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That the government should not place any restrictions on free speech


Cross-Examination In Progress

The chair calls upon all sides to engage in cross-examination

Time remaining for cross-examination: 2019-01-15 01:36:52

The Debate So Far

limpfischlimpfisch (PRO)
Free speech is the nuts and bolts of the mechanism with which our society functions. I see no benefit to the government legislating which words both me and other people must or must not utter. All I see resulting from such an act is tyranny, extremism, ideologies and several points of division within society. 
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-12-31 12:26:20
JohannesJohannes (CON)
Hello everyone, first I want to thank my opponent for their participation in this debate thus far. I'll get right to it.

You first claim that "free speech is the nuts and bolts of the mechanism with which our society functions". You need to explain this. Usually when you ask someone how our society functions they're not going to say free speech. That doesn't make much sense to me. Free speech doesn't dictate the possibility, success, and limitations of our society.

You say that you see "no benefit to the government legislating which words both me and other people must or must not utter". There are two things wrong with this. First, we already do have free speech limitations. When something is considered hate speech, or a direct incitement of violence, it is punishable. Also, restrictions on free speech, as you seem to think, wouldn't be a ban of a certain word or slur or something like that. For instance, Trump is trying to institute libel laws that punish the media for knowingly spreading false information about him or the government. I personally don't agree with this but this is just an example of how free speech limitations are actually implemented. Even if Trump is able to implement this, I also recognize that it's not going to change the way our society functions -- as you seem to think.

You next claim that limitations on free speech would result in "tyranny, extremism, and several points of division within society". First of all, as I said, we already have free speech limitations and yet there is no tyranny or extremism.  Also, you need to clarify what you mean by division within society, a lot of division already exists; between classes, political ideologies, etc. Regardless, this seems like an extremely hyperbolic argument to make and a big leap to say that instituting free speech regulations would cause tyranny. This is something you need to clarify and at least explain.

To advance some arguments of my own, first, as I have already said, we already do have free speech limitations. Second, free speech limitations are necessary for certain situations. When there is a direct incitement of violence against a certain person or group (hate speech), it is illegal for a reason. If you could do this, it would be extremely dangerous. Words are the prerequisite for action. Obviously, a lot of actions are prohibited -- so wouldn't it make sense to limit the speech that can inhibit those actions (in certain situations)?

Thanks, that's all for now. VOTE CON!!!

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-12-31 22:38:12
Johannes: What is your response to the free speech restrictions that are already in place?

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