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Word Count: 684
Lies injure those who believe them If a lie is about a person and the lie is believed and acted upon the person lied about is also injured Thus lying involves at least one non-consenting party By lying of course I do not mean fiction Reasonable people becoming scarcer all the time know that fiction is not literally true Fighting lies with the truth is the best strategy but this strategy is often difficult because wealth power and access to the media are so unfairly distributed within our society Thus seeking legal redress through civil suit is also a reasonable recourse The relation between information and action must be clearly understood Information never causes action Information belongs to a different realm of discourse than matter and energy Information cannot be measured in units of mass energy force etc Information thus has no direct physical effect Censors of left and right continually equate the obvious indirect effects of speech upon thought with direct causes of action and rely upon this equation to justify censorship Our brains process information We evaluate information and make decisions and these decisions lead to action The process of course can be short circuited When we respond instantly to someone shouting Fire we have not processed fire as information Weve responded to a stimulus using primitive parts of our nervous systems Information processing like stimulus-response reactions evolved because it helps us survive Give people false information and they may make terrible decisions and do terrible things People of course have a responsibility to be skeptical People should be very wary for example about believing anything they read in the Weekly World News or The New York Times But sometimes reasonable people believe lies and innocent people are injured as a result In such cases it is just to grant people a legal cause of action Both civil and criminal penalties may be appropriate Thats why we
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