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Should hate speech be regulated on college campuses?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Cortney Nickerson

PHI 393 Ethics

Pro. McFall

2-24-03

Hate Speech

Should hate speech be regulated on college campuses?

Thesis:  No, hate speech should not be regulated on college campuses.

Argument:

  1. Words express ideas.
  2. Listeners have the freedom to intellectually assess and evaluate words.
  3. College is a place for young minds to practice the interpretation of ideas.
  4. Everyone is different in turn causing everyone to have different interpretations.
  5. Varying interpretations of words may cause offense to one individual, but not another.
  6. It follows that words, in and of themselves, do not cause harm, actions do.

Therefore, as long as freedom of interpretation by each individual exists, hate speech should not be regulated on college campuses.

        In the case of hate speech, it seems

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Middle

Objection:  Speaking is an action itself.  Does it not follow by this that words can be harmful when spoken?

Response:  Although speaking is an action, it is the interpretation of the words that are spoken that does or does not cause offense.  If one is offended by someone’s opinion it is because they feel that the words being spoken do not agree with their view or interpretation of the situation.  But this disagreement among views should not silence the speaker or the listener from defending what they think.

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Conclusion

I do not believe that people should go around “attacking” individuals with their words to purposely offend others but I do believe that people should be free to voice things that they truly believe in.  There will always be people who are offended when opposing opinions are given.  But, this does not constitute censorship.

Conclusion:  Hate speech should not be regulated on college campuses.

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