Does freedom of speech and expression also mean freedom to offend?

If we have the freedom to express our opinion does that mean we should be able to express opinions that are directly insulting, offensive and antagonistic to someone?


Personally I believe we should for the sake of principle but that's just my opinion. What do you think?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Technically yes, with the understanding that you must accept the consequence of abusing that right.

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What Girls Said 4

  • Yes, freedom of speech and expression should include comments that may offend. I don't think freedoms should be limited. People have the right to their own opinions, even if those opinions aren't politically correct or accepted by the majority. However, people should also realize that if they do express possibly offensive comments, other people are free to criticize them for it. It goes both ways.

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  • No, your freedom stops where you're a risk to restrict the freedom of someone else and offending them on purpose is definitely going to restrict their freedom (mentally) around you. there are even laws in my country that can protect you from this to happen (in severe cases you could take someone to court) but I don't know about the U. S. Also you will find that our morals and ethics are widely based on the "golden rule" and this doesn't agree with it's principle at all.

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    • But I am not restricting their freedom around me, only they themselves are. If they have a mental problem with what I said then it's their problem alone, not mine. They are in control of their feelings, not me.

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    • *I should have said empathy instead of sensitivity

    • In life rmpathy is needed but legally speaking if one's poo little feewings take precedence over the freedom to express then one should ask, where does it stop. So to preserve integridy, there should not be empathy...

  • Interesting input, if I do say so myself. As a Canadian, I will speak from the laws that I know. Freedom to express your opinion would be found under the Fundamental Freedoms in the Charter: you're free to express yourself, and your opinion. A past social teacher of mine said that it's not lawful to verbally insult or offend someone because we also have our Legal Rights which ensure that "Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment."

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  • You have the right
    Is it respectful? No, plus you're opening a can of ass whooping

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What Guys Said 13

  • Yes absolutely because nobody has the right not to be offended. If that was the case then nothing could ever be said because everything offends someone.

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  • Yeah, of course.

    The exercise of free speech guarantees that somebody is always going to be offended.

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  • Wendy have that r8ght1. People who suffer issues with those things are usually those who break a private group's rules and get kicked out of a specific place. Just because we have freedom of speech doesn't mean we can claim there are fires as a prank if you know what I mean.

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    • Well there is a difference between expressing a politically incorrect opinion and willingly stirring up mass panic.

  • I love the Double Standards here in the U. S... you have Freedom of Speech as long at it doesn't offend gays or draw pictures of Muhammad. Yet some Imams preach hate its a small minority, but if you want to have freedom of speech and say the U. S is a empire that wants to enslave all muslims est... don't go shooting Draw Muhammad rallies. I'm not taking any sides... just notice double standards in society...

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  • This is my dilemma I support freedom of speech but there is always someone who pushes the line too far and offends the heck out of me. Then if you have a caveat of "No Offensive Content", who decides what is offensive.
    I think for safety's sake we have to have curbs on the freedom of speech or else we have pedos at the school gates proclaiming the joy of age difference love.

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    • Then who will be the one to define what's offensive and what is not? And also, your example is a case of sexual harassment. Against minors no less.

  • Yes it does. When done well, that's what satire is.

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  • People's feelings are of almost zero importance to me. Yes, you have the right to offend.

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  • Of course someone will get offended in Freedom of Speech.. That is why there is responsibility in every right. It's Rights and Responsibility.. But obvious statements that are meant to offend is not a right, like hate speech and shit. It's not hard to not spot a troll statement.

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  • Yes of course. The opposite of freedom of speech is political correctness which can be translated into "my little feelings dictatorship"

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  • Of course, it does. Every opinion is offensive to someone.

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  • well yes, that is the definition of free speech. doesn't mean you have to be an asshole and insult people just because you dont agree with them.

    Free speech and your own morale compass are completely different things.

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  • Yes, That's the whole point. If someone can just cry, "I'm offended." and have you locked up you don't have freedom of speech.

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  • NO you really legally cannot purposely offend some one there are a lot of lawsuites because of direct insults.

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