Should hate speech be legal? - The Best Online Debate Website | DebateIsland.com The Best Online Debate Website | DebateIsland.com
frame

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

The best online Debate website - DebateIsland.com! The only Online Debate Website with Casual, Persuade Me, Formalish, and Formal Online Debate formats. We’re the Leading Online Debate website. Debate popular topics, Debate news, or Debate anything! Debate online for free!


The best online Debate website - DebateIsland.com! The only Online Debate Website with Casual, Persuade Me, Formalish, and Formal Online Debate formats. We’re the Leading Online Debate website. Debate popular topics, Debate news, or Debate anything! Debate online for free!

Should hate speech be legal?

Opening Argument

edited May 13 in Politics
This is my first time using the site so please bare with me since I am not entirely sure of the format.

I believe that hate speech should be legal. To provide a little background, where I live hate speech is illegal and a person can find themselves fined or even jailed for a maximum of two years. Don't get me wrong I generally do not agree with the topics most hate speech but I believe is it is wrong to make it illegal. I believe that speech should be free as regulated and restricted speech silences the voice of the people and with the wrong government that may become an extremely dangerous weapon.

With all that said I am open to new ideas that may change my way of thinking.

Hate Speech Definition: Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group.
joecavalryEvidence



Debra AI Prediction

Predicted To Win
Predicted To Win
Tie

Details +


Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • WokeWhaleWokeWhale 36 Pts
    edited May 13
    Hate speech should be legal. It should be completely accepted with the condition that it remains "speech" and does not progress to "actions". You cannot say that you hate African Americans, but that is it. You cannot let's say shoot them, or purposely commit a crime against them. Honestly my entire point is "hate speech is fine; hate crimes are not".
    DrCerealDarkLordCentury
  • joecavalryjoecavalry 320 Pts
    Hate speech should not be legal. It is fundamentally a form of discrimination and racism against a group/race/person. It should not be allowed in any rnvironemnt or location. Their should be a jail time for hate speech being used.
    DrCereal
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • someone234someone234 509 Pts
    Hate speech should only be legal if it's against people who use it.
    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • @joecavalry I understand your point but I believe that if you want to get rid or punish of racist and discriminatory people it is better for society to punish them as it has before. Many times when hate speech is uttered by a person they get fired from their job, get rejected by other places of employment and they lose their social status. Making hate speech legal would also shed light on those are racist and bigoted since they would feel less pressure to keep quiet. Maybe one of your friends is secretly one of these people but you would never know since they were always to afraid to speak their minds and if they never speak their minds you would never get the chance to either change their minds or leave them. If hate speech is illegal the government may be selective on what is hate speech since the term is so broad. They can choose what is considered hate speech and at that point the government starts to become a bit like a thought police.
  • @someone234 Then what do you consider hate speech? White supremacy and antisemitism is considered as hate speech but also are things such as saying "White people are racist and bigoted", "Police are horrible and corrupt" and "Nazis all deserve a punch in the face". You could experience jail time for saying those types of things. Some of the things that start important conversation on fixing an important problem in society will be silenced because it can be considered as hate speech. I may be missing your point and forgive me if I am but I don't see how your logic fixes that problem in any way. 
  • VaulkVaulk 434 Pts
    Making it illegal to speak hatefully would inevitably include statements that we don't currently find hateful.  So if you made it illegal to say "I don't think gay people should have civil rights", then tomorrow we could also make it illegal to say "I don't agree with incestuous relationships".  One day...everything will be illegal and we'll all just live in jail.
    Pogue
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • theo11theo11 25 Pts
    Hate speech should absolutely be legal. Before I explain why, let me make it clear that I despise hate speech in all of its forms, but that being said, there should not be a legal punishment for it.

    One point that I can make with almost every political issue is this: Government sucks at everything. The government can not be trusted to regulate speech. Their intentions may be good, but the result is consistently bad. If the government starts to regulate hate speech, it will progress to the regulation of all speech that threatens their authority. This is how authoritarian governments rise. 

    Another reason that hate speech should not be regulated is that hate speech can lead to diminishing hate groups. Hate groups can attract members through manipulation. Supporters of these groups don't truly understand what they are saying, but when hateful people make their intentions clear, their support drops. People are inherently decent and will see the deep flaws of hate groups if these groups are allowed to speak. This would be a positive thing for society because it would decrease the influence of hate groups and hate speech. 

    A third reason, is that the definition of hate speech in society is too loose and subjective for there to be legal rulings and punishments administered with regards to that definition. For example, some radical leftists in society would claim that if I said something like, "genetics determine gender and it is crazy to suggest otherwise" which is something that I do believe. I don't hate people who are transgender, but I think that such a thing is crazy and is detrimental to society and ignorant of the facts. It also contradicts by religious convictions. There are some people who would accuse me of hate speech for this even though I simply stated my opinion. Again, I don't hate people on the other side of this argument, but I think that they are wrong and that their opinions are absurd. This isn't hate speech, it's just my point of view and under the proposal that hate speech should be illegal, depending on the circumstances, I could receive jail time for saying this.

    A fourth reason is simple, but this only applies to people in the United States and unfortunately does not apply to the rest of the world. The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects speech. The only exceptions to this would be speech that directly incites violence by calling for violence or that causes an immediate threat to other people. For example, if I'm speaking at a rally of people full of hate and I call on them to run out into the streets and kill certain types of people, then I can be punished. Another example, you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. If your speech threatens or harms others, then you can be prosecuted. All other speech, even speech indicative of hate, is protected under the Constitution of the United States. 

    The hypocrisy of the argument for banning hate speech is that these people only see the existence of hate speech on the other side of the political isle and fail to call it out when it exists on their side of the compass. Banning hate speech would be the ultimate political power play to silence the other side and obtain one-party rule over a country. 


    Evidence
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 44 Pts
    To add to the great points made above, it is worth noting that most of the arguments in support of outlawing hate speech are already covered in law by referring to other concepts, such as "disturbance of peace" or "incitement to violence". When your speech has a more obvious substance to it, such as the attempt to cause panic around you, or to get people to commit a violent crime - then it is treated according to that substance, and not to the actual words you are saying.

    When, however, you say something general, such as "Jews are greedy", which constitutes solely your belief and does not have any immediately harmful motive - then censoring it seems excessive. The concept of "free speech" doesn't exist to allow people to speak the points of view deemed appropriate (this is already allowed by default); it's idea is exactly the opposite: to protect individuals from societal retaliation in response to expressing unpopular/controversial views.
    Evidence
  • SonofasonSonofason 68 Pts
    edited May 19
    Perhaps I hate poor people...they're always begging and needing stuff that perhaps I don't think they deserve.  Let's suppose that I go about speaking publicly trying to generate some support for my ideas in an attempt to convince others to stop helping poor people.  It is obvious, or should be obvious to everyone that my words are not mere opinions.  I am inciting action against a certain group of people.  I may not be telling anyone to go running out into the streets to cause immediate physical harm to poor people.  I may not be trying to persuade anyone to go out and kill poor people.  But it should be clear that what I am asking them to do, if they do what I am asking them to do, will possibly cause physical harm to poor people.  

    Under what conditions ought I be permitted to express such views?
    Under what conditions ought I not be permitted to express such views?

    in public places?
    government buildings?
    schools?
    private businesses?
    at my own place of employment?
    in my own home?
    in your home?
    on the internet?
    on this website?

    Who has the right to suppress my freedom of speech, and under what conditions?
    What I am getting at here is that it is not so simple to give an answer to the overly simplistic question "should hate speech be legal?"

    Setting the law aside for a moment, I wonder if my employer has a right to fire me for engaging in hate speech while on the job.  Surely, if I am not doing my job as a result, he should have the right to fire me.  And I believe he currently does have that right.  But what if I am doing my job.  What if I am capable of working and speaking simultaneously?  Does he really have to listen to me go on and on about how I think poor folk should be deprived of help?

    Maybe I should be allowed to do it, but then again, given who I truly am, I pray to God that someone has the guts and integrity to break the rules and give me what I deserve, by punching me in the mouth.

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 44 Pts
    Sonofason said:
    Perhaps I hate poor people...they're always begging and needing stuff that perhaps I don't think they deserve.  Let's suppose that I go about speaking publicly trying to generate some support for my ideas in an attempt to convince others to stop helping poor people.  It is obvious, or should be obvious to everyone that my words are not mere opinions.  I am inciting action against a certain group of people.  I may not be telling anyone to go running out into the streets to cause immediate physical harm to poor people.  I may not be trying to persuade anyone to go out and kill poor people.  But it should be clear that what I am asking them to do, if they do what I am asking them to do, will possibly cause physical harm to poor people.

    There is a crucial element in this situation, however, that does not make it fall into the latter categories I covered above: not helping poor people is not a crime. While you are indirectly inciting for action, you are not inciting for illegal action, hence the law will see it as a legitimate expression of free speech.

    It also, in my opinion, falls under the category of free speech to advocate for changing laws in a way that makes an illegal action legal. For example, one can promote anti-semitic ideas not by saying, "Let's all grab our guns and go shoot Jews", but by saying "I think Jews are inferior people and should be treated as such by law". Changing a law is a legal procedure, hence there is no inciting for illegal action here either.

    Should such opinions be tolerated by the society, however? If we want to live in a peaceful and prosperous world, then no, they shouldn't. However, as many posters mentioned above, such opinions are much better challenged in an open debate, and not by making their holders martyrs, which only gives them more firepower. The only speech that has to be restricted, in my opinion, is the speech that is likely to lead to irreparable damage before it can even be publicly challenged - and such speech, as mentioned above, is already reasonably restricted in all legal systems I am familiar with.
    SonofasonEvidence
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 537 Pts
    Sonofason said:
    Perhaps I hate poor people...they're always begging and needing stuff that perhaps I don't think they deserve.  Let's suppose that I go about speaking publicly trying to generate some support for my ideas in an attempt to convince others to stop helping poor people.  It is obvious, or should be obvious to everyone that my words are not mere opinions.  I am inciting action against a certain group of people.  I may not be telling anyone to go running out into the streets to cause immediate physical harm to poor people.  I may not be trying to persuade anyone to go out and kill poor people.  But it should be clear that what I am asking them to do, if they do what I am asking them to do, will possibly cause physical harm to poor people.  

    Under what conditions ought I be permitted to express such views?
    Under what conditions ought I not be permitted to express such views?

    If, and only if, you are trying to incite violence.  In the example you posed, there is no incitement of violence, so there should be no restrictions. 

    Who has the right to suppress my freedom of speech, and under what conditions?
    What I am getting at here is that it is not so simple to give an answer to the overly simplistic question "should hate speech be legal?"

    Setting the law aside for a moment, I wonder if my employer has a right to fire me for engaging in hate speech while on the job.  Surely, if I am not doing my job as a result, he should have the right to fire me.  And I believe he currently does have that right.  But what if I am doing my job.  What if I am capable of working and speaking simultaneously?  Does he really have to listen to me go on and on about how I think poor folk should be deprived of help?

    Maybe I should be allowed to do it, but then again, given who I truly am, I pray to God that someone has the guts and integrity to break the rules and give me what I deserve, by punching me in the mouth.
    Only the government can suppress freedom of speech, because freedom of speech only extends to the government.  Freedom of speech means only that you are free to express ideas without fear of being arrested.  The school cannot arrest you, your employer cannot arrest you, the internet cannot arrest you; therefore they are incapable of suppressing your freedom of speech.




  • SonofasonSonofason 68 Pts
    MayCaesar said:
    Sonofason said:
    Perhaps I hate poor people...they're always begging and needing stuff that perhaps I don't think they deserve.  Let's suppose that I go about speaking publicly trying to generate some support for my ideas in an attempt to convince others to stop helping poor people.  It is obvious, or should be obvious to everyone that my words are not mere opinions.  I am inciting action against a certain group of people.  I may not be telling anyone to go running out into the streets to cause immediate physical harm to poor people.  I may not be trying to persuade anyone to go out and kill poor people.  But it should be clear that what I am asking them to do, if they do what I am asking them to do, will possibly cause physical harm to poor people.

    There is a crucial element in this situation, however, that does not make it fall into the latter categories I covered above: not helping poor people is not a crime. While you are indirectly inciting for action, you are not inciting for illegal action, hence the law will see it as a legitimate expression of free speech.

    It also, in my opinion, falls under the category of free speech to advocate for changing laws in a way that makes an illegal action legal. For example, one can promote anti-semitic ideas not by saying, "Let's all grab our guns and go shoot Jews", but by saying "I think Jews are inferior people and should be treated as such by law". Changing a law is a legal procedure, hence there is no inciting for illegal action here either.

    Should such opinions be tolerated by the society, however? If we want to live in a peaceful and prosperous world, then no, they shouldn't. However, as many posters mentioned above, such opinions are much better challenged in an open debate, and not by making their holders martyrs, which only gives them more firepower. The only speech that has to be restricted, in my opinion, is the speech that is likely to lead to irreparable damage before it can even be publicly challenged - and such speech, as mentioned above, is already reasonably restricted in all legal systems I am familiar with.
    Well, I agree with you.  However, I also believe that such hypothetical conditions arise where the lines between legal and illegal free speech are blurred.  But I suppose, as you say, having an open discussion with regard to each case is probably the best answer.
  • SonofasonSonofason 68 Pts
    CYDdharta said:
    Sonofason said:
    Perhaps I hate poor people...they're always begging and needing stuff that perhaps I don't think they deserve.  Let's suppose that I go about speaking publicly trying to generate some support for my ideas in an attempt to convince others to stop helping poor people.  It is obvious, or should be obvious to everyone that my words are not mere opinions.  I am inciting action against a certain group of people.  I may not be telling anyone to go running out into the streets to cause immediate physical harm to poor people.  I may not be trying to persuade anyone to go out and kill poor people.  But it should be clear that what I am asking them to do, if they do what I am asking them to do, will possibly cause physical harm to poor people.  

    Under what conditions ought I be permitted to express such views?
    Under what conditions ought I not be permitted to express such views?

    If, and only if, you are trying to incite violence.  In the example you posed, there is no incitement of violence, so there should be no restrictions. 

    Who has the right to suppress my freedom of speech, and under what conditions?
    What I am getting at here is that it is not so simple to give an answer to the overly simplistic question "should hate speech be legal?"

    Setting the law aside for a moment, I wonder if my employer has a right to fire me for engaging in hate speech while on the job.  Surely, if I am not doing my job as a result, he should have the right to fire me.  And I believe he currently does have that right.  But what if I am doing my job.  What if I am capable of working and speaking simultaneously?  Does he really have to listen to me go on and on about how I think poor folk should be deprived of help?

    Maybe I should be allowed to do it, but then again, given who I truly am, I pray to God that someone has the guts and integrity to break the rules and give me what I deserve, by punching me in the mouth.
    Only the government can suppress freedom of speech, because freedom of speech only extends to the government.  Freedom of speech means only that you are free to express ideas without fear of being arrested.  The school cannot arrest you, your employer cannot arrest you, the internet cannot arrest you; therefore they are incapable of suppressing your freedom of speech.

    I believe that an employer has a right to call the police and have you removed from their establishment, and to fire you on your way out the door.
    The same goes with any other private or public establishment and place of employment.  
    I know for a fact that I can be banned from a site such as this for engaging in hate speech.  I may not go to jail, but I do not have a right to speak freely on a forum such as this.  I will be removed.  There are in fact rules here that I must abide by that infringe on my right to free speech, and that is because this is a private organization, wherein I do not have a right to free speech.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 537 Pts
    Sonofason said:

    I believe that an employer has a right to call the police and have you removed from their establishment, and to fire you on your way out the door.
    The same goes with any other private or public establishment and place of employment.  
    I know for a fact that I can be banned from a site such as this for engaging in hate speech.  I may not go to jail, but I do not have a right to speak freely on a forum such as this.  I will be removed.  There are in fact rules here that I must abide by that infringe on my right to free speech, and that is because this is a private organization, wherein I do not have a right to free speech.
    You are correct in that an employer can have you removed from their establishment and that he can fire you.  You are incorrect to try to associate that with a right to free speech.  You have no right to be heard and you do not have immunity of repercussions for the things you say.  You can say what you want and you won't be arrested so long as you're not threatening violence.  That is the extent of your right to free speech. The right to free speech has never (nor should it ever) extended to private parties. 
  • sadolitesadolite 35 Pts
    I hate my tax dollars being spent on illegal aliens and I hate the people who promote it. Hate speech?
  • SonofasonSonofason 68 Pts
    CYDdharta said:
    Sonofason said:

    I believe that an employer has a right to call the police and have you removed from their establishment, and to fire you on your way out the door.
    The same goes with any other private or public establishment and place of employment.  
    I know for a fact that I can be banned from a site such as this for engaging in hate speech.  I may not go to jail, but I do not have a right to speak freely on a forum such as this.  I will be removed.  There are in fact rules here that I must abide by that infringe on my right to free speech, and that is because this is a private organization, wherein I do not have a right to free speech.
    You are correct in that an employer can have you removed from their establishment and that he can fire you.  You are incorrect to try to associate that with a right to free speech.  You have no right to be heard and you do not have immunity of repercussions for the things you say.  You can say what you want and you won't be arrested so long as you're not threatening violence.  That is the extent of your right to free speech. The right to free speech has never (nor should it ever) extended to private parties. 
    Honestly, I really don't care about my "right to free speech".  I realize that given any situation where I might speak my mind, there will be consequences to what I say.  For example, I'd much rather my speech result in being arrested than result in being shot in the face.  Therefore, regardless of whether or not I have rights, I will consider the consequences for everything I say, whether it be the consequence of being arrested, or the consequence of being shot in the face, and I will determine whether or not I desire to face such consequences before I speak.  Sometimes what needs to be said is of far greater importance than any possible consequences that might result from saying it.  Some speech is worth the risk of the consequences that might ensue.  It's always good to think before you speak, and sometimes its better not to say anything at all.

    I agree with you that I have no right to be heard.  I also would suggest I have no absolute right to speak at all.  It is not an inalienable right to speak.  I consider my right to any given speech as merely a gift given to me by the grace of those around me who can hear me who allow me to do it.
  • SonofasonSonofason 68 Pts
    sadolite said:
    I hate my tax dollars being spent on illegal aliens and I hate the people who promote it. Hate speech?
    Not until the democrats take control of the House and Senate...God forbid.
  • @Sonofason The difference between your situation of being arrested and of being shot in the face is that being shot in the face is discouraged. For example lets say that hating squirrels is highly controversial. If my right to free speech is illegal then I would be arrested for hating squirrels and there is very little that I can do to stop it. Maybe I had a really valid point about how bad squirrels are and maybe I even had a few solutions on how to help the squirrel situation without hurting the squirrels themselves but that conversation will never get started. Those who have the same ideas as me will be discouraged on speaking up on their solutions and ideals because they are 100% sure they will be persecuted if they do not. No progress will be made in the squirrel situation because everyone is to afraid to speak up about it and the squirrel problem may get worse. There may not even be a squirrel problem but the squirrel haters will never know of this problem and the idea that squirrel haters exist will never arise. If the idea of people being squirrel haters never arises then the squirrel haters may strengthen their resolve and do something drastic about the squirrels when the squirrels are actually doing good things. Now take that situation and put that in a world where I have the right to free speech. Sure if I speak up my mind about hating squirrels I may get shot or punched in the face but I those things are discouraged and punished by the law. I can even get government security if I want. The squirrel haters are not as discouraged to speak their minds since they know that not every single person they talk to would shoot them on sight for speaking their beliefs. We can even look at a more mundane situation where an employer fires me for speaking my mind. That is different than the government arresting me because I can attempt to fight back by boycotting or bringing awareness to the situation. If I were trying to fight back the government I may need to do a lot more than bring awareness and more damage may occur. Also if the government gets to control your speech then they can take whatever issue or idea they want and replace that with the squirrels I previously mentioned. That sort of stuff has been starting to happen in my country and it can start a slippery slope to allowing them to control what you do and eat on an everyday basis.

    I hope that all makes sense and I would be happy to clarify anything that seems confusing
  • EvidenceEvidence 445 Pts
    This is my first time using the site so please bare with me since I am not entirely sure of the format.

    I believe that hate speech should be legal. To provide a little background, where I live hate speech is illegal and a person can find themselves fined or even jailed for a maximum of two years. Don't get me wrong I generally do not agree with the topics most hate speech but I believe is it is wrong to make it illegal. I believe that speech should be free as regulated and restricted speech silences the voice of the people and with the wrong government that may become an extremely dangerous weapon.

    With all that said I am open to new ideas that may change my way of thinking.

    Hate Speech Definition: Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group.
    @DarkLordCentury
    All speech should be legal. The anti-hate speech was carefully instilled by our Nazi-led government so they could pass every immoral agenda without anyone having the right to speak against it!

    True hate speech is from those against "free speech", .. which is the death of any Nation.

    R.I.P. Freedom of Speech, the Home of the Brave, and hello LGBT States of America lead by whom? Lead by those who actually hate the LGBT community. It's a really mixed up world La-Lola.
    Erfisflat
  • EvidenceEvidence 445 Pts
    sadolite said:
    I hate my tax dollars being spent on illegal aliens and I hate the people who promote it. Hate speech?

    @sadolite Not according to my understanding.
    Only, .. that is half the truth, because for every penny spent on helping illegal aliens who are already here, a hundred dollars is being spent forcing them to our boarders. The illegal aliens in our country are NOT the real issue, it is the One World Agenda that is starving those counties, putting in MK-Ultra'd corrupt Leaders making them to come here are guilty of crimes against humanity. And how is this done without us noticing it? It's done under: "Sustainable Development", .. yes, .. just like the LGBT promoters who were the very ones who created the AIDS virus, .. the "Sustainable Developmenters" are making sure the world will become unsustainable.
    Without "hate speech", we couldn't discuss this.
    The same with the God hating atheists, who use Theistic Religions as an excuse to hate on God, yet are religious themselves and openly worship the god-of-this-world.
    Erfisflat
  • sadolitesadolite 35 Pts
    "for every penny spent on helping illegal aliens who are already here, a hundred dollars is being spent forcing them to our boarders. " Gonna have to provide evidence to prove this statement
Sign In or Register to comment.

Back To Top

DebateIsland.com

| The Best Online Debate Experience!
2018 DebateIsland.com, All rights reserved. DebateIsland.com | The Best Online Debate Experience! Debate topics you care about in a friendly and fun way. Come try us out now. We are totally free!

Contact us

customerservice@debateisland.com
Awesome Debates
BestDealWins.com
Terms of Service

Get In Touch