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Does political correctness harm society? Show more Show less

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. However, 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.
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Politically correct standards encourage proper use of free speech

If a society has standards of political correctness, its inhabitants can use their free speech properly and considerately without hurting others. Lack of concern for speech can become an oppressive tool used to further discriminate against minority groups.
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Context

The Argument

Our society's political correctness enables people to use free speech wisely—this standard does not hinder it. Although our culture has standards of political correctness, these do not prevent people from sharing their opinion. They are still free to share their opinions, free of censorship. Political correctness simply helps people to express their opinions wisely, in a manner that avoids hurting others. Politically correct standards give people an awareness of ideas and words that hurt disadvantaged people. Armed with this awareness, individuals can prevent using their free speech in a derogatory way. For this reason, political correctness is actually an asset to society. It enables people to share their opinions in an unoffensive way, ultimately encouraging the free flow of ideas. Being politically correct means using non-offensive and non-controversial language. It ensures respect between two individuals or groups in acknowledging their differences in history and background.[1] In doing so, politically correct standards encourages the proper use of free speech in not harming others with words.

Counter arguments

Although political correctness began as a courtesy, it has grown into a standard that harms civil discourse. While discussing controversial issues, people cannot speak with peace of mind. They fear being "canceled" simply because they are ignorant of popular terminology. Political correctness has grown from a simple courtesy to a harmful form of censorship.[2] This sort of censorship is unforgiving to those who may be politically incorrect but mean no harm to the party the statement was directed at. Further, to establish politically correct standards for everyone is against the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees free speech. In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Cohen v. California that it is constitutional to "use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages."[3] Politically correct standards would therefore not be a proper use of free speech for many people.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Being politically correct allows people to express their opinions without hurting anyone else. [P2] Politically correct standards enables people to have respect for those who have different backgrounds and cultures than them.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Establishing politically correct standards is against the First Amendment of the Constitution. [Rejecting P2] Being "politically incorrect" often doesn't qualify as hate speech as it's unintentional It is still possible to have respect for people of different backgrounds and cultures without holding to a politically correct standard.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2019/01/duke-university-why-i-choose-to-be-politically-correct
  2. https://www.thejustice.org/article/2019/11/cancel-culture-a-truly-toxic-phenomenon-in-modern-politics
  3. https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/what-does

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 15:47 UTC