Instigator / Con

Free Speech on Campus


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My position is that most subjects can be discussed within the proper academic framework. However, it is a net negative for universities to allow certain speakers, who push for bigotry, to have a platform on campus. I would like to debate anyone who is against this form of censorship and someone who considers themselves a free speech absolutist. This is not a law debate(The point of the debate is about whether universities should uphold free speech, not what the law says about free speech).

Round 1
I am fine with free speech on these areas: 
>I am fine with a Political Science class having an objective  discussion on Nazism(Its messages, impacts, etc...), a literature class where they talk about a book where rape is the main focus, etc...
>I am also fine with a political/religious group booking a room to have a private discussion on their political views/religion(even have a private room to pray).

What I believe a university should do is to ensure that all students can feel as safe and be as free as possible(within reasonable grounds). 

If I was a black student, I would feel unsafe if Richard Spencer was to be able to come on stage at my university to explain how he would like me to be kicked out of this country so he can have his white ethnostate.

If I was an lgbt member, I would feel unsafe if my university were to give a platform to an anti gay activist who then gets to freely proselytise their hatred among a group of their supporters. 

For a more specific example, Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak on a university campus. Even though I still oppose the violent reaction that some people had towards attendees, I understand why Milo should not have been platformed in the first place. He is not an intellectual, he does not bring forward good arguments. He is simply a troll. On December 13th, 2016, Milo spoke at the University of Milwaukee, he doxxed a transgender student, video of him doxxing the student sourced below(1) and giving his name out publicly so now opening the guy up to all kinds of bullying and harrassment from his fans. 

The Nobel Prize winning scientist, James Watson got stripped of his honors for making statements over race that were out of his field of expertise and highly derogatory and untrue(2). I provide a link where you can read the vile remarks he made about black people. I would be fine with him not getting a platform in a university to spew his racist rhetoric. There can be a serious, intellectual discussion on the differences between race and IQ(Are they genetics, environmental, to what degree, etc...) among actual experts within a specific academic discussion but a university should be able to refuse to platform Watson's views as he is simply making racist remarks, completely unfounded and outside his area of study. 

I am fine with a Liberal/Conservative/Libertarian speaker coming to a university campus to discuss their policies etc. However, I would be very uncomfortable having a Black Supremacist get a platform to say vile things about white people.

So yeah, I am fine with most views being discussed on a university platform.
>As long as they are not racist/sexist/homophobic/etc propaganda meant to vilify a whole group of people sharing an identity.
I am fine also with people coming to campus to have a speech titled "Atheism/Christianity/Islam/etc is wrong/evil/stupid/deserves to die" so long as it is only a critique of an ideology and not "Atheists/Muslims/Christians/etc... deserve to die". 


Your positions are very reasonable and I more or less agree with you, but the funny thing is you are not even arguing against free speech on campus. Almost everything you said is literally in support of free speech on campus, what you are really arguing is that the university should have the freedom to not provide a platform for speech which is deemed harmful and wrong. There is a huge difference between banning speech and not providing a platform for speech, especially when it's not even about speech. For instance, in the case of Milo doxxing a transgender student, this is not even an issue of banning him from expressing his viewpoints, but simply denying him a platform due to his own abuse of the platform. Banning him for doxxing a student is not about banning him from stating his opinions, it is about harm and humiliation intentionally being brought upon the person being doxxed, he is not having his free speech limited on campus, he is simply not being given a platform (which no one owes him in the first place) just so he can bully people.
No one is obligated to provide a platform for racists or anti-gay activists or anyone else for that matter,and since you appear to be in support of letting people discuss pretty much whatever they want as long as they aren't going around spouting hate speech in everyone's face like a lunatic there really is nothing anti-free speech about your position. De-platforming bullies and trolls or stripping someone of honors is not anti-free speech, no one is entitled to a platform or honors, these things are granted to people. As long as you aren't outright banning speech itself there is no problem, because there is a huge difference between simply saying something and abusing a platform that an institution granted you to bully people and spread bigotry.
Round 2
I am arguing for censorship of individuals with certain views and I think you seem to agree with censorship. The Universities, where Milo got banned from, are public universities so banning him from speaking there is anti free speech(aka you are not a free speech absolutist then).  Free Speech Absolutists usually argue for platforming even the most heinous views and I wanted to debate with them on that. If you agree with censorship of certain views(bigotry/sexism/racism/etc...), then we are on the same page. I don't think you are a free speech absolutist then

Free Speech Absolutists usually argue for platforming even the most heinous views
I am a free speech absolutist in the sense that I think everyone has a right to express their views. This does not mean public OR private institutions are obligated to provide them with a platform to express those views, or even tolerate them. As long as they aren't being legally prevented from creating their own platform to express them, or they aren't censoring them where they are actually wanted it is not truly an infringement of free speech rights.
If I were to go to a university and start randomly spouting hate speech, it would not be anti-free speech to remove me from the property because at that point I would be harassing people, not merely expressing my views. If the university provided me with a platform to speak publicly and I said things which were deemed offensive and/or objectively wrong and they took away the platform they provided it would not be anti free speech, Think about it, can you just go into a grocery store and start screaming swear-words at little kids? can you go into a library with a mega-phone and start screaming Nazi rhetoric? Free speech does not mean you can go to public places and force people to listen to you no matter how vile you are. You are not even arguing against free speech, you are simply arguing against giving a platform to people no one wants to hear, while still allowing people to express any view as long as they aren't abusing a public platform or harassing/disrupting people.
Round 3
I see, there's not much else for me to say. We are on the same page. 
Thank you for the debate, any questions?
Round 4
I need to look more what free speech absolutism means.
It seems that I considered myself against free speech absolutism(To a degree) while you consider yourself for free speech absolutism yet our views align. I'll do more research. I probably got the definitions wrong
I am a centrist, and I see free speech as something that leftists are not necessarily against and conservatives are not necessarily for. It has become popular for right wingers to conflate the left with being inherently anti free speech but in reality if their misrepresentation was taken seriously free speech would mean you have the right to force others to hear what you have to say. That is not what free speech is about and no one is obligated to provide someone with a platform or sit there and listen to things that offend them.
Round 5
If free speech absolutism means what you say it means, then I am one then. Do you mind if we delete this? It was just a semantic disagreement and we did not debate anything 
I do not give consent to delete this debate. I am sorry if this seems greedy, but I want the points to increase my elo. I have proven that you are not actually against free speech on campus, thus you agree with my position that there should be free speech on campus, therefor you have conceded the debate for all intensive purposes.