Free to speak truth

December 23, 2005

While I agree substantially with Roy Harris ("Speaking out for the right to speak evil", December 9), he has overlooked one of the major reservations about complete freedom of speech. Free speech is to be welcomed provided each argument and viewpoint is supported by evidence.

Most of the troubles that arise from verbal disagreement do so because the proponents on one side use false or exaggerated information to make their case, whether it be a moralistic issue or creationism.

Freedom of speech may be the hallmark of a civilised, rational society, but freedom to lie, mislead and deceive is not. The real problem is how to censor the latter while not restricting the former.

Trevor Stone
Glasgow University

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