Re: free speech? (was: nuremburg files judgement)

Randall Randall (
Tue, 2 Mar 1999 01:38:19 -0500

I've lately thought that on Mon, 01 Mar 1999, Timothy Bates wrote:
>>>Randall Randall he do say
>>>> I'd want *any* free speech allowed, even "Fire!" in a crowded
>>>> theater... Of course, this would always be covered by contract...
>>>> Also, I do not believe that lying should be illegal, when
>>>> it is not fraud (returning no value for value recieved.
>too radical for me Randall ;-)

For most, actually. :)

>I think lieing is always fraud (bad information sold as good).

I agree in every case where it *was* sold. That is, it is the selling that makes it fraud, rather than simple deceit.

>I am confused about the fire in a theatre example. I agree with you that it
>implies you have a contract with people that you may not have and i worry

I would say that if it is clear that Joe Excited was not allowed into the theater unless he agreed not to falsely cry "fire", yelling "fire" is a violation of contract.

>The difference is that in the latter case you are giving information, in the
>former you are lying and saying what a reasonable man knows will in all
>probability cause serious injury and at the very least ruin a night out for
>150 people etc. etc.

I think that the main difference here is that I see the cause of (say) Sam's broken leg is the idiot who stepped on him, whereas it seems that you are saying that said idiot was not a cause, that he is not responsible for his own actions, and that Joe Excited (who yelled "fire!") *is*, even though he was across the room and had no control over the idiot's behavior.

I agree that it is dispicable to yell "fire!" in a crowded theater, and not nice besides, but I don't think that it should be illegal by *default*, but only by contract.

>So, I say
>truth = always protected.
>opinion = always protected.


>lying = unprotected speech.

I would say, only when exchanged for value in expectation of truth.

>soliciting for a crime = unprotected.

I would say, only if solicitor contracts to be liable for her agent's actions...

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