The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Swearing/Cursing/Cussing Should be Allowed in Debates

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/5/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 562 times Debate No: 61306
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




If any definitions are necessary they can be decided in the comments section.

First round for acceptance only.

(A little ironically) No swearing please.


I accept your challenge. May everyone walk away having gained something.
Debate Round No. 1


Before I start I should say that I am totally in favour of the instigator in a debate setting up a rule where those who take part in the debate cannot curse.

Personal Experience

A while ago I was attempting to quote from the bible during a debate. I think this was the passage, Numbers 22:21: "And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ***, and went with the princes of Moab."

Now in this context the word *** (donkey) is very obviously being used in a way that isn't at all inappropriate given the circumstances but because an argument with a*s spelt correctly is not permitted to be posted it causes problems for those who want to quote totally appropriate sources without having to change them.

Obviously it isn't just the word ***, there are plenty of other words which you may want to quote on occasion for instance I recently had a debate against a religious fundamentalist where he claimed that a Muslim would endorse the biblical story of the foundations of Israel. I know a Muslim and the response I got from his when asked about the origins of Israelis he responded "The ******* came from Satan" [1]. I think that again in the circumstances that would be an acceptable use and if my opponent had disagreed we could have set up some basic rules before hand.

Those Who Want to Cuss Will Cuss Anyway

To me it is fairly clear that those who want to curse will curse anyway [2].




I do not believe swearing/cursing/cussing should be allowed on because this is a site with standards. More to the point,, cussing tends to imply a lack of education, or a lack of respect for other people, or that you are acting irrationally, or all of the above, and will make people look down on your otherwise completely valid argument. Also, most debates that bring in cussing are usually troll debates, or are on sensitive topics to those debating.

Legally, can restrict cussing, as you're posting on their site. Think of yourself as an author, and as a publisher, who has final say in what they "publish." If you want your opinions to be heard, at least in their published works, it's a good idea to conform to their standards of etiquette.

In that vein, is not violating your First Amendment right to free speech/press/expression. If they were forced to allow cussing from external forces, such as legislation, or a lawsuit, their right to private property would be encroached upon.

Exception: If you're using a direct quote, and cite your source, then you should be fine. If there is cussing,
just do the censorship like this guy did above, or do a Robert Heinlein and say it like "...the best unprintable outfit in the whole expurgated M.I." A news article about twenty years ago, when they lamented the drop in standards, had to almost censor the entire run of "Big Man With a Gun," by Nine-Inch Nails, when they transcribed the song to the paper, and even the expurgated version was considered almost too foul to print.

Proviso: If the conversation is on a sensitive topic, or the other guy's SERIOUS BUSINESS, you just brought the possibility of foul language closer to one. The proper thing to do is call him/her on it and let the community and/or those hardworking boys and girls on staff dish sanctions and/or edits.

From your argument: You provided two examples, which are legitimate evidence. However, you walked in and hit
something that someone had strong emotions about (i.e. the Muslim, on Israel). That is the kind of language that
you utter without thinking, or ingrained in your upbringing. has a policy of "Think before you post,"
to avert most of this, as demonstrated by the handy "Review" button before one can post, but you do get the occasional troll. They tend to get shut down pretty quickly by an attentive community and/or staff.

From reading the links:
First link: What madness is this? That's a question for historians and archaeologists to dredge up.
Second link: The Instigator, Jedi4, starts out all reasonable-sounding, then turns it into either a troll debate post, or never bothered to fact-check. I mean, seriously guys, Darwin only cataloged the change resulting from geographical isolation and adaptation on a group of animals who were separated from their distant progenitors on the mainland. Also, albinism disproves his "defects and/or traits aren't passed down through genetics" argument quite nicely.
Both: I note that you are the Contender to both the debates you have linked to. It's good to see you're spreading your wings here on

Before someone reports me or this debate for my badmouthing of Jedi4, they should look at the second link the swell guy I'm debating posted. My point is made manifest around the picture of Steven Hawking. Sample text from Jedi4's post, which is so bad, it's good, on the level of My Immortal: "Thats when we instantly know its bullsh1t. Because Darwin proved harmful genetic dieaseses dont get passed on. ALS would die out quickely for a few reasons." (sic) This isn't the worst; this guy goes off on a tangent on how we're killing Romanian children through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Apparently, they're dying of dehydration, or THURST, as he calls it, if he is to be believed.

Well, see you in about three days. Be awesome to each other.
Debate Round No. 2


A Word On the First Amendment

I do not live in the states, in the country I live in I have no legal right to free speech. I never mentioned the first amendment and I don't even view this as that much of a free speech issue but instead as a measure which would make debates more fluent and coherent (I.E. not having to write "Physicists kind of [expletive] me off, 'cause they've always got their [expletive] pale hands").

Ways of Self Censorship That Won't Impede The Message

I find the methods of censorship that you mention to be tedious as they don't change the meanings of the message one bit but just make it difficult to read (in my case especially as I am quite severely dyslexic). Also to me this reduces the standards of more than simply allowing cursing as it causes those who would curse for either legitimate or illegitimate reasons to use what is essentially "text speak" instead of the correct spellings.

Think Before You Speak

I generally agree with this policy and think it should apply to the users of However I don't think this policy should apply to those quoted by the users of simply because the reliability and usefulness of a source isn't necessarily contingent on the language of the source. A good example would be a literary debate on "to kill a mockingbird" or "train spotting" (or that bible passage I previously mentioned).

Language Uttered Without Thinking

Sometimes it is useful to show what a person utters without thinking. There are many times when it is necessary to do this. An example would be quoting someone who has had family members killed by some act of terrorism, their words will be uttered without thought but are useful especially when showing the physiological impact of terrorism.


You raise completely valid points. has a good portion of its user base in America. I apologize for not looking up your profile and checking whether you lived in America before posting.

In the case of those with dyslexia, there's not much I can do.

This is entirely my fault; I should have been more clear on the subject of direct quotes. The text speech should only be used for when one absolutely has to cuss. That way, it is just as grating on the eyes as if they had just cussed anyway, and we can feel good about upholding standards. It's a win-win!

Think before you speak only applies to the person writing. If they're quoting directly, and want the vaunted "[sic]," the censorship is waived. It also has to be in context, so no quoting rap songs on a technology discussion to get your cussing in.

Language uttered without thinking is indeed useful, but as I've said earlier, belongs in a direct quote from a previous source, not on your "think before you post" original content.

May all your wishes come true.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Forthelulz 2 years ago
This was a fun debate to be in. We should do this again with some other people sometime. Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!
Posted by A341 2 years ago
Thankyou for accepting this debate, you are possibly the most amiable guy I have seen on here for a while.
Posted by Natsu_Dragneel 2 years ago
Orange your rabbit in the Obama with salt on its jaguar. I bananaing your fruit punch so coffee much. I hope your Jordans get avocado'd in the light bulb.
Posted by NiamC 2 years ago
There would be insults flying all over the place...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Fundamentally, this is a pretty subjective debate. Both sides agree that it's within the power of DDO to limit it, and it was about whether it shoudl be allowed. I just didn't find Pro's justifications strong enough to fulfill his BoP. Overall, though, a good debate from both sides. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.