Essay On Freedom Of Speech

I was going to the most liberal part of America, carrying with me a deep love of freedom, born from the painful history of a country where censorship used to be a powerful tool for oppression.

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Limiting freedom of expression goes against the very idea of democracy, threatening to impede social progress and the fight for just and egalitarian social order.There are two distinct but related reasons for this.The first has to do with freedom of speech as a fundamental right, vital to democracy, social change and the ability to fight injustice.Freedom of expression is especially vital in universities.Restricting speech is an assault to freedom of thought, which is fundamental to the main purpose of an educational institution, that of developing students’ ability to think critically and independently.First, censoring speech that is seen as discriminatory risks perpetuating existing biases by failing to tackle the core of the issues.Second, by giving control over speech to faceless authorities, those who fight for social change forsake their own ability to challenge the status quo, to participate in the destruction of dysfunctional and unjust systems.The current phenomenon of college students demanding “no platform” policies and “safe spaces” is admirable in its goal of protecting marginalised groups.The passion that marks these efforts is of utmost importance in sparking necessary dialogue and highlighting the ills of society.Not only does it antagonise potential allies in the fight for justice, but it also fails to acknowledge the reasons why controversial views exist in the first place, or to address any logical, moral or ethical problems inherent in them.For those who hold those views, strategies of censure and reproach are unlikely to eradicate those convictions and actually risk leading instead to confirmation bias, strengthening the original prejudice.

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