1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Why Specific Forms of Lying Must be Criminalized and Opened to Lawsuits in any Democracy

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Sunstone, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,154
    Ratings:
    +37,800
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    Ever try driving at speed at night down an unfamiliar country road while trying to guess the next turn without headlights, but only able to navigate on your memory of a map you didn't even know was purposely falsified in order to lead you to running off the road so a tow truck company could increase the 'value of its stock to its shareholders'?

    Well, if you can imagine that in any meaningful way, you have understood one reason why some specific forms of lying must be criminalized and made open to suing for damages anyone who has used lying to injure or harm someone else in terms of abridging, limiting, or preventing their right to self-governance.

    At least if representative democracy is your preferred way for people to exercise their right to self-governance via voting for who they judge is the best person to represent their views in any government office. Hard to do that if anyone is messing up your judgement by lying to mislead you about who best represents your interests or what your best interests really are, or anything else along those lines.

    Public lying in a democracy is an existentially dangerous threat to the quality of lives, liberties, and freedoms of every citizen in the democracy, save only those who would be immune to much of anything bad that came of doing it.

    It seems to me that public lying in a democracy is at least as arguably immoral as handing out intentionally false road maps. It is comparatively speaking, just as blinding.

    And in a country where the most reliable sources in any society on the planet today for fact-based information are the reports, articles, journals, and books produced the societies scholars, scientists, and other such intellectuals, public lying in a democracy more or less amounts to turning the lights out. To making the day turn into the night.

    If a society does not have the will to push back against public lying, it does not have the will to survive as a democracy.

    Such push back in America is unlikely to start at the top. It must start locally. Even as locally as internet websites. Liars must be exposed and made creditable examples of reasons not lie, beginning on the local level in every sense of 'local level'.

    Willfully stupid and ignorant responses to being exposed for even innocently passing along false or misleading information, let alone intentionally passing along the same, confirm that one is a liar. One becomes a liar the moment he or she refuses to believe the reality, if it exists, that they have potentially mislead people, let alone actually.

    The Lakota put to death any scout who they could credibly believe had lied to them, and they did it in a society that valued personal authenticity, personal freedom and liberty on orders of magnitude more than any of our societies today do. That was not 'primitive' taboos and superstitions at work there. That was timeless and universal insight and wisdom as applied by a people who had no other custom remotely like capital punishment.

    Unless that core understanding, minus the death, of how lying threatens everyone's rights, liberties, freedoms, and quality of life becomes commonsense in a society or nation, no democracy is even close to prepared to defend against it.

    Especially not in a day and age when three quarters of the opinions folks post on any internet platform can be identified as similar down to the details with opinions and views popular on media outlets. There are not even on RF many false and misleading views that seem substantially original to whoever posts them.

    Humans have always aped each other. The net has made aping viral.

    I personally think of the consequences of public lying most often in terms of the quality of life my young nephews will be likely to have going forward in a nation that seems to be diseased by it. This is a hill I am willing to die on.




     
  2. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    4,296
    Ratings:
    +1,155
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    Who decides what is a lie and what is true? I suspect the liars will win and the truth tellers put to death for lying.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Messages:
    12,902
    Ratings:
    +6,361
    Religion:
    atheist
    Criminalize? No. But certainly open to libel suits.

    I guess we'll see how Dominium makes out suing Guiliani and Mike Lindell.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,154
    Ratings:
    +37,800
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    One of the most important bits of disinformation today that is so well repeated it has become a brick wall in the minds of quite possibly the majority of people living today in the world's most educated nations, minus China and perhaps Russia, is the notion that nothing significant can distinguish the truthfulness of one opinion from another. To 'almost everyone', opinions differ mostly in how firmly they are held.

    That's hogwash. It's on the order of the earth is flat. Anyone trained to do it, and who knew the key relevant facts, could rank any and all opinions on some kind of linear scale at least out to 10 places in terms of which ones are more reliably likely to be true, accurate, or realistic. Humans do it every day, if you know how to look to find it.

    You are almost always times better at knowing which opinions are the best ones, as you are knowing the exact truth-status of anyone opinion. That's why sneaky little people always mislead the discussions about opinions into ramping up doubts about anyone ever being likely to be really sure of anything, and crap along those lines. You always see it, and that's about all you ever see in any public discussion about how all opinions are more or less equally valid.

    Even some kid who's work for a year flipping hamburgers at McDonald's knows more about flipping hamburgers at McDonald's than someone who hasn't. It's gotten like time and again, I see people who know nothing about flipping burgers lecturing a kid in a McDonald's uniform how to grill more than one burger at a time -- while studiously ignoring or smearing the kid's honest attempts to offer factual evidence that he does, indeed, know a bit about that.

    Truth isn't a study these days, it's a sport. A winners/losers thing. That's like saying someone, somewhere in the world absolutely must lose if anyone else somewhere else in the world can prove he or she is right about it being night outside.

    But why would anyone who could 'rank opinions' these days bother to seriously do anything like it outside of the various small communities where it's valued? There are not enough sufficiently well trained people in the general population anywhere on earth who would be likely to gain anything of worth to them better than something to scoff at as some kind of virtue-signaling.

    It would be like some idealistic nutcase reading a proclamation 'the sky is blue' to a haystack, hoping to find an understanding needle. No democracy with low standards and results for public education is doing anything much in the way of preparing for the future than putting a noose around it's neck.

    People believe opinions are times more 'subjective' than most kinds really are, and I suspect mostly for psychological reasons, followed by ideological reasons. We understandably find emotional security and a defense against feelings of inferiority by insisting we know everyone's opinion has more or less the same truth value as everyone else's. Intellectual honesty and modesty rarely withstand psychological temptations to ignore their personal value.

    Also, intellectual honesty and modesty have always been humanity's most quickly vanishing natural resource, at least for the past 5,000 years since writing was invented as a means of persevering bragging rights.

    Intellectual honesty and modesty vanish almost the same instant someone takes pride in them enough to claim to have some. Hell, they even beat my best sex record in bed for how well their grip on reality can be concisely and taciturnly expressed as 'fleeting'.

    I wonder if the psychology of doubling-down on the opinion that 'all opinions equally matter' might have something to with how unlikely anyone reading this is to wonder if he or she could personally value from becoming better informed about this matter.

    I don't blame anyone for being human, by the way. Unless what they're doing is wrongly hurting others.
     
  5. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,816
    Ratings:
    +676
    Religion:
    Standard Animism
    In this next age, I think maybe people are going to have to have develop both faith and knowledge actually, which might be what makes it a troublesome and unique thing to enter into. Modern people were hit by a flood of information, and they want to convert it into knowledge. But they need faith that it tells them something good, and that 'the good' is there in it, waiting to be revealed. So when they go to the conspiracies, in actuality this just means they are struggling for a grip, and that deep down they know they are lying to themselves. I think that maybe the faith in the good within the flood of knowledge , is what might orient them back to their true selves, wherein they find a correct sense of automorality
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    55,627
    Ratings:
    +25,111
    Religion:
    Love
    I'm sympathetic to the OP being tired of the Trump Party lying to the point of gaslighting. And I would not cry buckets if they were locked up.

    But this is to me a tricky area. Sure, if someone lies under oath, that's illegal. But we have people who will say "I strongly believe that x is y" and claim that they're innocent because they stated a belief. And further if someone lies but finds a scientific patsy to question something and then the liar quotes the patsy stating something like "some scientists challenge AGW" when the "some" are a bunch of ignorant hacks but still have some sort of a degree.

    If we had a reliable way of determining who is knowingly lying, then I'd shift from impractical but nice idea to let's talk about how and when to write a law.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,154
    Ratings:
    +37,800
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    Fair enough. But I don't think the times permit taking criminalization off the table as fast as you just did, not even for a technical reason to post. To me, it should at least be given due consideration in regards to how lying drives public opinion, and not as the cause, but especially as the tool.
     
  8. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,154
    Ratings:
    +37,800
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    Thanks for spinning my OP as motivated by fatigue. If that's the best you can do in accurately aiming your sympathy, I think it hit someone besides me. Look about a mile off to the right for where it landed.

    Tired might be a better motivation than most of the responses to anything political are likely to get, but I am genuinely concerned with America's future as a representative democracy. Need I really tell you anything about the recognizable pressures today that could easily channel us into becoming a police state? Or are you so out of the loop you just don't see it.

    If you don't, then you might want to take a look at how seriously that issue is being taken in Government circles, at least by the people willing to discuss some of it in public view.

    If it's a serious idea for them, would it be likely any less seriously taken, should there be folks not wishing o discuss it in public view?

    There is an entire body of fact based scholarship on the paths nations pick between to go down in times of crisis. The subject has been a subject of continuing interest since World War II. It's there.

    If this pans out to a very bad climax for democracy in America, the history books will read like fantasy novels when they get around to describing the public's ideas about what was going on at this time. And they won't even have gotten to Q-Anon. I'm talking about the chapters on how the liberals saw these days.
     
  9. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,154
    Ratings:
    +37,800
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    Evil Geniuses. Kurt Andersen. The title sucks, the rest is gold, but significantly concerning. Extraordinary detailed and documented.

    Also, Judd Legum has committed himself to a long term project of documenting the money trails. You can google who he is and how to tap into his reports as they come out. His first few reports have been solid, almost speculation free journalism

    Lot's of other sources. And many more facts than are usual for most news categories are surfacing each day. But you're not likely to find too much on it in any corporate media, although you can find some information there, now and then.

    Honestly, I first read fact based studies of these sorts of things more than 40 years ago. This stuff has been mounting up forever. What's been going on more recently is 'connecting the dots'. Crazy that its not general knowledge by now. Or at least better known than some of the conspiracy theories.
     
  10. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    55,627
    Ratings:
    +25,111
    Religion:
    Love
    "being tired" was my attempt to indicate that I was personally tired and not a comment on your state :oops:
     
  11. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    32,739
    Ratings:
    +13,473
    Religion:
    Philosophical Buddhism
    I will always lie and that is the truth.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,154
    Ratings:
    +37,800
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    Please make that clear next time. I do not wish to give anyone who might be genuinely interested in these things reason to dismiss my post's or anyone's posts as drivel, if reading such posts might help them.
     
  13. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,154
    Ratings:
    +37,800
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    Overkill.
     
  14. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    5,953
    Ratings:
    +4,939
    Religion:
    none
    Opinions don't have a truth value, they are just, well, opinions.
    You have a right to your own opinion - but you don't have right to your own facts.
     
  15. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    5,953
    Ratings:
    +4,939
    Religion:
    none
    Lying takes on so many forms that it's difficult to draw a line. I can state a bunch of true facts to create a narrative that is contrary to reality just by leaving out some other facts. That's how most of the MSM "lie".

    And one can even top deliberately leaving out facts by prohibiting the statement of facts - like RF does in its rules. (Speaking of internet sites prohibiting the truth.)

    I'm not contradicting your OP, in fact, I'd love if we could cut down on lies. I just want to point out that it's not easy - and sometimes contradictory to other goals.
     
  16. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    6,107
    Ratings:
    +1,366
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    There are no truth to opinions. There are facts, they have truth. And then are probable outcomes based on facts.

    Even as a skeptic, I can do truth and differentiate from opinion.
    But it is no in practice not so easy as there are opinions or facts and no grey appears in between.

    Even I as a skeptic don't accept that 'all opinions equally matter'.
    But I can't tell if you believe there is a way to turn opinion into facts.
     
  17. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    16,413
    Ratings:
    +3,767
    Religion:
    Anglican...heretic
    Surely opinion can be either based on facts, or be a collecting stage where facts are as yet insufficient to to demonstrate a truth, but seems the more likely outcome.
    Opinion should always be considered a work in progress.

    A lie is different in kind. It is knowingly opposing the truth, for what ever reason.
     
  18. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    6,107
    Ratings:
    +1,366
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    There is no truth for all of the world using reason, logic and evidence. Truth is localized and only apply to certain aspects of the world.
     
  19. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    16,878
    Ratings:
    +7,777
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    I don't think we could do it across the board. But I do think we could provide outlets for information dissemination that diminish opinion and require factual support. I also think we could regulate 'slander-for-fun-and-profit' to a significant degree. There was no reasonable excuse for Rush Limbaugh or Jerry Springer and the many variant copycats that followed. Nothing good was ever going to come from what they were doing in public.

    And that is the key, I think: to control the dissemination of toxic misinformation in public.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    16,413
    Ratings:
    +3,767
    Religion:
    Anglican...heretic
    If that were "True" there could be no "Lies" which is a nonsense.
     
Loading...