[ExI] intolerant minds, a different flavor

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 04:45:03 UTC 2009

On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 11:40 AM, John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> <painlord2k at libero.it> Wrote:
>> Untruthfully screaming "Fire!" or "Bomb!" in a crowded theatre is not free
>> speech:
> I don't literally disagree with that, in fact I think anyone who screamed
> "theatre" in a crowded theatre should be booted out of the building, but
> it's interesting that I have never in my life seen that cliché used in
> support of any position I agreed with, not even the first time it was used.
> It was coined by Supreme Court Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes in his Schenck v.
> United States decision. It involved prosecuting a man who wrote against the
> draft during World War 1. This is what Justice Holmes wrote in his decision
> to put the man in prison:

### Now I know why the fire-in-theatre argument always sounded like
something an evil person would use: It was invented as justification
for imprisoning people who oppose slavery and mass slaughter.

Of course, the argument is specious - a theatre is a private venue
where the owner does not need to protect speech, and the act of lying
to others may make you reasonably liable for damages if the victims
can claim they were not in a position to properly evaluate the
validity of your word, and this has nothing to do with almost any form
of public speech - but then one should not expect good arguments from
militant slavers.


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