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#299525 - 03/13/17 01:42 PM On Lies and Falsehoods
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15331
I've been perseverating for some time over the nation careening into the abyss based upon alternate-reality policy-making. While this has certainly been exacerbated by Trump, it as certainly preceded him, and has informed most of my fomenting about Republican policies over the last decades. The preceding statements are to put this discussion into the context from which it was born.

I recently read an article that got this ball rolling: ‘Alternative facts’: A psychiatrist’s guide to twisted relationships to truth. The analysis of the distinction between "lies" and "falsehoods" gave this thread its title.
Quote:
First, we need to make a distinction often emphasized by ethicists and philosophers: that between a lie and a falsehood. Thus, someone who deliberately misrepresents what he or she knows to be true is lying – typically, to secure some personal advantage. In contrast, someone who voices a mistaken claim without any intent to deceive is not lying. That person may simply be unaware of the facts, or may refuse to believe the best available evidence. Rather than lying, he’s stating a falsehood.

In political discourse and policy-making it is often a distinction without a difference, but is the core issue in my brain at present, as is the distinction between illogical and delusional.
Quote:
On the milder end, we have what psychiatrists call over-valued ideas. These are very strongly held convictions that are at odds with what most people in the person’s culture believe, but which are not bizarre, incomprehensible or patently impossible. A passionately held belief that vaccinations cause autism might qualify as an over-valued idea: it’s not scientifically correct, but it’s not utterly beyond the realm of possibility.

On the severe end of the continuum are delusions. These are strongly held, completely inflexible beliefs that are not altered at all by factual information, and which are clearly false or impossible. Importantly, delusions are not explained by the person’s culture, religious beliefs or ethnicity. A patient who inflexibly believes that Vladimir Putin has personally implanted an electrode in his brain in order to control his thoughts would qualify as delusional. When the patient expresses this belief, he or she is not lying or trying to deceive the listener. It is a sincerely held belief, but still a falsehood.

I am firmly of the belief that Donald Trump's pathology is on the latter end of that continuum, but he is not alone in his administration in supporting and pursuing fallacious assertions. What may distinguish these pursuits is the level of mendacity involved. But the end result is the same: establishment of national policy on anti-facts.

We have entered an age where firmly held beliefs trump inquiry into fact. It is, perhaps, most glaring when Sean Spicer and other administration advocates insist "it is what the President firmly believes" - as if that is supposed to be comforting! A caution contained in this article is also a propos:
Quote:
when this magical transformation of reality occurs, whether in a political or scientific context, it becomes very difficult to reverse. As the writer Jonathan Swift put it, “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.”
The thing that's keeping me up at night is what happens when this alternate reality comes up against real-reality.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#299527 - 03/13/17 01:54 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8557
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Trump's spokesperson is "not in the job of having evidence..."
Quote:
...on Good Morning America, host George Stephanopoulos asked Conway was asked why she would suggest Obama using high-tech microwaves to surveil her boss “without any evidence.” Conway responded by saying she was actually referring to surveillance capabilities in general, not what did or did not happen in Trump Tower specifically, and acknowledged she has no evidence that Trump was surveilled whatsoever.
“No, of course I don’t have evidence for these allegations,” Conway said.

Of course she doesn't have any evidence...

I put this in the category of lying in an attempt to try to gain something.
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#299528 - 03/13/17 03:19 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13757
Loc: Florida
Quote:
The thing that's keeping me up at night is what happens when this alternate reality comes up against real-reality.


_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#299530 - 03/13/17 03:45 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: Greger]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8557
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
The thing that's keeping me up at night is what happens when this alternate reality comes up against real-reality.



I'm glad it's all in fun.
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#299537 - 03/13/17 04:44 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: logtroll]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13757
Loc: Florida
Quote:
I'm glad it's all in fun.


Well, ya gotta admit this administration is a fu<kin' joke...
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#299545 - 03/13/17 09:59 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Online   content
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6145
Loc: Highlands, Tx
while I agree in principle (about lies and falsehoods, I think I will post a sticky note for consideration.

every person has an opportunity to choose finding a factual source before simply saying what comes to mind.

An example: if i say the earth is flat out of sheer ignorance, even though I am not trying to perpetrate a deception, i am intentional disinforming listeners as I had plenty of opportunity to do the research and get the facts. Is my falsehood that different than a lie????
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#299546 - 03/13/17 10:05 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: logtroll]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: North San Diego County
I think all the news media should embargo Conway. Nothing she has to say has more than a 50% chance of being true. Almost any idiot on the street would be a more reliable source.

So instead of reporting her lies (which gives them some credibility) they should go find better sources.

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#299549 - 03/14/17 01:02 AM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Online   content
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6145
Loc: Highlands, Tx
One of the Fox anchors said they use her very little .... for obvious reasons
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#299556 - 03/14/17 03:03 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15331
I've never been one to subscribe to the "government as farce" camp... Until now. Governing is serious business. It is costly, impacts billions of lives, and has repercussions the world over. Most people involved in the process of administering it take it very seriously, many even reverently. (I spent 30 years in various government services, so I know of whence I speak.) Frequently it involves truly life-and-death decisions.

How then has the White House been turned over to a mad clown and his insane posse? How long can we tolerate the level of mendacity and nonsensical rhetoric that pervades every discussion, every day? How crazy it must be to work there. (How does one balance the needs of a nutso boss and fend off the efforts of a cabal of ideological anarchists who truly wish to see the end of our nation as it was founded and are driven by undisguised racism and xenophobia?) How do we, as a people, deal with Representatives who only represent themselves and will spout any lie that they, in the moment, think will keep them in power?

The Ryancare "healthcare" bill is a prime example of insanity in bill form. It does nothing to improve any lives, threatens the well-being of millions - and to wreck the economy we all have to live in to boot. How do we stop this madness? How do serious, sober people regain control of this out-of-control train?
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#299560 - 03/14/17 04:24 PM Re: On Lies and Falsehoods [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13757
Loc: Florida
Quote:
How do serious, sober people regain control of this out-of-control train?

With patience, perseverance, and resistance.

It's gonna fly off the tracks. And it's only a matter of time. When it does we will clear the wreckage, repair the tracks, and get things back on schedule again.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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