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Freedom Of Speech

1252 words - 5 pages

IntroductionI have chosen to write my paper on the freedom of speech. This right is given to us through the constitution of the United States. I believe that being able to say what I want and state my opinion on different things without being prosecuted is a very important right that we have in America. This freedom is a part of the American government, which shows that the United States is a well developed nation and listens to all of the its citizens. There are many places around the world where people do not have any say whatsoever in what goes on in their own country, let alone can they voice their concerns. As Americans this right along with the right to report news events keeps us well informed.Sometimes we may not agree on what someone else believes, but we should realize that it is their right to voice their opinions. Being able to do this makes our country strong and gives everyone a chance to understand others. Without this freedom people could not stand up for what they believe in. Without the freedom of speech all other freedoms are lost. Freedom of thought and expression is particularly important on college campuses. The educational forum is where individuals come together to participate in a process of shared inquiry and where the success of that attempt depends on an atmosphere of openness, intellectual honesty and tolerance for different ideas. If speech on campuses is restricted, students might be afraid to voice their opinions in fear of punishment. Ideology and inspiration on campus could ultimately cease. Federal and state laws restrict many kinds of expression, such as libel, slander, obscenity and treason, because they are damaging to a society as a whole. Slander and libel, is when someone lies about someone to hurt his or her reputation. Treason is when someone gives military secrets to enemies of the United States. Obscenity is using impure language.Explanation/ SummaryAccording to John Stuart Mill the issue of freedom of opinion and speech, which entails the question of whether or not people, either through their government or on their own, should be allowed to limit or coerce another person's right to expression of opinion. His perspective on the subject is strictly an infringement or rights on that person, and strongly argues that a group of people aren't any more justified in silencing one person, than that one person is justified in silencing the group. He affirms that the reason why liberty of opinion is so often in danger is that, in practice, people tend to be convinced of their own rightness, and excluding that, in the infallibility of the world they come in contact with. Mill contends that such confidence is not justified, and that all people are hurt by silencing potentially true ideas. He also adds that the only way that a person can be confident that he is right is if there is a complete liberty to contradict and disprove his beliefs; putting to rest any uncertainties or doubts one may have on a given truth....

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