The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Should controversial speech be protected?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 386 times Debate No: 106289
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)




I say yes, you say no. Make the first move.


I think controversial speech should not be protected because it justifies the government condoning hate and crime that they should take a stand against. Why does the government have an obligation to protect the speech of nazis and white supremacists? Doing this would give these people a platform of legitimacy, showing that our government, supposedly a bastion of freedom and hope, stands for these people's horrible beliefs. Their beliefs limit other's freedoms. By giving power to the nazis to speak we legitimize their base. Core nazi beliefs state that people like Jews cannot be free and are actively persecuted. Alternatively, one could argue the government must have absolute power to avoid threats on the power of the government. Free speech limits the absolute power of the government. By limiting the power of the government we have less freedom because this means the government can't stand up for people who are oppressed. In the state of nature we are not free, we are killing each other and can't organize into governments where we can protect our rights.
Debate Round No. 1


The First Amendment says that freedom of speech is a right, and this includes contraversial speech. Even a progressive like me can see that. My number one problem with your argument is who decides what is and is not hate speech? Should I be arrested, sued, fined or whatever when IU say Jesus is the only way to be saved? I hope not. What happens when YOUR free speech is targeted, and do you have the right to say that? Yes, you do, and I hope you realize the implications of your statement.


You make the existence of your policy contingent on the constitution. Your demand for strict adherence to the original intent of the constitution, combined with arguments emphasizing stability, order, predictability and control, is troubling. To the extent judging can be associated with authoritarian legal systems, these arguments can legitimate tyranny. To the extent that adherence to legislative command renders judges powerless to prevent legally constructed oppression or repression. If we adhere strictly to the constitution judges have no power to stand up against racism and oppression millions face. Let's take a look at what sticking to the original intent of the constitution entails. The document legitimized the enslavement of millions of blacks based entirely off race. Sticking blindly to the constitution entails we accept authority. Authoritarians have the power to oppress, to punish, to repress and to dominate citizens. Authoritarians are unlikely to have much empathy for the suffering or pain of others and are likely to be prejudiced against racial, religious and ethnic out groups. This renders all arguments about not protecting free speech 1) Non unique- both sides can be considered authoritarian AND 2) Turn- aff is more authoritarian, you legitimize absolute adherence to the original intent of the constitution, this gives more power to the government than not protecting controversial speech does.

Next, the United States should protect all controversial speech except for advertisements for products that are proven to be dangerous or are illegal. The implications for this are numerous. 1) The government should not have to protect a heroin dealer's or tobacco company's "right" to advertise on TV. They should have the power to restrict this because it's dangerous to have advertisements for products that can kill people. 2) The government would have to protect the advertisements for things they have outlawed. You must defend the unconditional protection of all controversial speech.
Debate Round No. 2


Freedom of speech is a right. The Founding Fathers agree, now I'm rhyming, just to bleep with thee.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by afb1236 2 years ago
The government should invariably protect all forms of speech and uphold the first amendment; they should wholeheartedly abstain from moderating the grounds of our free expression.

Controversial speech is an empty and ambiguous term, and the nature of controversy ceaselessly shifts with time, whereas the perennial nature behind our values of free speech has remained unchanged and will continue as such. In mid 19th century, the topic of slavery was volatile, and the viewpoints of an abolitionist were heavily unpopular and controversial. Had the integrity of our First Amendment been undermined, key figures such as Fredrick Douglas and William Lloyd Garrison would've been denied a platform to voice claims that reshaped the country's sentiments towards the matter of slavery.

The integrity of the Constitution outweighs the objections of the offended-- free speech must always be preserved.
Posted by KJVPrewrather 2 years ago
To the first comment: This is a non partisan issue for me. First Amendment.
Posted by Minddagger 2 years ago
cant really debate against you scince I have no clue what controversial speech is, happy new year btw
Posted by DrAnomaly 2 years ago
You go girl! I'm on your side with this one!
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