The Instigator
Tyler151
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Agonist
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should there be censorship in schools and communities?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 405 times Debate No: 97658
Debate Rounds (5)
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Tyler151

Con

No, it should not because it is intolerance. Censorship is intolerance. We think uncensored things will make our children "go bad" but we are just being intolerant of new ideas, old ideas, art, books, music... the list goes on and on. It is just intolerance.
Agonist

Pro

The opponent claims that there should be no censorship in schools or communities because censorship is equivalent to intolerance. A buzzword, with all the negative connotations that could be mustered, was chosen to stand in for "censorship" in order to divert us into believing that censorship is a tyrannical edict thrust upon the lambs to temper their rebellious drives.

I first contest that censorship is not intolerance. To censor is to shield or hide away something, be it an idea, word, image, et cetera for the purpose of protecting another. To be intolerant is to be opposed and unwelcoming of certain ideas.

One may censor an item while still being tolerant of that item. There are appropriate times and places for many ideas, words, and images. We may tolerate the existence of pornography and profanity while at the same time preventing children from being exposed to such.

Intolerance, thus, is not equivalent to censorship.

Secondly, the opponent appears to claim that the common thinking is that uncensored things will corrupt our children. Not all that is uncensored will corrupt children, nor will all that is censored. Censorship provides greater utility than an anti-corruption tool. Censorship allows one to disperse information (whether in the from of images, words, et cetera) while remaining careful of the effects it has on its audience.

As a final point to my opening, censorship may seem evil in that we often see the term invoked in criticisms of tyrants, dictators, and fascists. However, censorship comprises all editorial efforts of the media to protect its audience. One does not expect sexual content or gore when tuning into the evening news. While the opponent would argue that the news director does so due to his/her intolerance, he/she does so to prevent disgust, shock, and horror on behalf of the viewers.

-A first and unedited draft by the Agonist
Debate Round No. 1
Tyler151

Con

Maybe not, but the First Amendment says otherwise, we have the freedom to show gore and even nudity, we have that freedom. But the good thing about freedom is you don't have to listen. And you know what? Some people do! So maybe you don't but we have freedom for a reason and we have the right to show but others have the right to not see.
Agonist

Pro

My opponent makes my case for me: "others have the right to not see." Censorship is a recourse to protect the rights of people to avoid images or speech that they do not wish to see.

An example might be a live broadcast of a press briefing. The topic of the briefing is important, non-controversial, and is being broadcast to an audience that includes children in classrooms. In the middle of the event, a streaker disrupts the briefing by exposing himself in plain view of the camera before being removed by police. The director of the broadcast, knowing that much of the audience will be shocked and had no intent or expectation to see it, blurs the streaker to the point where it will no longer upset any audience members. That censorship was valid as it served the utility of all involved.

The First Amendment provides for freedom of speech, but not unfettered freedom to express anything, anywhere, anytime, and in any manner. It is a common fallacy to argue that freedom requires omnipotence: one does not have freedom of speech if one is prevented from showing every person one's genitals. There is a balance to be struck between the right to express oneself and the right to be unmolested by certain speech and images. As long as there is a single case in which an act of censorship best achieves this balance, then censorship has a place in schools and communities.

-A first and unedited draft by the Agonist
Debate Round No. 2
Tyler151

Con

While you're saying, you have the right not to see, some people do want to see things. Also we have the right to present. For example if America was run how you're saying, a person might be speaking, so they say stuff that people don't want to hear, but are you saying there is no one who wants to them? And even if there is, the point of that is to bring people to your side but if you're not allowed to speak, because of your censorship,then no one will see the new ideas, which brings me back to the intolerance issues, we think no one wants to see them and they're bad, but we think that because we can't tolerate them, like religious freedom, maybe people don't want to see Muslims, but should ban them from the world for that? And that people don't want to see Muslims and don't want others to, is intolerance right off the bat, we are being intolerant of these new ideas.
Agonist

Pro

My opponent is correct in pointing out that preventing someone from sharing a new idea would not be in the best interest of the nation. However, they are taking a measured view to the false extreme.

It is possible to censor some material some of the time without complete censorship of an idea. Avenues of expression must always remain open in part.

Let us address my opponent's example. The initial premise is "America was run how [I] was saying." This incorrectly extends my previous examples to the point of state censorship. I do not advocate government censorship, nor systemic censorship. The examples of censorship I have given are isolated acts of censorship carried out by individuals. As long as censorship is appropriate for protecting individuals' rights to remain unmolested by profanity or obscenity, then one must agree with the resolution. This does not mean censorship can or should be overextended to the point of wholesale suppression of ideas.
Debate Round No. 3
Tyler151

Con

So correct me if I am wrong, but what you are saying is: censorship protects people, and you are not getting rid of the ide, but the representation of the idea, and if you do that, doesn't the idea just die out from no exposure? We can't do that, for most of the things that experience censorship is: government to privatized company, interfering with the free market.
Agonist

Pro

My opponent misrepresents my argument. Censorship does protect people. Censorship does not extinguish the idea. Censorship removes a SINGLE representation. Censorship does not entail the removal of avenues of expression through which an idea can be expressed. Censorship entails removing at least one avenue.

In addition, censorship is not always performed by the government. The scope of this debate is limited to whether censorship, in any form and conducted by anyone, should exist under some circumstances in schools and communities.

To argue that there are instances that censorship should exist does not mean that censorship should be ever be used to completely extinguish an idea.
Debate Round No. 4
Tyler151

Con

If you think, censorship should exist, then you think you are protecting other people by even restricting the idea, meaning you don't like the idea, by restricting it, because you say people are being hurted by it. Does everybody think that? No. The idea is being restricted, meaning, that you don't like it. Well the world does not revolve areound you. Some people think the environment is being hurled, by emissions from factory's. So that's like saying people will be hurt by ideas, meaning you don't accept the idea. Meaning, for example: separation of church and state, some people aren't catholic, so should we remove it because some people thinks it's bad?
Agonist

Pro

If one censors an image, word, or idea because it is believed to serve the purposes of the audience, it is not true that one therefore does not like the image, word, or idea.

Once again, censorship includes situations in which one briefly prevents expression of a communication from one person to another. If you put your hands over your five-year-old daughter's ears to prevent her from hearing a deranged man shouting about his intent to violently rape her, then you have censored that man word's with respect to your daughter.

I argue that as long as a single case of censorship such as above is appropriate, then censorship does have a place in schools and communities as long as it protects one's right to be unmolested by obscenity and profanity while maintaining avenues of expression for all ideas.
Debate Round No. 5
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