Free Speech


Free speech should not be limited, yet it should be regulated. According to the evidence presented in the two articles, the free speech can become the reason for political, intra-racial, religious, ethnic disagreements on a global scale. Free speech should be reasonably regulated by the government and the individuals themselves. Following personal speech control in terms of the social context would bring more discipline and tolerance amongst racial, religious, political and other groups. Free speech regulations will not mean discrimination. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, free speech regulation will not reduce the degree of the freedom granted to a person.

A few decades ago the freedom of speech was granted to all to equalize the possibility to talk freely about what one wishes, or strives for. Nevertheless, in modern world the freedom of speech in many cases has been used against the Human Rights of individuals. The free speech right has opened a gate of crossing out such essential basic notions of decent behavior as truthfulness, humbleness, gratitude, tolerance and respect. A way to stop the degrading human actions towards each other is to introduce the speech regulation. The evidence from the following articles discussed in this paper states the reasons why uncontrolled free speech is dangerous.

Article 1: Free Speech Should Not Be Regulated

The author argues that free speech should not be regulated, as it does not cause any harm. The author brings up a few examples, which illustrate the cases of verbal offense that had been denied due to the lack of evidence that the free speech causes actual damage. According to Oliver Kamm, “free speech must be protected because people's feelings cannot be legislated”. This means that the hurt feelings actually indicate a social problem that requires to be solved. As a result, in the course of the clash of social views the problem attracts public attention for debates. The author clearly exemplifies that surely the human emotions cannot be measured legislatively. Therefore, the free speech promotes hostile reaction in defense to the verbal abuse, which is a positive aspect, as an argument is needed for constructive resolutions.

To prove his assumption, the author takes a good command of the Toulmin argument model following the pattern of its structure. Even though the evidence provided by the writer is rather strong, his statements, such as “Free speech does indeed cause hurt—but there is nothing wrong in this”, or “The soft form of that principle is that a culture founded on the free play of ideas needs to exercise restraint in the face of the sensibilities of others” (Kamm) seem a bit too broad and abstract. However, choosing such an emotionally sensitive to a broad audience, the writer chooses to appeal more on pathos, rather than ethos, or logos. He actually does a very witty trick by using the method of appealing to feelings that according to the writer himself “cannot be legislated”, therefore controlling what is not controllable (Kamm).

The use of language is exquisite. The writer seems to have carefully stylistically chosen the words into synthesis. The author uses negations, such as “nothing wrong”, “cannot be”, “limitless”, etc. to actually illuminate the claim in the positive light, which has a strong impact on the reader (Kamm). Despite the logically layed out arguments, the evidence suggested by the author is too narrow and abstract. Usage of strong convincing linguistic structures tunes down the lack of relevant evidence.

Article 2: Free Speech Has Limits

This article discusses the need for free speech regulation. The author argues that free speech can go as far as hate speech, which affects the individuals’ Human Rights, as well as reputation, privacy, and security. The author refers to the First Amendment as a merely descriptive document of the American people, which does not impose the freedoms, yet prescribes the individuality of the American society. The author states: “we can protect human dignity only by sacrificing freedom of speech, and vice versa” (Heyman). His greatest concern here is that most individuals use the freedom of speech as an excuse for immoral behavior, such as hate speech or pornography, which leads to a degradation of the society as a whole.

The writer attempts to receive agreement using Rogerian argument model by first introducing the problem to the audience and showing how it affects the society, and revealing the position without actually stating that it is better than the position of the extremity. It is constructed in a way to appeal more to our logic and suggests deductive conclusions, suggesting reference to the problems found in both instances, the author gives us the chance to decide which side are we on: “these problems typically involve important values on both sides”. At many instances, the writer illuminates his personal position supporting with his belief system: “I believe”, “I have noted”, “having strong intuitive appeal”, etc (Heyman). However, the article lacks a wider range of arguments, as it mostly refers to one negative aspect of free speech.

In comparison to the first article, this one seems weaker in the language use, as it only appeals to logic of the audience, rarely making an emotional impact, or giving scientific evidence or statistical data. Despite a few credible references in the article, the evidence is weekly integrated into the argument. To sum up, the only claim of the author is “free speech may be restricted solely to protect the rights of others is meant to apply only to regulations that are based on the content or "communicative impact" of expression”. In other words, the author suggests to regulate the language we are using in order not to hurt someone else’s feelings.


After a close examination of the argumentative structure of both articles, each stating one side of the argument, I incline to agree with the writer of the first article, as his factual base is more logical and appealing to the audience. The following conclusion has been drawn after analyzing a well structured argument in Toumlin’s model with strong supportive facts. The strong choice of language in combination with ethos logos, and pathos that have a large credential support of the professionals and trial results in this sphere have a convincing impact on the conscience of the reader. In comparison to the second article which seemed merely as the position of one person’s believes, Kamm states his position clearly at the beginning and through the course of the argument proves its usage of various approaches.

Get a price quote

Related essays