“Why does free speech have to be more important than truth?”
Because nobody knows truth perfectly. Truth is infinite; if you used every atom in the universe to write down the value of pi, you STILL wouldn’t be able to get it perfect, because pi contains an infinite number of digits.
“It’s always more complicated than you think.” Every statement we make about the real world is an approximation of the truth. Some statements are better approximations than others, but none is perfectly truthful. (Mathematical statements can be perfectly true, but mathematics isn’t the real world.)
Since every statement about the real world is an approximation, our best approach as a community in search of truth is to combine as many approximations as possible. Some of those approximations will contradict each other; in such cases, we must each render judgement on their relative truth content.
The problem with this is that Homo Sapiens is not a rational creature. Remember this: we are Pleistocene hunter-gatherers at heart, built to survive and reproduce on the savannah of Eastern Africa. All this civilization stuff we do is mere posturing. So asking ‘the people’ to decide truth is like asking children to play with guns.
Solution? There is none. The biosphere takes care of its own, and a species that cannot cope with the environment goes extinct. It’s a form of cosmic justice.
Sleep well tonight. 😜