I'm a citizen of the United States of America. The First Amendment states that we have the freedom of speech, but I have heard there are limits to that. So that got me thinking: is it legal to discuss Roko's Basilisk, a theoretical being that just thinking about it will be harmful to you. It is technically possible for it to exist, so I was wondering if it's legal in the US to discuss it with one another.

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    Roko's Basilisk is a thought experiment in decision theory - which was largely rejected: "Roko's argument was broadly rejected on Less Wrong, with commenters objecting that an agent like the one Roko was describing would have no real reason to follow through on its threat: once the agent already exists, it can't affect the probability of its existence, so torturing people for their past decisions would be a waste of resources."
    – Trish
    Oct 19 '20 at 18:07
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    I’m voting to close this question because it's nonsense. Oct 19 '20 at 18:14
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    If it were closed, I would vote to reopen. The far-fetched nature of the factual predicate is obvious but not a reason to close. Questions like this are instrumental in analyzing the law and establishing a theoretical framework for the outer limits of our constitutional rights. More questions like this, please.
    – bdb484
    Oct 19 '20 at 19:13
  • oh dear, we should add that to our COVID test questionnaire: Have you thought about Roko's Basilisk in the last 14 days? Oct 19 '20 at 21:20


The First Amendment protects all speech, outside a few historically recognized exceptions, which include libel, perjury, incitement, and true threats. There is no exception for speech that injures the speaker himself.

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