After the presenters have posted their statements pro and con and their rebuttals to each other for Debate 2.2 After the presenters have posted their statements pro and con and their rebuttals to each other for Debate 2.2. classmates are required to write a paragraph response. First, before reading the debate, note if you are for or against the statement (before reading the debate, do you agree more with the pro or con position?). Then note if your position changed or remained the same after you read the debate (after reading the debate, do you agree more with the pro or con position?) Give any insights on the debate or debate topic.
Topic:Debate 2.2 Group Presentation #1 on the chapter, “Are Limits on Free Speech Ever Justified.â€
In the United States, freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution which is known as the Bill of Rights. It reads, â€œCongress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free expression thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesâ€. This right emphasizes the issue of â€œabridging the freedom of speechâ€ which is a popular topic in America. At the same time, there is some discussion about the limits of free speech. Someone reckons that limits on free speech are ever justified. While the others think limits on free speech are not justified. I agree with the former one because the freedom of speech does not mean that people can articulate any ideas or words without any limit.
Limits on free speech are ever justified for several aspects. First of all, the Supreme Court in America allow for limitation on certain categories of speech. Although the Bill of Rights protects free speech, there are some types of speech which are not protected by it, including obscenity, fraud, speech integral to illegal conduct or causing some imminent lawless actions and so on. The second reason why limits on free speech are justified is concerned about hate speech. As we all know, hate speech is also a kind of free speech. So, people can use it to articulate their hate thoughts and views without worrying about the fear from retaliation, censorship and legal sanction. But hate speech which contains the offensive, mean or lewd, insulting words does harm or attack some groups of people, especially the groups relevant to sex, religion, race, disability and so on. For example, name-calling or insults is one form of hate speech, especially for the people who are homosexual or ethnic minorities. This hate speech deeply hurt these peopleâ€s heart. Lastly, free speech should be limited on some occasions and places because it is not appropriate to articulate some speech. According to an example from the reading material, limits on free speech are justified in school. When someone gives free speech with profane and obscene langue among the students, it can take a worse example for some students who simulated the alluded action responding to the speech. In addition, other students feel embarrassed about the speech. Therefore, it is necessary to limit any physical or verbal actions interfering with the normal process of education in school.
All in all, limits on free speech are ever justified for the above reasons. Though free speech means that people can express themselves physically or verbally without worrying about the fear of retaliation, censorship and legal sanction. But this does not mean there is no limit on free speech. It is justified to limit free speech for it can impact the othersâ€ rights negatively sometimes.
Response from CON:
Rebuttal and discussion question
Hi Hiu! Thank you for sharing the debate about the justification for restricting free speech. Your debate makes me learn more knowledge about the disadvantage of free speech. Every point in your debate is a good illustration of the reasons for limiting the legitimacy of freedom of speech. At first, I don’t think your statement that “freedom of speech does not mean that people can articulate any ideas or words without any limit” is entirely correct. There is a certain range of what you said. In my opinion, we can express all kinds of speech without restriction, except obscenity, damaging other people’s and national interests and breaking the law. We have to be bold to express our ideas, in order to make society better. Certainly, I appreciate the arguments you have cited. There is no denying that freedom of speech has its drawbacks. Hate speech is one kind of freedom of speech. People can freely use their right to freedom of speech to express their hatred and bad opinions towards some people, some events or even countries. Hate speech is very offensive, which directly hurts some people and harms the interests of the country. Finally, I continue to support my position. Even if freedom of speech has its drawbacks and there is a certain degree of rationality in restricting freedom of speech, I think the country should give citizens as much freedom of speech as possible. The premise is that citizens promise that anything they say does not harm others, harm the interests of the country, or break the law. Moreover, the country can make certain restrictions appropriately. Allow citizens to speak their minds boldly and enjoy the right to freedom of speech within a certain scope.
What appropriate restrictions can the state make to protect citizens’ freedom of speech and interests at all levels?
POST FROM CON:
Freedom of speech is the basic right of citizens and statutory political rights. It means that citizens can express their opinions and ideas according to their own wishes. The opinions and ideas they express are not subject to government censorship and restrictions, and they do not have to worry about whether what they say will harm the interests of others and the state. In my personal interpretation, I usually understand freedom of speech as saying what you want to say, which is our personal freedom. I am against restricting freedom of speech. In other words, I am for freedom of speech.
First of all, freedom of speech has a long history. During the French Revolution of 1789, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was adopted which explicitly recognized freedom of expression as an inalienable right. In 1948, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. The article 19 states that: â€œEveryone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.â€ Since ancient times, the law has given us the right to freedom of speech. We have always enjoyed that right. If we suddenly restrict our freedom of speech, we will not accept it for a while. And it could lead to social unrest. Whenever we have to say anything, we have to go through the brain and wonder if we can say it correctly. Secondly, Freedom of speech is the key to democracy. We are now a democratic society. Democratic societies should encourage freedom of speech rather than restrict it. Freedom of speech allows citizens to express their own thoughts and opinions, which is conducive to the development of the country. For example, when the country has to make some decisions, listening to the opinions of more citizens will be more conducive to the improvement and implementation of the decisions. If citizens’ freedom of speech is restricted, they will not say what they think about decision-making. In addition, freedom of speech can sustain and strengthen democratic politics. Finally, freedom of speech is conducive to the psychological development of citizens. Freedom of speech makes citizens feel comfortable when they express more of their opinions and thoughts. Because people can’t keep things to themselves, which is not good for our health. Of course, freedom of speech allows us to learn more. Everyone is our teacher. Sometimes we cannot think about the problem thoroughly when we think about something. As more people speak their minds, we will increase our knowledge.
To sum up, freedom of speech still has some advantages. We cannot arbitrarily restrict freedom of speech because of certain abuses. We should properly balance the advantages and disadvantages of freedom of speech to make relevant adjustments to freedom of speech, rather than restricting it.
â€œUniversal Declaration of Human Rights.â€ United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
reply from PRO:
Rebuttal and discussion questionFILLER TEXTRebuttalFILLER TEXTHi, Xiufen. I enjoy reading your opinion and analysis, which inspires me a lot. But I need to express some of my ideas on your words as the rebuttal. On the one hand, your thesis strays from the topic a little. Our topic is whether limits on free speech are ever justified or not. Your thesis mainly concentrate on freedom of speech, not limits on free speech. On the other hand, some of your arguments seem not very supportive for your thesis. Your first argument is concerned about the history of free speech. It is a good way to find the argument from the history, but the history of free speech presented here cannot be a good argument for limits on free speech. Although the freedom of speech was put forward and written in some declarations in the past, it doesn’t means limits on free speech are not justified. What’s more, your last argument seems not well-founded. Freedom of speech is relevant to people’s psychological development. But the impact on psychological development by free speech has two sides, it can be negative or positive. Hate speech is also a kind of free speech, but it severely offends and harms the people receiving hate speech, which influences their psychological development negatively. This is one of the most important reasons why limits on free speech are justified.FILLER TEXTDiscussion QuestionFILLER TEXTWhat kind of limits on free speech are justified?FILLER TEXT
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