEY feel insulted when you do ignore them! Tsk, tsk!
Posted by pc131313 4 years ago
pc131313
I would love to join this debate, but unfortunately I agree.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Daktoria 4 years ago
Daktoria
Misterscruffleslannan13Tied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very close debate, but Pro made a couple critical errors. First, in R3, Pro refers to "rights" in plural. This goes beyond freedom of speech in itself. Second, Pro refers to violations as if freedom of speech is the only way people can be violated. Con also picks up on this in recognition of threats. Lastly, Pro refers to the Renaissance and Enlightenment. This is actually a rather advanced topic, so I didn't give much weight to it, but I would advise Pro to research the Foucault-Habermas debate to understand more deeply the debate between "power analytics" and "discourse ethics".
Vote Placed by LibertarianWithAVoice 4 years ago
LibertarianWithAVoice
Misterscruffleslannan13Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I really liked the debate. I thought pro swayed me more then con, but it was close. You are both articulated respectful so grammar and conduct is a tie. Sources was too close to call, Sorry. Keep it up you two. Tell me if you ever debate again please.
Vote Placed by Gondun 4 years ago
Gondun
Misterscruffleslannan13Tied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I voted Con because Pro did not show many impacts. He said things like Hutus were killed for speaking out, but gave no reason for why we should be allowed to offend.
Vote Placed by tmar19652 4 years ago
tmar19652
Misterscruffleslannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Going against freedom of speech is always hard to defend. Con gave examples of places where they feel the right to offend may not be applicable, but they did not prove that freedom of speech should not apply in those situations. Pro also had more sources.