• Isaac
    9.4k
    something can be done to curtail future abusesFooloso4

    What? You said that Fox is "being sued" and that "the damage has been done". So the system you're describing established falsity after the allegations have been made (and done their damage). What different system do you imagine can be put in place to establish the falsity of a claim before it is published (and the damage done)?
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    What different system do you imagine can be put in place to establish the falsity of a claim before it is published (and the damage done)?Isaac

    Legal action cannot undo what has been done but when sources are held legally responsible and fines significant then they will be more cautious and diligent in establishing the truth of their accusations and allegations.
  • Michael
    11.9k
    One can be confident that the loss of Socrates and his art is greater than whatever trappings had been gained by his silencing.

    So it is with all acts of censorship
    NOS4A2

    That doesn't follow.

    What’s wrong with free speech absolutism?

    Given that your reasoning appears based on a utilitarian principle, a simple argument against free speech absolutism is that there is at least once case where more is gained than lost by censorship. Perhaps the sharing of military intelligence with a foreign nation is one such example.
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    they will be more cautious and diligent in establishing the truth of their accusations and allegations.Fooloso4

    Really? So this sort of legal action is new? Has some law changed in the US that I've not noticed?

    Because otherwise, history pretty much undermines your theory. It has always been possible to be sued for publishing false information (of various sorts) it doesn't seem to have held anyone back yet.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    it doesn't seem to have held anyone back yet.Isaac

    The issue under discussion is whether there should be deterrents. The effectiveness of deterrents remains to be seen.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    What’s wrong with free speech absolutism?NOS4A2

    https://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/stories/boy.html

    Rugged individualists have a difficulty understanding the "co" in communication. Communication, which speech is a variety of, has a function. The function is social, it is to bring individuals together and allow them to coordinate in just the same way that the nervous system allows communication within the individual and allows coordination of the limbs. It is sadly apparent when the nervous system sends wrong information; shakes and spasms, phantom limb pain, and so on.

    Thus speech is always a cooperative social enterprise and is liable to go wrong in various ways. Untimely, false, or incomprehensible, information prevents appropriate responses and coordination of action. Snake oil salesmen, pranksters, dishonest politicians, coercive controllers, and others of that ilk exploit the communal communication system of language for their own purposes that are manipulative rather than communicative. This manipulation has a high social and individual cost and no doubt everyone has suffered that cost at times. Ultimately, the loss of trust in the language itself results in a disengagement from social life and this is apparent in politics. Thus free speech that allows lies the same protection as truth is corrosive to democracy in particular.

    So I am a truth and honesty absolutist, not a lies and bullshit absolutist. And the question arises as to who one can trust to sort the lies from the truths. One has at any rate to trust oneself, and then one has to trust oneself to know who to trust. And the more that lies abound. the less there will be trust. If there is no trust, there is no meaning, and I have been wasting my time pressing keys for nothing. But I trust some will understand.
  • Michael
    11.9k
    So I am a truth and honesty absolutistunenlightened

    So government employees ought be allowed to share military intelligence with foreign nations?
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    The issue under discussion is whether there should be deterrents. The effectiveness of deterrents remains to be seen.Fooloso4

    Yes, and the first complaint raised is that the deterrents have disadvantages. So their advantages need be weighed against those. Effectiveness therefore cannot be avoided.

    If you're saying that legal recourse in the face of demonstrable lies is the full extent of deterrence then I might be inclined to agree, but that's not censorship is it? Nor is it exhaustive of, or even most common among, the tools for suppression of free speech.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    Irony, satire, myth, caricature, sarcasm, metaphor, hyperbole—deception is a function of language just like any other articulated sound from the mouth.

    There is neither truth nor honesty without falsity and lies. You cannot find any of the former without reference to the latter. Should either be eradicated what would we hold the other against? What happens to trial and error? What happens to hypothesis? Art? All that’s left is dogma.

    It sounds like you’re more of a social harmony absolutist, and I’d wager you would proffer lies so long as the group as a whole coordinated to your standards. So it is with collectivism.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    I have no idea what this means. Truth is only useful as a concept if all misrepresentations count as the opposite of it. We do not possess a version of events beyond attempts to recount them. Reporting a false narrative is often done for the purpose of suppressing another.

    The distortion of the truth, ie. lying, is different than the suppression of truth, ie. censorship. One can be straightened out while the other simply vanishes.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    My point is that the truth is a standard that must be protected.Fooloso4

    I agree with you again. What I got from your post that is of concern to me is that attaining that truth via information by the media is an epistemological nightmare. Did you not say that, too?

    For a more expanded explanation of this view (if you need it) please see my previous post, the one that you replied to. Thanks.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    What I got from your post that is of concern to me is that attaining that truth via information by the media is an epistemological nightmare. Did you not say that, too?god must be atheist

    I am not arguing in favor of a skeptical nightmare. What I am arguing is that more information is not the solution to misinformation because that additional information too may be misinformation. What is needed is more reliable information, more factual information.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    What happens to hypothesis? Art? All that’s left is dogma.NOS4A2

    That is not true. I am presenting a view that is open to challenge and might be wrong, it is a hypothesis. But it is not wrong because it rules out fiction, because it does no such thing. It only rules out presenting fiction as fact.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    So government employees ought be allowed to share military intelligence with foreign nations?Michael

    Yes, I think so. Secret government is necessarily undemocratic government. That is to say, if there is a feeling in the workforce that they do not want to share it, then they won't, but the law should not be involved in the 'suppression of truth'. Where I think I would draw a line is at personal information, some protection for the individual's privacy seems reasonable. Though largely unobtainable alas.
  • Benkei
    6.1k
    When I was still working for the ministry of finance, they had a tendency to resist right to information requests, leading to those requests becoming broader and more work.

    Luckily one of the highest civil servants shared my view. The first step I suggested, and the most difficult, was, how do I do my job that I can freely talk about it when having drinks with a friend? Eg., on an everyday basis I shouldn't be working in such a way that nobody except my boss is allowed to know what I'm doing. That's asking for trouble with respect to accountability.

    Second, we changed the process, instead of resisting information requests, we started calling those who submitted them. "Hey, you're asking for a ton of information, I think we can all save time. If you tell me what you're trying to find out, I'll try to collect everything that's relevant to it and then if you still feel things are missing, just give me call, OK?" Handling time of information requests has been halved as a result. Whether the first point has made collecting information easier I don't know because it's hard to measure. Alas, that's only one ministry and the high level civil servant that thought it was important has left.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    What is needed is more reliable information, more factual information.Fooloso4

    ... And that is the very thing that a receptor unit (human) of media information can't check other than comparing it with different media. Ultimately the little man has to decide whom to believe, and that decision is not possible to make reasonably.

    I know you don't believe in an information-dystopia, but you described its workings beautifully. I never thought of it, but your post opened my eyes to the fact that the everyman basically has to throw himself upon a belief in the media's message, and that is just as possible to lead him to the truth as to lies. And he, the person, can't tell the difference, there is no way he can.

    In a very strong way this the same dilemma that the solipsism and the unknowability of reality presents. As you're a fan of Socrates, it may be shown to you that in several layers removed it's the same dilemma of the shadow figures on the cave walls.
  • DingoJones
    2.7k
    One can be confident that the loss of Socrates and his art is greater than whatever trappings had been gained by his silencing.

    So it is with all acts of censorship

    — NOS4A2

    That doesn't follow.

    What’s wrong with free speech absolutism?

    Given that your reasoning appears based on a utilitarian principle, a simple argument against free speech absolutism is that there is at least once case where more is gained than lost by censorship. Perhaps the sharing of military intelligence with a foreign nation is one such example.
    Michael



    You must have missed this one. Interested in your response.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    I know you don't believe in an information-dystopia, but you described its workings beautifully.god must be atheist

    I do recognize that there is a problem. I also agree that this is not a new problem. A troubling new development, however, is "deep fakes". This technology raised serious questions about the reliability of recorded evidence.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    I’m not a utilitarian.

    The argument was epistemological and ethical. We can never know if an act of censorship protected us from the ill effects we were told would befall us should no act of censorship occur. In the case of Socrates, we can never know if his censorship saved the youth from corruption after all. So we are unable to judge whether the act of censorship was morally good. What we do know is the act of censorship itself, in this case killing a man and violating his most basic rights, so we can judge that it was morally bad.
  • Michael
    11.9k
    We can never know if an act of censorship protected us from the ill effects we were told would befall us should no act of censorship occur. In the case of Socrates, we can never know if his censorship saved the youth from corruption after all. So we are unable to judge whether the act of censorship was morally good.NOS4A2

    This seems like an appeal to ignorance. Perhaps something can be morally good even if we do not, or cannot, know that it is morally good.

    I’m not a utilitarian.NOS4A2

    Then why, in a defence of free speech, did you say “one can be confident that the loss of Socrates and his art is greater than whatever trappings had been gained by his silencing.” That seems a quite obvious utilitarian defence. If you’re not a utilitarian then this cost-benefit analysis is a non sequitur.

    What we do know is the act of censorship itself, in this case killing a man and violating his most basic rights, so we can judge that it was morally bad.NOS4A2

    As I said before, it doesn’t follow from the fact that it was wrong to kill Socrates for the things he said that therefore any and all censorship is wrong.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    This seems like an appeal to ignorance. I would say that something can be morally good even if we do not, or cannot, know that it is morally good.

    You cannot say whether the act saved us or not from what you promised it would. Without this knowledge how can you say it was morally good?

    Then why, in a defence of free speech, did you say “one can be confident that the loss of Socrates and his art is greater than whatever trappings had been gained by his silencing.” That seems a quite obvious utilitarian defence.

    I said it because I’m confident that the loss of Socrates and his art is greater than whatever had been gained by his silencing. We have the act itself, the murder of Socrates, and thus the loss of his creativity and production, so no chance of him conversing about virtue any longer. What we don’t have is any proof that his silencing led to the better world that the censor promised us. The censor was the utilitarian.
  • Michael
    11.9k
    You cannot say whether the act saved us or not from what you promised it would. Without this knowledge how can you say it was morally good?NOS4A2

    By saying it? I might not know it to be true, but something being true doesn’t depend on me knowing it.

    I don’t know that aliens exist, but I can say that they do and I might be right.

    I said it because I’m confident that the loss of Socrates and his art is greater than whatever had been gained by his silencing. We have the act itself, the murder of Socrates, and thus the loss of his creativity and production, so no chance of him conversing about virtue any longer.NOS4A2

    So? If you follow this up with “therefore it was wrong” then you’re a utilitarian. If you don’t follow it up with “therefore it was wrong” then it isn’t an argument in favour of free speech absolutism.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    By saying it? I might not know it to be true, but something being true doesn’t depend on me knowing it.

    I don’t know that aliens exist, but I can say that they do and I might be right.

    I’m wondering how the censor can know and be confident that his act of censorship was the right thing to do.

    So? If you follow this up with “therefore it was wrong” then you’re a utilitarian. If you don’t follow it up with “therefore it was wrong” then it isn’t an argument in favour of free speech absolutism.

    It was morally wrong to murder Socrates and morally right to leave him alive because murdering someone just in case is morally wrong, because violating his rights just in case is morally wrong, not because leaving him alive produces a greater good for a greater number.
  • Baden
    14.1k


    You did phrase it as a utilitarian argument. Maybe you made a whoopsie. But I take the logic of your position as deontological not utilitarian, i.e. "It is wrong in principle, regardless of circumstances, to ever compromise on free speech." Another way of saying free speech is the greatest good. No need to dress it up.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    You did phrase it as a utilitarian argument. Maybe you made a whoopsie. But I take the logic of your position as deontological not utilitarian, i.e. "It is wrong in principle, regardless of circumstances, to ever compromise on free speech." Another way of saying free speech is the greatest good. No need to dress it up.

    We can quibble about one sentence quoted out of context but I think it remains pretty clear if the rest is considered.
  • Michael
    11.9k
    It was morally wrong to murder Socrates and morally right to leave him alive because murdering someone just in case is morally wrongNOS4A2

    OK, so how is this a defence of free speech absolutism? Not all cases of censorship are killing someone just in case. Some censorship is imprisonment after divulging military secrets which resulted in the death of spies.
  • NOS4A2
    6.5k


    Wherever the right to life, speech, to hear, is violated to serve some distant end, the censor is engaging in morally wrong behavior. That’s why I added, and you removed, “ because violating his rights just in case is morally wrong”. If we’re going to quote out of context, can we at least leave in the entire sentence?

    As for military secrets, I’m not sure violating one’s obligations to one’s employer, stealing their information, and giving it to their enemies constitutes an act of speech. We need to be careful to distinguish between conduct and speech.
  • Michael
    11.9k
    As for military secrets, I’m not sure violating one’s obligations to one’s employer, stealing their information, and giving it to their enemies constitutes an act of speech.NOS4A2

    I was specifically considering verbally sharing information, so no documents.

    That’s why I added, and you removed, “ because violating his rights just in case is morally wrong”.NOS4A2

    Then you’re begging the question as you’re trying to argue that we do have an absolute right to free speech. You can’t just assert that we have such a right and that censorship violates it.
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