The Instigator
WrickItRalph
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
omar2345
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Is it wrong to use swear words?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
omar2345
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2019 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 939 times Debate No: 120449
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (2)

 

WrickItRalph

Con

As far as I can tell, I can't see any reason why swear words are immoral, Besides the fact that people don't like it, Which seems trivial. Unless you're to believe what South Park say about curse word actually causing curses, Lol.

Open floor.
omar2345

Pro

I will first define my words so that we are both not using different definitions of words.

Swear word: an offensive word, Used especially as an expression of anger. (Swear word define)
Immoral: not conforming to accepted standards of morality (Immoral define)
Morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour. (Morality define)

This will depend on what you consider to be right and wrong. I would consider using swear words in a conversation trying to invoke a negative emotion is the wrong way to go about it.

A wants to talk to B. A uses swear words. B realises people who do use swear words more often than not do want to invoke a negative reaction. With this in mind B decides to not talk to the individual because it is not worth engaging with someone who would much rather invoke a negative reaction instead of having a healthy discussion.

I would like Con to go into more detail about what he/she means so that I can give a more thoughtful response.

May we both learn something new


Debate Round No. 1
WrickItRalph

Con

I accept your definition of Swear words.

I reject your definition of Morality. I prefer a definition that actually works. Just saying morals are subjective is vacuous.

Morals - "Principles concerning the distinction between harm and benefit"

I think this definition is much better because right and wrong don't mean anything really. Say they don't belong in any definition. Alright let's jump in.

A wants to talk to B. A uses swear words. B forms an unjustified opinion that people who swear want a negative reaction. B stop talking to A but has been caused no harm or benefit. This is morally neutral.

So the crux of my argument is basically that since the swear words don't harm people. Now if you could find special cases where they do, I'd like to know, But most of the time if they do it's because of another factor that caused them to be harmful. For instance, If I scream swear words at someone and it's causes them mental anguish, Then it's immoral. However, The swear words were not the offenders here, But rather the screaming of the swear words.

If you're going to say that you reject my definition of morality, Then that's okay, But I would then challenge you to prove that your definition has any practical use. I mean you said yourself that based off that definition, Morality would just be an opinion. The reason my usage comes up more and more is because it instills an objective standard.

I think that's all I can really say at the moment. Hehe, Not exactly a robust subject.
omar2345

Pro

I'll accept your definition for arguments sake.

A wants to talk to B. A uses swear words. B forms an unjustified opinion that people who swear want a negative reaction. B stop talking to A but has been caused no harm or benefit. This is morally neutral.
The problem with this is that swear words are mostly used to vent out frustration. This can occur during gaming when you are not doing well. If the person also has a microphone he/she will swear at other team mates. Sure the person swearing is venting out his/her frustration but when you hear someone else swear. You would most likely decide to do the same. When you do that you increase the conflict between the parties. This is bad if you are playing a game that requires team work because more often than not people who swear are often, At the time of swearing, More emotional than rational. Meaning if they are thinking emotionally that would also translate into the game which can be seen through swear words and the general decrease in performance or even worse gaming.

So the crux of my argument is basically that since the swear words don't harm people. Now if you could find special cases where they do, I'd like to know
I find swearing when no one else is listing is the best thing to do. Reason is you cannot know what impact the swear words have on people and you are using swear words to vent out frustration. The person does not want to impact people listening but if they do it is most likely directed at them because people do not think rationally when they swear.

If I scream swear words at someone and it's causes them mental anguish, Then it's immoral. However, The swear words were not the offenders here, But rather the screaming of the swear words.
I don't see how this works. If I shout I like Waffles! Does the person get offended or start laughing? Saying F*ck you! Does impact the person you are speaking to you because if you wanted to be nice you wouldn't be saying f*ck you.

I will go through what kinds of swear there are. The source will be below.

Dysphemism swearing: This is when a variation of a word instead of a word. This can be instead of using far lefty you use SJW. I highly doubt the person you are talking to likes what you are saying. Yes it depends on the context but I would consider using a variation of the norm term is most likely a way to insult someone more than what the original meaning connotations had.

euphemism swearing: Is a way in which to remove unpleasant words that can be based on the audience in order to reduce the reaction from the audience. This can be instead of saying the person looks ugly you instead say I am sure there is a guy out there who likes what you are. This is a good kind of swearing because if done correctly can reduce a radical reaction someone might get.

Idiomatic swearing: This is used to look good with your peers. This can be I f*cked him/her so badly that he/she wasn't the same person when I left the room or shut the f*ck up when I am talking to you. I would consider this a negative way of swearing at people because if the person knew you were talking about them they wouldn't appreciate it and if the person was there and you intentionally aimed it at them then you are basically using their weakness to improve your dominance with your peers.

Cathartic swearing: This is one where someone swears in order to reduce stress. This can be I f*cking hate this job or I hate the B*tch/B*stard I am with. This is generally a good thing but if it is around another person lets say your boss or significant other then they wouldn't appreciate it. So it is okay to do this when you are on your own but not with others because even if it is not directed at them you are placing the stress you had on them if they care about you.

Abusive swearing: This is when you are intentionally trying to annoy someone. This can be I f*cking hate you. I don't think Con can bring a case for why this is a good thing so I will leave it at that.

emphatic swearing: This is used to heighten a positive emotion. This can be you are f*cking amazing. It is basically the opposite of abusive swearing so I don't have a bad thing to say about this one.

From the types of swearing I gave 4 that would be considered immoral by Con's definition whereas there are 3 moral swearing. The reason why it adds up to 7 here is because there is an overlap with cathartic swearing. It would depend on the situation.

Hehe, Not exactly a robust subject.
I thought you would have said more but oh well.

https://files. Eric. Ed. Gov/fulltext/EJ1152392. Pdf


Debate Round No. 2
WrickItRalph

Con

Most of your responses stand on the same pillars. So I'll just attack the pillars. The crux of your argument is that people swear out of anger sometimes and this is harmful. You're conflating swearing with anger. It's the anger that causes the anguish and makes it immoral. It doesn't matter if the person knows they're being watched. As for the types of swearing, The underline theme of all the immoral form is the feelings of the person, Not the words themselves. The fact that we can demonstrate forms of morally neutral swearing shows that swearing is not the underline cause, It's just along for the ride.

Yes, If I yell "waffle" loudly people might not get offended. But that's only because I'm being incoherent. The context of the argument indicates that I'm joking. However, If I was to continue yelling waffle while maintaining sincerely angry disposition. The person would in fact become upset because they now know it's not a joke. I think this actually demonstrates that it is, In fact, The emotions of the speaker that is causing the anguish and not the words themselves.

I'll add that words are nothing more than sounds until we add meaning to them. This is why the concept of swear words being immoral is fallacious. I could say any swear word with a smile on my face calmly and nobody is going to get hurt. They might not like it. But that's because they have been indoctrinated into believing that it is immoral or "rude"

My arguments will remain short like this because there's only really a few relevant points. I could go on and add stuff for not reason. But I would essentially be filibustering.
omar2345

Pro

You're conflating swearing with anger.
Anger is an emotion and it can be conveyed in many ways. One way is through swearing. You cannot blame anger for swear words since people use swear words to project that anger.

The fact that we can demonstrate forms of morally neutral swearing shows that swearing is not the underline cause, It's just along for the ride.
You are not making the argument swearing is immoral instead stating since there is ways for it to be wrong and right it is neutral. The problem is that what if it is more right than wrong? I have shown this with the types of swear words which Con didn't even bother to address. It came to a 3 bad kind of swear words and 2 good ones and 1 is dependant on the situation. Instead of Con giving an opposing viewpoint on why his/her side is right he/she is basically saying it is morally neutral. Con also agreed with my definition which also states that swear words are Used especially as an expression of anger. Meaning he/she agreed with my definition yet Con brings his/her contention in the last Round. I find that annoying because he/she could have brought the issue earlier instead of disagreeing later on.

Yes, If I yell "waffle" loudly people might not get offended. But that's only because I'm being incoherent.
I will say your words back to you The fact that we can demonstrate forms of morally neutral swearing shows that swearing is not the underline cause, It's just along for the ride. If Con does not show the courtesy of giving a sufficient response then I can use his/her arguments against him/her when being incoherent is not the underlining cause instead it is a lack of education which can be boiled down to bad genetics or not attending education in order to improve their knowledge.

The emotions of the speaker that is causing the anguish and not the words themselves.
So basically if someone says n*gger it doesn't matter that he/she said instead it matters how they are saying it. We as a society have already made that a socially taboo word to say due to the negative connotations on the word. Con advocates for the word n*gger to be used if it was a joke or said in a funny way. Con's logic from my point of view makes me think he/she thinks the problem is not the word the person used instead the intention behind it. Granted it does have a part to play but if the person knew who how socially unacceptable the word is then he/she willingly admits to use that as form of conversation taboo.

I'll add that words are nothing more than sounds until we add meaning to them.
N*gger has a meaning to it and people in the past used it in a negative light to black people. That word has meaning and it is bad. Your statement states nothing about it being a moral or immoral thing instead stating a fact and not stating what ought to be done about it. Should we remove meanings to words? Should we not care so much about the meanings? Are two questions left unanswered by Con.

This is why the concept of swear words being immoral is fallacious
I don't know what Con is doing at this point. Con agreed to my definition of swear word which was this : an offensive word, Used especially as an expression of anger. (Swear word define) yet argues it not being immoral. If being offensive with words is not immoral then I guess Con does not care about offending people with offensive language.

I could say any swear word with a smile on my face calmly and nobody is going to get hurt.
Con is sticking by the physical pain route while ignoring psychological pain if I am not mistaken. If Con is doing that I have a source below stating people who have committed suicide due to psychological negativity.

They might not like it. But that's because they have been indoctrinated into believing that it is immoral or "rude"
Going by con's definition of moral: Principles concerning the distinction between harm and benefit states that either psychological harm does not matter or it doesn't exist to Con. Both are extra-ordinary claims which did not be explained why he/she left it out. Lets say someone survived a mass shooting. You then decide to make a joke about mass shootings. Like f*cking thank God that prick Steve died in the shooting. I f*cking hated that guy. If someone had a problem with that you would be saying The emotions of the speaker that is causing the anguish and not the words themselves. while ignoring how your words can fuel someone Else's anger.

I don't see how Con won this debate and I think I have clearly shown him/her to be wrong.

Source:
https://www. Psychologytoday. Com/gb/blog/ironshrink/201109/why-people-commit-suicide
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
WrickItRalph
So slavery good and swearing bad?
Posted by melcharaz 3 years ago
melcharaz
bible says that filthy communication corrupts good manners. And Paul told the church Ephesians 5: 3 through 5. 3 But fornication, And all uncleanness, Or covetousness, Let it not be once named among you, As becometh saints; 4Neither filthiness, Nor foolish talking, Nor jesting, Which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5For this ye know, That no whoremonger, Nor unclean person, Nor covetous man, Who is an idolater, Hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
Yes types of swearing is helpful in determining why for the most part swear words are wrong. What don't you understand of that?
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
So you disagree with the common definition of the word yet you did not even contest until at the end of the debate. So basically when you don't like a definition do you choose to deny it even though it is common definition of the word?
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
WrickItRalph
Your argument was not about the types of "swear words" it was about the types of "swearing" That's why your argument wasn't germane. I can prove this because your mentioned euphemistic swearing as one of your types. Under your definition of the words being offensive, Euphemistic swearing would not apply because it's not considered offense. Furthermore, Euphemistic words related to swearing are not swear words. This exemplifies the fact that your are not talking about the same thing as me. My approach makes more sense because it was to the words and it was the topic of the debate. Why would you come in here and argue for something that I wasn't arguing against?
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
WrickItRalph
Because your point wasn't germane. I don't have to debate a point that's not germane. Btw, Your definition of swear words necessarily defines it as being offensive. So I reject the definition.
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
WrickItRalph
@Speedrace, Sorry, I had a lot of notifications to chop through and argments popping up like crazy.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
The debate was about is wrong to use swear words?
My answer was yes because under the types of swear there are more bad uses than good ones. You didn't challenged instead dismiss as if it wasn't even a point about the debate. Your answer is no because the intention behind the word. The follow up question would what if the majority of the time or with the types of swear known it is more offensive then not?
Posted by Speedrace 3 years ago
Speedrace
Stop commenting and respond to our debates @WrickItRalph

Jk >:P Chill

But pls do :O
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
WrickItRalph
false attribution.
I did not say that words don't have meanings. I said the sound that it makes is arbitrary. We do, Indeed, Endow the word with meaning. The "F" word means "to have sex" this is an arbitrary definition in respect to morals. Lol, I don't care about anything Jordan Peterson has to say. My point is the intention behind the word is what matters. In the case of swearing, It's considered an exclamation linguistically. Exclamations don't have definitions. So if someone yells the "F" word because they stubbed their toe, The definition doesn't apply because they're not say "to have sex! I stubbed my toe! " they're saying "*Angry Sound* I stubbed my toe! This further supports that it is the emotion and intention behind the word that is causing the moral implication.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SaintMichael741 3 years ago
SaintMichael741
WrickItRalphomar2345Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: While I don't agree with that swearing is morally wrong, Pro did a much better job at arguing his position. I don't think this was even close.
Vote Placed by EverlastingMoment 3 years ago
EverlastingMoment
WrickItRalphomar2345Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Quite a lot of the debate actually came down to definitional challenges on both sides. What did strike me was that Con chose to accept the definition that swearing and anger were 'especially' correlated as Pro put it. But then to argue that anger and swearing should not be conflated presents Con's case as quite a mess. By accepting a definition at the start only to contest it later is a very risky move unless Pro took the definition out of context in his argumentation. I saw no evidence of that. This to me immediately discredits Con's arguments about swearing in morally neutral situations because it did not stick with the definition. To this end, Pro fulfilled his burden quite thoroughly because he showed that swearing in aggressive situations (as is the nature of his definition) is quite immoral and out of place. Given that Pro accepted that immorality was defined by "the distinction between harm and benefit" he did show that there was more harm than benefit. Hence, Pro clearly wins.

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