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Should Swearing be illegal?

So many people swear, should they be punished for it?
“Should swearing remain legal?”

All the Yes points:

  1. Too common
  2. The positive aspects of swearing.
  3. It waters down the meaning of ideas with emotion instead of content and limits people’s vocabulary, destroys life.

All the No points:

  1. Crime defined
  2. Not arrested but a ticket.
  3. Free right
  4. Why Should It?
  5. No, people are entitled to their free speech!
  6. No! Fuck you!
  7. Waste of Police Time

Too common

Yes because…

Swearing is an integral part of every society in the world. Policing something that is so ingrained in a low-minded global culture, is excessive and undesirable. People who want to control a bad habit should be able to police themselves, albeit there are certain points in one’s life when it is absolutely positively necessary to swear. If you’re stringent about never saying a bad word or flipping out or acting erratic then hats off to you, but know this: people who keep their rage bottled up inside are at the greatest risk for a Pandora’s box of mental problems.

There are greater, actual crimes that need attention, adding swearing to a list of illicit commonalities would be a waste of taxpayer money, police time and just plain absurd. Abusive language is too ubiquitous to be criminalized, just as roaming about topless in certain African/South-American-tribes cannot be dubbed illicit indecent exposure and making marijuana illegal has only further popularized pot-smoking; the world over. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profanity#Statistics]]

No because…

Wife beating is common [[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,926135,00.html]] [[http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2001-08-22/bangalore/27250512_1_wife-beating-police-stations-vanitha-sahaya-vani]] , gang shoot-outs are common, knife crime is common[[http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/knifecrime]] , there’s a painstakingly long list of things that are very very common but very very wrong. A crime is not defined by it’s commonality but the degree of it that should be tolerated. The emphasis being on ‘should be’ rather than is.

This ‘should’ is contingent upon the diabolical nature and effect of such an act. If the effect is tremendously negative, and the nature/intention(mens rea) of the act can only be interpreted as negative and nothing else; then in my books it is criminal and must be made punitive. Abusive language serves to hurt, demoralize and demean victims, therefore fits the effect and intention criterion for being a crime.

This whole argument is stupid…
It’s like saying that long hair is illegal, who determines what length hair has to be before it becomes offensive. Who determines what an offensive word is. It can’t be defined, what words would actually be considered a “Swear” word.

The positive aspects of swearing.

Yes because…

It allows you to vent your anger without actually harming anyone.

It is an honest, down-to-earth expression of how you feel.

Many ‘swear words’ are the original words for things before being replaced by a loan word and actually less harmful in literal meaning.

To ban swearing would make society more formal and make it less comfortable to be in – we need to ban swearing on TV or films made for very young children, but it would be stifling to apply the same rules to everyday life.

No because…

It wouldn’t make sense to ban swearing because it is how humans work now. People just say it now because they are used to it. If you do ban it imagine what the future would be like, there would be more police officers around everywhere and giving people tickets for just simply saying s***! Why would you want to give a $40 ticket to basically everyone on this planet? Why wouldn’t you want to have officers where you need them like; bad places where people get mugged or catching someone for doing drugs in their home. Already police officers today sit in a hiding place with a gun and check how fast some people are going, and if they’re speeding then he/she would give them a ticket for being 5 km’h the limit? Why wouldn’t you want that same police officer chasing down a speeding car that just killed someone? It wouldn’t make sense to ban swearing just because it is too common for people, and that is how people are these days.

Actually I can hurt someone even harder without swearing at all. By telling how ugly, useless, incompetent they are… If there was a such a law. I believe that some people will get that frustrated by not being able to swear, so instead of swearing they will be beating someone.

It waters down the meaning of ideas with emotion instead of content and limits people’s vocabulary, destroys life.

Yes because…

(This is entering the realm of the nature of reality, so prepare for some paradigm shifting turbulence) Every act has a cause. Every curse/swear has a cause and an effect. The cause and effect must be acknowledged when using these expressions.

To swear is to utter obscenities, WordWeb’s definition.
An obscenity is offensive or indecent expression.
An indecent expression does not meet the standards of what is right/good, for a reason
It is wrong/bad because it both comes from (is associated with) an ill cause and causes an ill effect. The ill cause that leads to the swearing is the will to death/impotence as opposed to the will to life/power (to use partly from the philosophy of Nietzsche). Using a swear/curse word admits to a lack for a better choice of words, also a lack of meaning. Why not use a more accurate vocabulary/expression to communicate ideas? Why leave people to wonder what the meaning of your words is?

Ill cause:
hurt, lack of vocabulary or meaning, hate, anger, nothing good

Ill effect:
Expressing the causes above in not the best way, confusion, hurt, other ills.

No because…

I’m sorry, but I don’t exactly understand your argument here. You think that swearing should be illegal because it causes a watered down vocabulary and makes it difficult to communicate?
There are many flaws in that thinking pattern.

First off, if you think realistically, how would one be charged for swearing? Would it only be in public? or also in the privacy of your own home? What would the penalty be?

Does this not infringe upon freedom of speech?

What about the studies that prove swearing helps increase pain tolerance in people?
Swearing is a cultural phenomenon. A society collectively agrees that a certain set of words are considered “bad” or “Harmful”. They are just words.

I understand certain words have a history of being derogatory towards certain ethnic groups, but if I slam my finger in a drawer and yell “Sh**!” Then that is just an expression of pain. It isn’t harming anyone. When people are offended by a single word, said in no context, that is their problem.

Crime defined

No because…

-Threat to society

-Public wrong

-Morally reprehensible conduct

-Wrong which is pursued by the sovereign or his/her sub ordinates (Austin)

-Wrongs whose sanction and is in no way remissible by the crown alone

et cetera( and the rest)

Is swearing a threat to society? Well, yes it takes away the respect that fellow residents/citizens should have for each other. It creates a sort of resentful familiarity and familiarity breeds contempt.
Most offices/schools/libraries have stringent rules of etiquette keeping people from swearing.
It is a public wrong? Well no one in the public would say swearing is a public right, eh?

Yes because…

I say it’s a public right.

How is something that is a an unmistakable and irremovable part of the way we live, in these not so wonderful times not be a public right? [[http://www.kclabor.org/cussing.htm]]

Not arrested but a ticket.

No because…

Really you should not be arrested for swearing. The least they should do is fine your for some money. Really swearing is one of the things you wont be able to stop in a few weeks, it will take years to make a dent. Think about how many people there are in the U.S and about half or more of them have used a swear word. It would be to many people in the jails and there might be protests against the law so just give the people a ticket and be on your way.

It should be illegal, but around little kids who will be influenced by what they see, since swearing is commonly associated with violence.

Yes because…

That’s not right. That’s basically saying, that it should be legal so long as it’s covert and illegal otherwise. Do you see that you just suggested giving birth to an underground, illicit, black-market for the freedom to cuss?

So, ‘really’, people should not be locked up but fined, as if the governments of the world aren’t pilfering the general public enough, already?

Free right

No because…

Swearing is a public right, and a way to express your anger without actually hurting anyone, physically.

Will saying a swear to someone is mean and could the hurt person depending on who it is, but it much less painful then punching him/her and also swearing is not different then saying to a person “Hey your wearing an ugly shirt”. Swearing is basically like that just in 1 word. Making swearing will not get rid of bullying but will just make it more annoying. Also people don’t always swear at people sometimes when someone is angry, or just got in trouble he / she will sometimes say something like ” OH S***!” There is nothing wrong with that since he is not offending anyone. Besides it should be a right to say what you want to say you are a human being and if you are angry you should be able to express it, all swearing is a word which holds a bigger meaning. for example once again if your angry, you won’t see someone yelling “Oh my god im in anger!”. they will probably say something like “Oh snap!” or a bad word. it is just the way people are, not just in swearing. For example when someone is hungry they don’t say “oh I am in the mood to eat” instead they will simply say “I’m Hungry”. Its just the way we humans are so why take away the right to express your feelings.

Yes because…

Why Should It?

No because…

Swearing is not the best thing. Bad influence on children. But it’s a way to express children. No one would probably go swear themselves off one day just because they want to, there would probably be a reason to. Swearing is a way to express your anger, happiness, etc. Swearing being illegal? Being charged or erased for saying a certain word? It wouldn’t necesarily be a legit reason to be messing with the crime. We do have “freedom to speech”

Yes because…

Yes I agree, it should be Illegal, because when swearing is used among children, they start using it. Then it spreads like wild fire. Swearing is offensive, rude and not acceptable. It is not apart of freedom of speech, it is about self-control. When swearing is used you are looked down upon, in some cultures it is seen as dirty talk and it is nasty. Hearing it can make people become angry and it causes violence. Fines should be handed out or formal warnings. It is an embarrassment to this country.

No, people are entitled to their free speech!

No because…

Swearing should be in no way illegal. I believe that people are entitled to their free speech, and if people are putting a law against that what happened to our rights? I feel that people are allowed to swear as long as they aren’t hurting someone and targeting them with the swear word, however even if they do this they shouldn’t be charged. Everyone should be entitled their own freedom of speech, and making it illegal to swear takes away from this. Even though swearing is rude, trashy and a sin people should be entitled and be able to say things they want to, but only if it’s not harassing and bullying. Almost everyone swears if something goes wrong, they get hurt, or something just happens and a little swear words pops out, and if we put a law against this i think a lot of drama would happen, when you discuss this topic. In conclusion i feel that people should be able to say what they want when they want, and making swearing illegal would take away from this.

Yes because…

No! Fuck you!

No because…

Freedom of speech! And it’s illegal not illeagel. Freedom and power to the people!

Yes because…

Not a valid argument in any way, shape or form. Vacuous egalitarian statements do not constitute a reasoned and developed point of view that debates such as this seek to foster.

Waste of Police Time

No because…

Whenever a new crime is created the police have to spend resources stopping it instead of murders, burglaries etc. If the police had to stop every time someone swore they would have no time to do anything else.

Yes because…

This argument is something of a straw man argument. On this basis, we would never add anything to the criminal law statue books! The police are public servants, and exist wholly to enforce the codified set of rights and responsibilities determined by the people, that we term ‘the law’. If the people believe that swearing should be illegal, then of course the Police should enforce the law – they are servants of the people, and it is society that are the arbiters of what is right and wrong. In a nutshell, if society believe it’s wrong then it cannot possibly be a ‘waste’ of police time for them to enforce it.

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