argument top image

Does political correctness harm society? Show more Show less
Back to question

Politically correct refers to the avoidance or censorship of words, actions, and policies that could offend disadvantaged groups. In modern discussions, the word is loaded, with commentators divided concerning its influence. Many people use this term disparagingly, and see it as a reflection of our culture's hypersensitivity. Others argue that political correctness reflects respect for diversity. Does political correctness disrupt honest public discourse, or show concern for the marginalized?

No, political correctness doesn't harm society Show more Show less

Political correctness protects the marginalized and ensures that cultural influences do not breed hatred and bigotry.
< (2 of 2)

Language is formative

If we view disparaging speech about disadvantaged people as socially acceptable, we will cultivate disparaging sentiments toward this community, because language influences the way we think.
< (2 of 4) Next argument >

The Argument

As a society, we should require public figures to use politically correct speech, because language is deeply formative. Although we are reluctant to admit this, wider cultural forces influence the way that we think and behave.This is not to say that humans are doomed to follow wider cultural trends, but that the society we are immersed in does have an impact on our actions. Because of this, politically correct speech should be a requirement for public discourse. If we allow people to share sentiments that harbor prejudice without criticism, we allow our culture to spread the popularity of these ideas. Our society's political correctness is not an impediment of free speech or a pointless rule of propriety. It is a measure that discourages widespread affirmation of prejudice.

Counter arguments

As creatures with free will, humans can choose to embrace or reject particular opinions. We can choose our beliefs for ourselves and are not doomed to accept popular ones. In a society with politically correct standards, people will still choose to embrace problematic beliefs. For this reason, political correctness does not prevent prejudice. It simply prevents people from sharing their opinions.


[P1] Language is formative- it influences the way our culture thinks and behaves. [P2] For this reason, we should not tolerate politically incorrect speech.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020 at 16:48 UTC

Explore related arguments