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    Freedom of Speech: Too much or Too Little?

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    Please help give a 2 minute speech in philosophy on Freedom of Speech: Too much or Too Little?

    Please help a basic outline, information and/or article dealing with cases and examples.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 9, 2019, 7:04 pm ad1c9bdddf

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    Please see response attached.

    1. Well I have to give a 2-minute speech in philosophy on Freedom of Speech: Too much or Too Little? I have no idea where to start. I need some serious help on this.

    The first place to start is to take a position. Do you think that we have too much freedom of speech? Or, do you think that we have too little freedom of speech? Then, research the topic to see what others have to say, and to find information to back up your argument.Then, write out a draft copy...read it out loud timing yourself... to make sure it gives you 2 minutes of airtime. Your tentative outline might look something to the effect...

    I. Introduction
    II. Freedom of speech: Too much or too little
    a. Example 1
    b. Example 2
    c. Example 3
    d. Example 4 (as many examples as you need to fill up 2 minutes of air time)
    III. Conclusion

    Now, let's look at some information to consider for the speech. I did an online search and located two articles, which will be a good starting point. In the first article, the author takes the position that although we are told we have freedom of speech through the constitution, we are unaware on the existing limitations on freedom of speech. He provides many examples of where freedom of speech isn't protected by the constriction (you can consider using them in your speech) and there are links to many other articles as well. Whereas the first examples provide many legal case examples, the second article provides other examples as well. The second article also argues that there are too many limitations on freedom of speech. Perhaps you might consider taking this position as well.

    Article 1: Freedom of speech
    20 October 2001, 3:38 PM

    I think most Americans are unaware of the existing limitations on freedom of speech. I used to think that freedom of speech was the most basic and absolute Constitutional freedom; that there were no limits on it, period. Boy was I wrong. Here are some miscellaneous discussions/points about what speech isn't constitutionally protected—I wrote most of this for a mailing list a few months back, but I think it fits the current topic pretty well.

    The decision in a Free Speech Coalition case says:
    The First Amendment, however, does not protect certain limited categories of speech that are "utterly without redeeming social importance." . . . See also R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377, 382-83 (1992) (stating that "[f]rom 1791 to present . . . our society, like other free but civilized societies, has permitted restrictions upon the content of speech in a few limited areas, which are of such slight value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality"). These categories include obscenity, Roth, 354 U.S. at 483, libel, Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250, 266 (1952), and "fighting words," Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 571-73 (1942) [see below. —jed]. Child pornography is also one of these categories of speech. Ferber, 458 U.S. at 763-64.

    This article about free speech on the Internet says:
    The area of speech defined as clear and present danger was codified in the Supreme Court case Brandenburg v. Ohio [actually, it was codified long before that, but see below for more info. —jed], in which the court ruled that a law may only forbid speech advocating illegal or violent actions if the speech is intended to incite or produce imminent lawless action and if the speech is likely to incite or produce such action. (Cavazos and Morin, p. 74) Fighting words are a continuation of the clear and present danger idea, and are defined as words which are so offensive and abusive that they are likely to "cause or incite immediate physical retaliation by the audience." (Cavazos and Morin, p. 76)
    The usual example of something that presents a "clear and present danger" is falsely shouting "fire!" in a crowded theatre (even though that doesn't really fit the description given above)—see below.

    In Chaplinsky vs State of New Hampshire (1942), the Supreme Court ruled that New Hampshire's law prohibiting certain kinds of "fighting words" speech was constitutional. (It's a surprising opinion to me. It closes with statements like "Argument is unnecessary to demonstrate that the appellations 'damn racketeer' and 'damn Fascist' are epithets likely to provoke the average person to retaliation, and thereby cause a breach of the peace.")
    The "fighting words" exception was later used to try to stop the American Nazi Party from having a rally in Skokie, IL; the idea was that the Nazis' words were likely to be so provoking that they would incite the audience to violence, and therefore the governments would be justified in preventing the Nazis from speaking. However, that attempt failed; the court ruled, iIrc (which I may not), that "fighting words" can only be construed very narrowly, as a one-on-one sort of thing, not for a speaker addressing a crowd. Note, too, that most free-speech exceptions (at least during peacetime) don't allow governments to prevent as-yet-unspoken speech that they think is going to be inflammatory; they only allow governments to punish the speakers after the unprotected speech is made. That is, one may be able to successfully argue that a given speech wasn't constitutionally protected, but not that an upcoming speech ...

    Solution Summary

    Regarding a speech on Freedom of Speech: Too much or Too Little?, this solution provides an outline for basic structure, as well as information to consider for the speech.