Freedom Of Expression In Modern Democracy

1800 Words8 Pages
The freedom of expression is a crucial component in the morals that construct modern democracy. It provides citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on any situation without the fear of government inference. But what happens when a person’s freedom of expression also grants them the freedom to offend another? Addressing the question: “In a democracy should we be free to say, exhibit or print what we like?” requires a knowledge of both sides of the argument: those whose expression is offensive and those offended. Encompassed in this essay is an analysis of journals on opposite sides of the spectrum that will help give a broader outlook on self-expression and the possible consequences of such freedom. Self-expression is a current and relevant dilemma because most citizens of a democratic society are pro-expression, but also believe that offence should be met with censorship. That attitude alone can cause issues because the definition of offensive can vary from person to person. Many controversial events that caused public outrage have sprouted from this argument with the offender using the freedom to express as the foundation of their argument. The purpose of this essay is to assess both sides of the argument and further evaluate the concept of limiting freedom of expression in a democratic society.
One of the arguments used against freedom of expression is the damage it has on public perception. David Edgar documents this point of view stating, “Cornelia Oddie, deputy
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