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The Freedom Of Speech

880 words - 4 pages

In modern society, the issue of free speech vs. censorship often comes up. It is a hot topic among those interested in social issues, and represents two well meaning but very different arguments. The argument for freedom of speech says that communication and connectivity promotes progress, while the argument for censorship says that silence and isolation promotes security.

Freedom of speech usually refers to a citizen's right to the expression and distribution of their opinions. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines freedom of speech as a human right, stating that "Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference". It also states that all people have the right ...view middle of the document...

It allows new opinions and ideas into the mix, which can create a more productive environment. To elaborate on this point, freedom of speech allows ideas that one might not normally consider, but are still equally valid, to be heard. This is important when resolving conflicts, developing inventions, businesses and art, and simply expressing opinions. It allows thoughts and ideas to spread quickly and mix, evolve, and improve. Freedom of speech allows the unrestricted flow of information from person to person, or people, within a society, and consequentially promotes progress in science, art, and philosophy. Without the freedom of speech, It gives the people peace of mind when stating opinions, criticizing the government or other people in positions of power, it gives religious groups the ability to worship as they please without fear of government intervention, and it allows the opinion of the majority to be heard. The benefits of freedom of speech far outweigh the detriments.

While the positive impacts of the freedom of speech are certainly worth it, the negatives should also be mentioned for the sake of fairness. One would be hard pressed to find outright proponents of censorship, but there are people who believe that the freedom of speech should be limited. This belief may have valid points behind it. A common argument against freedom of speech is that it can be stretched and manipulated to fit people's needs. In short, it can be abused in a way that it no longer serves its purpose. A good example is hate speech, which does not do any good for anybody, and can even incite violence, but is technically...

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