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Example research essay topic: John Stuart Mill Colleges And Universities - 2,582 words

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... e one who ultimately determines whether they consider certain speech offensive. in the rez, perhaps you could look at not the targeted groups reaction, but the university as an entity's reaction. would they find offense to the statement? also, when you look at "hate", it is the way a person feels right? so then in the phrase "hate speech", do you look at the hate that a speaker feels towards a targeted group or is it the hate that the group interprets in the actual speech? (a) hate speech isn't "wrong" and (b) in any event, tolerating "wrong" speech is part of the learning / growth /educational process, perhaps via some of the moi arguments advanced on this list.

Here's a freebie from Sun Dantiki: Almighty, let's start with the affirmative side of this topic. The two most important words of this topic to the affirmative (it'd be very stupid not to define them) are 'moral obligation'. Successful affirmative debaters must frame their arguments and cases in the context of duty. To this extent, the affirmative debater must be careful not to fall into the trap of the status quo situations, which focus on legal obligations. There is a clear difference between moral and legal obligations that the affirmative must maintain in the round.

For instance, if I (for the sake of a debate example) wrote hateful propaganda for the KKK (or any other hate group) I'm within my legal rights of free speech but I'd acting immorally because my actions unjustly harm innocent people. So what does the affirmative have to prove? Well, as I see it, the affirmative position rests on two main arguments 1) hate speech is immoral due to its inherent harmful nature 2) Colleges and Universities ought to be the specific agents whom the burden of combating that immorality (hate speech) falls upon. I think the first contention is almost self-evident and will be easily won / conceded in most rounds; the second argument is a bit more difficult. In order to prove that the duty of prohibiting hate speech falls upon colleges and universities, you must prove that students are entitled to protection from the college. To this extent you might even want to look at the mission statements of colleges.

Generally, the college outlines that its purpose is to provide a safe academic environment, in effect, it has a duty to protect against forces which would disrupt that. Students pay money (in my case too much money) to attend college and learn without being the target of hate speech. Thus, when this learning environment is harmed, the burden of restoring it falls upon the university. I think justice (as always) is a good value for the affirmative positions, with a criteria of duties. Another approach would be the idea of reciprocal obligations, which would outline the duties a student and university owe each other. Just as the affirmative tries to keep the round in philosophical terms, the negative must bring the debate to a semi-practical level.

It'd be great if simply affirming the resolution would remove hate speech from college campuses without a detriment, but that's placing an enormous amount of power in the hands of a university or college. Remember as the negative it's not your job to support hate speech or to even solve the problem of hate speech, instead just focus on consequences university censorship and link that to your value. For the negative position, individual rights, or liberty seems to be the natural value. Focus on the individual's perspective; a good source to refer to would be John Stuart Mill's classic On Liberty. In this work, Mill outlines the idea of rights (pardon my paraphrasing) as extending so far as they don't infringe upon the rights of another. Basically the concept that my right to fail my arms about wildly ends only when I hit your nose.

or anyone else's nose. The negative should consider advocating the position that hate speech, taken in isolation, does not violate any rights. This is a tricky, and unpopular, stance so I'd advise you to approach it with some tact, but if you can pull it off it " ll make your case a lot stronger. Another argument to consider is the idea of a "slippery slope." As this argument is often used by the ACLU, it fits right in with the idea of individual rights. Essentially, if the university is given the right to censor what students can say, where does it end? By giving our right to speak our mind over to a university, don't we partially give up our right to think freely?

In fact, if you looked at the mission statements of most universities today, most of them try to encourage diverse ideas. Hate speech, no matter how repulsive, is simply an idea and the moment society collectively censors ideas its members are no longer free. Finally, the negative should also consider who's making the "hate speech." There was a case in the University of Texas where a professor made remarks, considered by some as hate speech, yet retained his job despite student protest. Also, Stanford University passed a hate speech censorship code which was quickly challenged by law students and eventually struck down in court. As you brainstorm ideas for this topic, please remember that I certainly haven't thought of everything nor are my ideas foolproof. I'd also like to welcome the new novice debaters "into the fold"; this activity is a lot of fun, even though the work might seem daunting at times.

Hate Speech, eh? Back to school days on campus, and fittingly enough, we have a campus topic. Good show. So much has been said on hate speech and regulating the content of speech. While we have long had restrictions on time / place /manner of speech, hate speech offers a new idea, to restrict speech based solely on its content. It is a dangerous precedent.

I am not going to bury you with more rhetoric about the problem. It is fairly obvious, such as, what is next to be restricted? The first issue I want to address that is specific to the wording of this topic is the term moral obligation. What does a moral obligation entail? Does it require action? If it does not, what benefit is derived from noticing the problem and doing nothing?

Does a moral obligation prevent action because it is a moral and not a legal obligation? Adding the term moral obligation opens up the issue in a nice way for discussion. The easy question for your opponent is if hate speech is bad, what should colleges do? Remember, the topic is not about passing judgment on hate speech. It does not ask if hate speech is good or bad, justified or not. It assumes it is bad, unjustified.

The topic asks whether colleges should have a moral obligation to prohibit it or not. Easily, most debates will have both sides agreeing that hate speech is bad. The question is what to do about it. Such is the nature of all good discussions. Prohibit should mean some for of restriction sanctified by law.

Doesnt this term in the resolution settle the moral or legal issue from above? If the focus of the debate is to prohibit hate speech that must imply action. There is a huge distinction between prohibiting hate speech and discouraging hate speech, and the difference is the amount of action you take to stop the hate speech. I know this is short for a topic analysis, but I think most debaters readily understand the free speech ideas that underlie this entire discussion. Instead I choose to focus on issues specific to this topic. The obvious comparison on this topic is to last year's Sep/Oct topic regarding cultural sensitivity.

While your cards from that topic may come in handy, here are a couple of points to keep in mind: Hate speech is more narrow than "culturally insensitive speech. " Most colleges and universities define hate speech as (1) specifically targeting an individual as a member of a minority group, and (2) intending to degrade or demean that individual or group. On the cultural sensitivity topic you could argue that the affirmative was obligated to defend speech that was accidentally offensive; here, the speaker must specifically intend to degrade another in order for his speech to qualify as "hate speech. " Here, the government is not doing the censoring. Universities are already restricted environments, and school officials exercise power to control student's access to information and freedom of speech in ways which we would not tolerate if done by a government agency. Although "students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate, " the standard First Amendment vagueness and slippery slope arguments will not avail the negative debater much on this topic. Understand that while almost everyone will run "the marketplace of ideas" on the negative, that such a justification for freedom of speech is probably weakest in the hate speech context.

First, the marketplace of ideas reduces speech to mere instrumental value, rather than intrinsic worth, and exposes the debater to criticism that the link is empirically false Second, the marketplace of ideas rests upon an analogy which may prove tenuous in the campus context. And third, the marketplace of ideas is subject to inherent limitations and restrictions which may encompass hate speech. Know your John Stuart Mill! Critical race theory is obviously a fertile ground for many advanced affirmatives on this topic. Know the best ways to critique the Enlightenment philosophies and the racist assumptions underlying those philosophies. Don't be afraid to offer a kritik-style position in the round which urges the judge to take a brave stand against racism.

Watch for the paradox: the more entrenched racism is in our society, and thus the worse the harms, the more the negative will contend that the affirmative can't solve for those harms. Be sure to tell why the judge's vote matters. A quick online search for "hate speech" or "campus speech codes" will turn up literally thousands of web pages. Good luck, and we " ll be back with more in a week. Thats the whole flaw in this resolution. really there is no way to establish hate speech, because what is hate speech to one person is just speech or expression to another person.

hate speech, morality they are both subjective which makes the neg so easy but the aff so difficult unless of course you get The slippery slope is a fallacy because it occurs when the conclusion of an argument rests upon an alleged chain reaction and there is not sufficient reason to think that the chain reaction will actually take place. Basically, when someone commits the slippery slope fallacy they depend on the supposition that X causes Y, whereas X probably will not cause Y at all. The link between the premise and conclusion depends on some imagined causal connection that probably doesn't exist Ok, back out of round. If this debater tells us that we set a dangerous precedent, OK. If he / she says that we begin to grant authorities too much power with regards to our speech (for whatever reason), this is also OK. If the debater argues that one restriction to speech encourages risky actions amongst those who gots all the mega powers (and then explains), this would also be fantabulicious.

The problem stems from the suggestion that there is somehow a direct causal relationship between saying NO to Backstreet Boy death threats, and saying NO to any other unrelated speech. The debater assumes a slippery slope from policy A to policy B (which would undoubtedly be horrid and fascist policy that might lead to nuclear holocaust). that is not true at all. Any speech that makes derogatory generalizations about people of particular colors, religions, and whatnot is hate speech to everybody. The Neo Nazis know just as well as everyone else that their message is rooted in hate, and what's more, they are the first to say so, Over the past couple days, I've finally gotten to do quite a bit of reading on the topic. It seems to me that the aff has quite a burden to overcome -- hate speech codes on college campuses have in many instances been rejected because of two key reasons -- (1) hate speech codes can be viewed as particularly suspect because they restrict speech due to "content. " It is particularly difficult to maintain a strong value of freedom of speech while allowing the "content" of the speech to be regulated.

Many Supreme Court justices, as divergent in political philosophy as William Douglas to Antonin Scalia, have written powerfully concerning this, and they make a lot of sense. (2) many speech codes have also been overturned judicially because of "over breadth" and "vagueness, " two tendencies which seem almost intrinsically linked with any attempt to (a) define exactly what can be restricted because it is overly hateful, or (b) let victimized groups define I know everybody and their novices will be running critical race theorists on this topic, talking about psychological harm and silencing, etc. This pretty much means, I think, that if you want to advocate from this position, you also must agree with CRT folks that personal experience and narratives of the oppressed ought to carry heavy weight in defining what is and isn't' hate speech. Additionally, most CRT folks recommend that only "historically oppressed" groups ought to be defended from hateful expression. All of this, it seems to me, causes great problems in crafting regulations which aren't at once likely to be very subjectively defined as well as very debatable. Who has been or hasn't been "historically oppressed" is a matter of considerable difference of opinion. Second, this idea of vagueness can plausibly apply to any restriction.

The way that we look at the vagueness of a rule is two-fold: 1) How uncertain or vague is the idea of the law? And 2) How significant is the harm that the restriction is working against? I think that a good aff will cover that ground or at least be able to do so. If we live in a society in which hate speech codes are being considered for college campuses, then it is a given that hate speech exists in other places within the society. Keeping that in mind, all the Neg. would have to prove is that it is better not to shelter the students from the real world.

In my mind, one of the most applicable Supreme Court cases to regulating speech based upon content is that of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment did not protect "fighting words. " 1) Minor point: Has anyone else noticed how often New Hampshire shows up in landmark free speech cases? (In addition to Chaplinsky, one also finds Cox v. New Hampshire [ 1941 ], Polls v. New Hampshire [ 1953 ], Wooley v. Maynard [ 1977 -- this is the case about the "Live Free or Die" license plates], etc. ) Weird. 2) Major point: Chaplinsky was a unanimous 1942 decision, but the court began eroding it almost before the ink was dry.

There have been any number of subsequent decisions which all but killed the so-called "fighting words" doctrine. Take a look at Cohen v. California [ 1971 ], for instance, or Gooding v. Wil Bibliography:


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