Free Speech

Free Speech

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          In order to find truth to anything, one must make multiple suggestions, ask many questions, and sometimes ponder the unspeakable. Without doing so, there would be no process of elimination; therefore, truth would be virtually unattainable. Now, in our attempts to either find truth, express our beliefs and opinions, or generally use the rights we are given constitutionally, we are often being criticized and even reprimanded. Our freedom to voice our opinion(s) is being challenged, as critics of free speech are taking offense to what seems like anything and everything merely controversial and arguably prejudice. As people continue to strive for a nation free of prejudice and discrimination, where everyone is equal, safe and happy, they overlook the outcome of creating such an environment. Without different beliefs, theories, opinions and controversy, we will never advance as a people. All we would be left to do is think and speak the same, and believe the same beliefs. Our minds will no longer be able to run wild with brilliant, and sometimes controversial, thoughts; though, even if they did, we wouldn't be able to vocalize any of it. Although it is comforting to think that there will come a time when nobody will say or do anything offensive and prejudice is diminished, the reality is that a nation without the freedom to voice anything controversial, opinionated , and even prejudice, is hardly desirable as we will be deprived of intellectual freedom and truth.

               It is easy to wonder whether there really is such a thing as free speech; better yet, complete free speech. (“Free” meaning unrestricted and without consequences) Sure, the majority of us say whatever we want, when we want, to whom we want, but there are some cases where our speech is hardly free. There has been many instances where complications and debates have risen over borderline comments, words, etc. People are being told that they have the ability to say whatever they want and believe in; however, many people are facing lawsuits and even consequences for doing so. With that said, one could wonder whether there is inadequacy in our constitution that is allowing people to be reprimanded for practicing their rights. However, it is not always citizens who are being challenged by the government for abuse of free speech. In his essay, “In Defense Of Prejudice”, Jonathan Ra...


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...solution is to ask which is more important: prohibiting language that could provoke or offend people (and thus prohibit any sort of opposition) or allow people to think out of the norm and different than what is considered morally acceptable? Conforming to censorship can only lead to silencing our voices and ultimately narrow our thoughts and minds. To risk hearing powerful voices in society because of who they may offend isn't worth it. It seems that people are being offended by comments that they allow to penetrate their self esteem and self respect. Being secure enough in your personal beliefs and yourself is the best way to handle what may be considered offensive speech. Allow people to feel, think and speak differently; for there is surely a time when we have said or will say something inciting to someone, regardless of whether it was purposeful or mistaken. We cannot allow such instances to constrain our right to voice our opinions. Censoring speech may prohibit citizens from speaking of unacceptable and provocative issues; however, those feelings and beliefs will still linger. Although they won't be expressed verbally, they will inevitably be expressed one way or another.

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