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

Political correctness attempting to limit free speech, and turn people into weenies

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,307 times Debate No: 71732
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




The idea, of political correctness as it appears to me, is a blunt and obvious attempt to infringe upon the freedom of speech, as well as trying to limit expression. (Definition of political correctness I will be using Now obviously, for the sake of public safety not all words are safe to say, for instance screaming fire in a movie theater, But that is the only type of limitation to the freedom of speech I deem to be acceptable. But saying I shouldn't say something that will offend others based on their sexual orientation, gender, religion, skin color, or whatever it may be is absurd! If America was a society ran around the basis of political correctness simple things such as saying "firemen" would be deemed un-acceptable, because "their's women fire fighters also" Like are you serious? People use the argument "Words hurt people, sometimes resulting in a murder of an innocent, or a suicide" This is true, sometimes words hurt, however political correctness is not the solution to this predicament. Rather then teach Americas youth "Don't voice you're opinion if it offends people." we should be teaching our youth to toughen up! We should be teaching our youth how to properly handle such opinions, teach our youth to have thick skins! We are raising a generation of a bunch of weenies, and this nonsense has got to stop! America is slowly losing it's backbone, and it's our fault!


== Framework ==

Most important to this debate is to figure out what the resolution is. Before that, let's define "political correctness."

Pro's link (Merriam Webster) offers two vaguely similar definitions. Pro doesn't specify a preference so I'll go with the first one listed: "agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people."

We are not debating legal issues. It is not my burden to show that "politically incorrect" speech ought to be made illegal or that some law should be passed against it. Pro doesn't specify an agent or argue for any plan. So, I offer the following statement as the most reasonable interpretation of the resolution as it flows from the definition.

Resolved: Care should be taken to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.

This is a fairly specific resolution. For example, political correctness does not require the speaker to refer to a black person as "African American" but does require them to refrain from using words such as "negro." The term "political correctness" is often straw-manned by those opposed to it who often go to extremes. Examples include claiming that Christmas is required to be called the "Winter Holiday" which isn't the case. Winter Holidays often refers to the New Year as well. It is not a replacement term for "Christmas."

The determining factor is whether it is considered offensive. In theory, anything could be considered offensive so the line should be drawn at what is reasonably considered to be offensive by a majority of the group in question. Reasonableness is subject to debate. To illustrate with my examples, most blacks don't consider the word black to be offensive, there are societies like the National Society of Black Engineers which specifically refer to the ethnicity as "black." President Obama has made many speeches referring to the ethnic group as "black." I could elaborate if my opponent contests this but I doubt that it will be. Thus, it is the case that a person can be completely politically correct while referring to a black person as black. Using the term "negro" on the other hand changes the game as it is vastly considered offensive.

Similarly political correctness does not involve referring to short people as "vertically disadvantaged," bald people as "follicularly challenged," or pets as "quadruped non-human associates." These are gimmicky strawmen propped up by opponents of political correctness to diminish the greater message.

To win this debate, I need to show that care must be taken to curtail offensive speech with offensive referring to what is reasonably considered offensive to a majority of the group in question. It is not my burden to show that offensive should be outlawed by the US government nor is that my advocacy.

== Rebuttals ==

Pro says that political correctness infringes upon freedom of speech. I have two separate responses:

A) Non-topical - I'm not advocating that the government take action against speakers who are offensive. I'm arguing that people should take care not to offend. The agent here is the speaker.

B) Absolute freedom of speech is not something that we should value. Pro's example shows that restrictions of freedom of speech isn't unreasonable.

Pro's fire fighter example is vague. The term isn't often used today as it is archaic and reflective of a past society where firefighters were exclusively male. I'm not sure what Pro's advocacy is here. Would he refer to female firefighters as "firemen?"

== My Case ==

1) Offensive speech encourages hate crimes. It creates an us vs them mentality. When offensive speech is considered acceptable, it presents a recruiting ground for hate groups who are then spurred to violence [1].

2) TURN: The intimidation caused by offensive hate speech can lead to self-censorship thus leading to less freedom of speech.

3) Confirmity is good. If people perceive offensive speech to be unacceptable, it prevents others from doing so reducing further offensive speech and violent crime.

4) An inclusive society is better than one where groups are excluded according to their race, sex, etc. Pro argues that the solution is to develop thicker skin to offensive speech. He is essentially advocating actively committing an injustice and blaming it on the victim. It is better for people to not use offensive speech than it is to demand that victims develop thick skin.

I'm not sure if Pro meant for me to post a full case in R1 but I'll stop here and await Pro's case.


Debate Round No. 1


LoganHarclerode forfeited this round.


And this is why I don't noob-snipe but the topic was very compelling.

By forfeiting, Pro concedes my definitions and framework. Political Incorrectness is a poor excuse for hate speech and racist violence. Politicians who pride themselves on being "politically incorrect" are ignorant morons unaware of how to treat human beings with basic dignity and respect.

I am not arguing that the government should take any action against politically incorrect speech. I'm saying that it is net harmful.

Pro therefore has no access to freedom of speech arguments. To win this debate, Pro MUST show that hate speech is desirable and beneficial. By extension, he must also show that hate crimes are good for society. He must show that it is net beneficial to refer to female firefighters as "firemen." He must show that it is good to call black Americans "negroes" and Native Americans "Indians," "Savages," or "Cannibals." He must also show that calling undocumented workers "illegal immigrants" is not only acceptable but beneficial if he wants to even begin to outweigh my hate crimes impact. He must show that it is okay to refer to Bill Clinton as a "wanker," George Bush as a "mass murderer" and Obama as a "wimpy apologist."

This is the position of those who think they are particularly clever mavericks and denounce political correctness like it is something undesirable.

Like this guy:

I'd normally say no new arguments in the final round but I really do want to see what Pro comes up with so I'd love to do that. I doubt he'd show up and forfeits are rather irritating but I guess I can go back to only debating members that I know.

Debate Round No. 2


Sorry I did not mean to forfeit, I merely forgot about the time limit to post my second argument. I'm not going to rant, and I'm not going to turn this into a cross fire. Also, People who advocate and preach political Correctness tend to throw derogatory terms on facts. Let me use An example, Mitt Romney V's Barrack Abeam. During one of his speeches to persuade I believe it was Commyfornia,(Haha oh the jokes) He said something along the lines of "We're never going to win the Minority vote." And Way left extremists were calling Mitt Romney A racist? But it was factual information he said, for 47 percent( I believe it was I could be wrong) Of blacks alone voted for Barrack. And what's wrong with the term "Negro" ? It's completely different from the term Nigger? In Martin Luther King jr.'s "I have a dream speech" He refers to the skin color black as negro multiple times? And Just because you believe in Political incorrectness doesn't mean you hate civil rights and that you're a racist. I think it means that you say things how you seem them without trying to cake up what you're trying to say in "nicer terms."


I'm glad Pro returned. Not many forfeiters do. I'll outline other categories first and then move onto the arguments.

First, a note: Pro has introduced new arguments in his final round. Therefore you should allow me to do the same and consider my arguments just as you would any other part of the debate. It is not my fault that he forfeited.

Voters should give me all seven points for the following reasons (don't feel shy about it because I explain exactly why I should be awarded every one of those points):


1) I'm the only one that actually used a source to back up a substantive argument i.e. my link to hate speech and hate crimes. Pro used no sources besides citing the dictionary. While source points should not be awarded because a side has *more* sources, I as a debater am arguing that only side backing up their arguments with a source means that side should win source points. This is not about who has more sources but who has them at all.

2) I deconstructed Pro's dictionary source for him and framed the resolution myself. The dictionary had two definitions. Pro didn't mention which one he wanted or even refer to them in passing. All of the work of drawing from Pro's source to frame a resolution was mine.

Considering that only I used Pro's source and only I cited a source that backs up my argument, I should win the sources point.


1) Pro did not write a resolution. He ranted in the first round about political correctness after which I had to spend effort forming his resolution for him.

2) Pro writes in small little paragraphs each of which contains a mini-rant about political correctness and has random examples. It is tedious to summarize Pro's position for him, understand where he is coming from, and then provide sufficient rebuttals. Contrast that with my own arguments which I have presented beautifully.

3) S&G typically includes presentation, not just spelling errors. So, while Pro didn't have spelling errors, his format significantly detracted from the activity of debate. He doesn't follow any sort of format which makes it difficult to flow our arguments.

Education is a voter. By voting S&G for me, you teach Pro that well-formatted debates are good and shodilly written debates are bad and will help him be a better debater in the future. By awarding me sources, you also teach him to back up his arguments with evidence which is an important skill in life.


This is obvious. Pro forfeited a round, therefore he should lose conduct. Not to mention no shows are bad.


Now let's look my offense which Pro conceded:

Pro cold conceded my hate crimes argument. I win based off of this alone. Nothing that Pro has posted matches the magnitude of my hate crimes impact. Pro could perhaps argue probability but he didn't. Because he dropped my argument completely, tabula rasa judges have no choice but to weigh it as I tell you to. Hate crimes are high probability crimes. Calling someone a "negro" immediately causes Klan members to erupt out of the woodwork and murder all black people in the vicinity. Judges must assume this is true because I'm the only one who made the argument in R1 and Pro dropped it.

Pro completely dropped my framework. This means that you MUST assume as true the restricted definition of political correctness that I provided. You must also not give Pro access to freedom of speech arguments. Pro flat-out gives up and no longer argues for freedom of speech once I posted my advocacy indicating no governmental action should be taken.

Now let's take a look at Pro's last round. He made three points:

1) He says that people who advocate political correctly throw derogatory terms using an example of Romney. First off, this statement is unsourced so I don't know the exact phrasing or the context. It should be kicked out as evidence. I also don't know who these left extremists were or what they said or whether they are being politically correct. So discount that assertion. Secondly, Romney was potentially racist to say "we're never getting the minority vote" because he is implying that minorities are not objective voters. Racism is defined as "a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another" and Romney clearly betrayed the belief that only his race is capable of voting objectively.

2) He asks what is wrong with the term "negro" citing Martin Luther King using it. Times change. Archaic terms that were once okay are not acceptable today. See Pro's "fireman" example. Fifty years ago, I'm sure it was acceptable. []. It is better to use more neutral terms. During the Americal Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, black leaders in the United States objected to the word Negro because they associated it with the long history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination that treated African Americans as second class citizens, or worse.

3) Pro's final argument says that political incorrectness does not correspond to racism. This is a bare assertion. Politically incorrect speech is offensive speech. I have also shown a link between offensive speech and hate crimes. Pro offers no net benefit to using offensive speech besides an arbitrary "cake up what you are trying to say" which is a meaningless statement. The only thing you would be rephrasing is offensive speech and it is worth it to do because of the link to hate crime.

Vote all seven points to me.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
@ WYMM, I generally find it difficult to agree with someone on what Political Correctness is which is why debates of this sort are rare.

For example, in the case of blacks, conservatives want to say "I can call a black person black. I don't have to refer to them as African Americans."

A Politically Correct person might say "you shouldn't refer to blacks as negroes, it is insulting."

And so on and so forth for most groups. A debate with a competent member would probably result in arguing over the definitions.

I look forward to someone who creates a well-formed resolution on this topic though.
Posted by Varrack 6 years ago
Yes I agree.
Posted by TBR 6 years ago
There is no attempt to limit your speech. There is no "freedom of speech" issue. You can say whatever jacka** thing you like. Others can say you are a jacka**.
Posted by LoganHarclerode 6 years ago
You agree varrack?
Posted by Varrack 6 years ago
Lol nice
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by WillYouMarryMe 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con adeptly sums it up in the final round. He gets the Arguments because all Pro really offered was a jumbled rant with weak points that Con easily refuted; meanwhile, much of Con's case was dropped by Pro. Con also gets conduct for the FF , S&G for Pro's poor formatting, and Sources for being the only one to use any. It would ve interesting to see Con debate this with someone competent.

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