Webcast Q&A: 15 April 2012, Question 3
I answered a question on stealing valor on 15 April 2012. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Should "stealing valor" be a crime? Rencently, a man was arrested by the FBI in Houston and charged with "stolen valor." This is the charge made against someone who falsely poses as a decorated soldier. Is it proper to make this a crime? Why or why not?
My Answer, In Brief: Undoubtedly, "stealing valor" is reprehensible, but not everything reprehensible should be a crime. The legal response to "stealing valor" ought to be the same as for other kinds of credentials fraud, whether protect speech, civil fraud, or criminal fraud.
- Duration: 12:13
- Download: MP3 Segment (4.2 MB)
To save the file to your computer, right-click and save the link above. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- Facebook: Discussion of Stolen Valor
- Criminal Fraud by Ellen Podgor
- Criminalizing Lying about Heroism by James Joyner
- Ninth Circuit: Lying About Military Honors Is Protected Speech by Doug Mataconis
- The Atlantic: Why It's Criminal to Lie About Military Honors
- Knowingly False Statements of Fact and the First Amendment by Eugene Volokh
- Emotional Distress, Knowing Lies, Xavier Alvarez, Warren Spahn, and the Bronze Star by Eugene Volokh
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to email@example.com.