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The Contender
Pro (for)

Should freedom of speech be absolute

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 138 times Debate No: 93975
Debate Rounds (4)
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I wanted to know what people believe on whether or not freedom of speech should be absolute (meaning you cannot put laws against freedom of speech in any way). I believe that while yes Freedom of Speech is an important part of society there should be laws restricting some speech.

1st round acceptance
2nd round argument
3rd round counter-argument
4th round conclusion


I accept your debate.
Freedom of Speech should have no limits to what you can say.

I wish you luck and I hope we can have a respectful debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I would first off like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate and agree that I hope that this debate is respectful throughout.

While I understand that freedom of speech, being apart of our first amendment rights is essential for us as American (assuming that you are American), but I believe that like everything it must have limits and here is why.

1. Hate Speech: If we deem that there is absolutely zero limits on freedom if speech, then you are saying that hate speech is acceptable and shouldn't be regulated. To this degree calling people derogatory terms or verbally hating against other races, religions, genders, etc.. to even a mass degree would have to be accepted and could not be stopped because even if it is morally improper, it is still freedom of speech. Same goes with if someone insult/bully people verbally or tell them to "kill themselves" and in the unfortunate action they actually do, the would then the perpetrator(s) would be protected by law because although now seen as murder/manslaughter if all freedom of speech is protected then there is really what else could you do for the person who has died?

2. Libel: According to, libel, in a shorten definition, is the printed, written, or broadcaster, untruths about another that will harm someone's reputation by bring the target, hate, scorn, or contempt of other. It of used to defame someone ( In instance like this, if free speech was absolute, If someone worked for a newspaper, radio, or any other media outlet they can broadcast news about someone else, in the attempt to ruin your reputation, and there would be nothing that can be done about it. For Example (Just using this as an example), if I had to power I could go on a radio station and broadcast that you are a rapist, murder, and a thief and because I did that you could not sue me because even though I have lied and discredited and disfamed you, my freedom of speech is protected.

3. Slander: Similar to libel, slander is just the spoken word actions of speaking mistrusts about someone to ruin one's reputation and to disfame some, so the same things that apply to libel, apply here.

4. Protection: Some speech can be used to protect somebody's well-being. This one is harder to explain, but let me use an example to explain this one. Let's say that you are a witness of a crime and you are then taken into protective custody and witness protection program. Then after a few months someone outside the program finds out who you really are and decides to broadcast it everywhere, now because of this your life is now in danger and the only thing you can do attempt to go through witness protection again or just go back to your regular life and pray that nothing happens to you.

5. National Security: Limited Speech can protected National Security. This one has been showed throughout history where the government has limited the freedom of the press and free speech during war because it can cause a danger to the nation as a whole. For example, if we were at war with Mexico and we decided we will attack certain places on certain days and do particular things to attack Mexico and a news outlet gets this information, now not only do the American people know what are plans are but now all Mexico would need to do is look at an American newspaper and they know all of our attack plans and the weapons we plan to bring to the fight, the amount of soldiers, etc... So now they could easily prepare for our attack. Also in times of war, freedom of speech normally gets pushed aside because it could jeopardize the safety of the Nations people. Let's say we have a war that arises and we are forced to start drafting people, of course there will be people who don't want to be drafted so people may start to riot and protest resulting people to follow this cause and an option the president might have to take is limit people right for speech and assembly to secure the safety of the nation so people want have groups like that to follow behind.

6. Symbolic Speech: If we have to allow freedom of speech, this means we would have to allow symbolic freedom of speech as well. Symbolic Speech is the legal term in United States law used to describe actions that purposefully and discernibly convey a particular message or statement to those viewing it ( If all symbolic speech was legal meaning I can burn flags, burn money, wear t-shirts with Confederate, Nazi, Isis flags on them, burn draft cards, protest using extreme tendencies.

7. Copyright: Even thought Copyright is a little different the Copyright Clause reduces access to some information by limiting that other people cannot copy the exact same information. If all freedom of speech is protected copyright and plagarism shouldn't exist because they limit people's freedom of speech (even if the speech is the exact same as someone elses). Meaning if you believe in absolute freedom of speech then you believe that the Copyright Clause should be abolished as constitutional. ( [Shows that Copyright is against the First Amendment]

Closure of Arguement
I would like to say, like before that i agree that freedom of speech is a fundamental thing in our society, that there should be some limits to it, because without any limits it puts people and even our nation as a whole in danger. And i understand how my opponent may say that i have not given enough sited research, but i would like to say experience, and the examples i have provided are enough evidence to prove that my point is correct. Plus I apologize if my opponent believes that I went to far with my example in point 2, I was just using that as an example. Again I would like to thank my opponent accepted this challege and look forward to his arguement.


We need laws to ensure all people have the chance to express their views with no restrictions and any legal consequences. The 2 main benefits to freedom of speech, I will argue are the following.

Freedom of Speech Allows New Ideas to Exist
Freedom of speech allows new ideas to exist. There was once a time when the idea of evolution was considered "evil" or "hateful". Slavery was once considered the norm, but people speaking out against it changed that. Without freedom of speech, ideas that are controversial or go against the status quo, will not be shared and will halt advancement for humans.
This also benefits other people, they will be actively thinking and questioning their beliefs allowing people to think for themselves. If only one idea of how to look at things is expressed than only that idea will be used by the general public.
If an idea is considered bad, freedom of speech can be used to show why it is bad, and vice versa.
The spread of ideas and critical thinking is limitless as long as we have the freedom of speech.

Freedom of Speech Allows Art to Exist
Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Freedom of speech allows us to make art in all forms without fear of being punished. People can make fantastic commentary (in plays, movies, books etc.) on what they truly believe which would not be possible for some people if the government did not allow total freedom of speech.
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Debate Round No. 4
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