HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Don't lie. Don't distort....
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:26 PM

Don't lie. Don't distort. Ever.

Last edited Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:30 PM - Edit history (4)

A lot of people seem to think that dishonesty, distortion, and emotion-based or faith-based propaganda are acceptable in a good cause—if they advance their political views or views of what is right.

Here's my problem... my central political view is that I am opposed to dishonesty, distortion, and emotion-based or faith-based propaganda.

Intrinsically.

Show me an advanced Earth creature without DNA and I will start rethinking evolution. (Or space aliens visiting us... one or the other.) It would be embarassing for me, given a thousand things I've said, but the truth is not optional.

It is central to my political stance that I think government should be rational. I thus seek to be, try to be on the side of the truth, whatever that may be.

John McCain's policy proposals would have been even more damaging in 2008 than Romney's policy proposals would have been in 2012 but I had even more antipathy for Romney because his entire candidacy was a war on truth... on the very notion of an objective reality upon which different people can agree.

The truth itself is a side.

To paraphrase Lincoln, I do not pray that the truth is on our side, I pray that we are on the side of the truth.



"We should cool the planet or ban guns of have larger class sizes or eliminate the GZ-1 bomber because X is greater than Y."

If someone shows that X is not greater than Y, that doesn't mean global warming is fake or whatever. It mean the argument is false. And false is bad. It means that people concerned with the truth will tend to see the argument as a data point against what it is trying to argue.

None of us can keep on top of everything so we must often assess the credibility of others. And when an entity lies once then they are no longer reliable.

Whenever we see a side distorting the truth it represents a loss of credibility for the side. The side can still be right, of course, but relying on lies is an inferential counter-argument insofar as it suggests a lack of truth to rely on.

I have never examined a glacial core sample or taken the temperature at the north pole. I have no idea whether global climate change is real beyond my assessment of evidence and argument presented.

Climate skeptics lie a lot. The infrastructure of science is pretty reliable, based on past performance. It is easy to see that the climate change side probably has a lot more truth to rely on, because they (we) don't lie as much... and spin, evade, move goal-posts, construct strawmen... all that stuff is ways of lying. (It is easy to deceive without making false literal statements. Even toddlers are hip to that.)

But when "we" make climate change claims that are false it doesn't help that the "side" is right. When "we" (internet activists, not scientists) claimed the Greenland ice sheet had melted to nothing in the space of a few weeks last summer it was obviously not true, and that was quite painful to me because I know there is someone on the fence who viewed that claim the way I view a lot of comparably outlandish RW claims... as excellent shorthand evidence that their side is not worth taking seriously, and likely to be wrong.

There are value judgments that are not matters of true or false, of course. There is no true or false answer to whether a fetus is a human being, for instance, because "human being" is a philosophical category. I cannot mathematically prove to you that pro-choice is right.

But I expect every pro-choice argument that is reducible to truth and falsity to be true. I expect that of my side.

During the campaign Akin said that there are millions of abortions every year. In reality, there are not. It is a lie. (We haven't had as many as 2 million abortions in a year since the early 80s, IIRC) They lie. It is what they do.

Being rigorously truthful is supposed to be what we do, if there is a "we" that I care to be part of.

12 replies, 844 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Don't lie. Don't distort. Ever. (Original post)
cthulu2016 Dec 2012 OP
IDoMath Dec 2012 #1
graham4anything Dec 2012 #2
IDoMath Dec 2012 #4
graham4anything Dec 2012 #5
yesphan Dec 2012 #3
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #6
cthulu2016 Dec 2012 #7
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #9
cthulu2016 Dec 2012 #10
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #11
cthulu2016 Dec 2012 #12
slackmaster Dec 2012 #8

Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:33 PM

1. +1000 no 1Million no 1gigabazillion!!!

 

On top of factual distortion, I am so tired of hyperbole as the new normal. I am tired of politicians co-opting words; e.g. Terry McAulife co-opting "progressive" or people referring to Obama as a liberal or a socialist. (or a commie Nazi whatever that is).

Each new campaign is the "mostest" ever filled with the "worstest" ever. It's time to reign it in and have a sense of scale. We don't need melodrama and hyperbole making difficult conversations impossible.

Thank you for writing this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IDoMath (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:38 PM

2. Obama is a liberal. I am a liberal. Wouldn't want to be a progressive.

 

Progressives are not liberals no matter how they try to steal the word

Liberals like 10% forward gain
Progressives want 100% forward, get nothing and 100% whining..0% of 100% is still zero

IMHO that is the difference

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:45 PM

4. That depends on your scale/

 

I suppose by today's standards he qualifies as a liberal. The scale I grew up with? He's a center-left moderate. But that's the distortion of the scale. The right has dragged us so far to the right that socialism is the new liberal and liberal is the new moderate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IDoMath (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:56 PM

5. FDR & LBJ was the most liberal President, Obama is equal to LBJ &JC, and more liberal than JFK RFK

 

Jimmy Carter was liberal but not anymore so than Obama

any republican was not as liberal, though Nixon would most likely be consiered a liberal now on many issues.

Lincoln and Obama are equal

imho

this is talking about everything

and again, you aren't going to get 100% of everything from anyone
and you are not going to get better from any other democrat

however, I do think Hillary will be far to the left of Bill.

(and I am talking on the whole, not one issue or two issues, but all issues from all of them).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:41 PM

3. Reading the title of the post,

this scene immediately popped into my head.
The pertinent quote comes at about the 2:20 mark.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:03 PM

6. Don't lie?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:12 PM

7. I think my distaste for politics is well known

They all lie, and thus all have reduced credibility.

That does not, however, mean a plague on both their houses.

As with global warming in the OP, the reduction of credibility occurs on both sides to varying degrees and can be assessed in terms of relative credibility. Climate change retains far more net credibility, depsite the lamentable exceptions.

But after observing, where necessary, that both sides do something, the question becomes how much.

Obama lies, but less than many of his fellows, and less than any Republican I can think of off-hand. And we all factor that in.

But it does pain me when he, or any of ours, are less than truthful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:20 PM

9. The thing was with this that he lied to his strongest supporters

On Nov 19 2008 I predicted right here in GD that the mandate was where we were going to end up.

Evidently DU2 is now broken so I can't retrieve the post but you can see I had one up at this google link, it begins with a Hillary quote about" I can envision a day when you have to show proof of insurance at the job interview".

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=fumesucker+i+can+envision+a+day

How did I make this prediction?

I took the maximally cynical position that what was going to happen re health care reform would be done to benefit the insurance companies, big pharma and big med far more than the people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:23 PM

10. I made the same prediction for a different reason

To cover pre-existing conditions requires a full-enrollment system and single payer wasn't going to happen.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:29 PM

11. A bronze plan is going to be all but worthless to many people

It would be worthless to me, I don't have the money for copays or deductibles.

I see the bronze plan as nothing but lagniappe for the insurers for the most part.

It's been over four years since I've been able to see a doctor, I have three more years to go until Medicare, I hope I make it. At my age seven years is a bit of a stretch to go with no medical issues.





Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:33 PM

12. In practice, perhaps so

In theory, though, there ultimately must be forced participation. Which is why I, and I would guess you, would prefer single-payer where the mandate was to participate in the government program, rather than private insurance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 01:14 PM

8. People who abuse hyperbole deserved to be subjected to extreme violence

 

Or something like that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread