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Should hate speech be illegal?
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There are severe consequences of hate speech

Hate speech is a regular part of society even though it shouldn’t be. It often results in violence and has caused pain for many innocent people over the years. It would be best to make it illegal to stop hate fueled violence and help individuals become mentally stable.

The Argument

The consequences of hate speech outweigh the benefits of free speech. Hate speech causes violence. Hatred is a form of extreme anger that often inhibits rational decision, resulting in physical harm and often murder. In American history, the Ku Klux Klan was able to get away with hate speech. Whenever they went to trial for it, they were let go because they claimed they were exercising their freedom of speech.[1] Of course, they didn’t always just voice their opinions. They killed people to make a statement. Unfortunately, murderous actions caused by hate speech happen in the modern era as well. In 2017, a mosque in Quebec that had been the target of slander for years was attacked, resulting in the death of six people.[2] But hate speech doesn’t just result in violence. Like bullying, hate speech affects the mind and can cause negative psychological effects like anxiety and depression.[3] With so many harmful results of hate speech, it should be made illegal.

Counter arguments

Although violence is sometimes a result of hate speech, hurtful words and physical harm are two very different things. Physical violence should be punished because someone’s well-being and life is being threatened. But words don’t pose a threat to someone’s well-being or life.



[P1] Hate speech results in extreme violence. [P2] Hate speech can result in anxiety and depression. [P3] Because of the violence and mental and emotional harm brought on by hate speech, it should be made illegal.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Although physical violence is a crime that should be punished, hate speech shouldn’t be categorized with physical violence.


This page was last edited on Friday, 14 Feb 2020 at 12:11 UTC

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