Thursday, September 3, 2015

You Can't Brush Off Lies Without Devaluing The Truth

There is a widespread practice that existed before the internet but, reading internet commentary and writing, I've come to see it is a lot more common than I'd believed.

That is the intentional and pretended misunderstanding of what someone says in order to 1. avoid dealing with what they said, 2. pretending the point which was made was not made and 3. evading the issue because they can't deal with what was said and they don't like the reasonable conclusion that comes from what was said.

It was that go around on the issue of having sex with lots of strangers that got me thinking about this, The person dishonestly responding to what I said pretended to believe I meant that only "sluts" were infected with HIV.  I feel justified in assuming they wished to imply I believed "they" deserved it, as well .   Of course I said no such thing and, in fact, was clearly talking about men from the context of the post. Needless to say I pointed out that they were lying and restated what I said.  That kind of purposeful misreading of comment is typical of the kind of dishonest polemic that has become so widely practiced, it accounts for a majority of the comments this blog gets, one of the reasons I opted to moderate comments because I won't host comments lying about other people and I got tired of removing or answering lies about what I'd said.

In this past decade of thinking about atheism and the materialism which is the actual faith of most atheists, I came to understand that there really are consequences of believing that there is no such a thing as sin.  In this case not believing it is a sin to bear false witness and a sin to lie.  Refusing to believe that doesn't only allow you to lie whenever you figure you can benefit from it and you can get away with it, if you don't believe it's wrong to lie you can't help but start believing that the truth is of lesser value, that the good of truth isn't set against a lies opposite of good and that any temporary and contingent advantage gained in lying won't, eventually, have consequences that have to be paid.

The trick of pretending to not understand what someone meant when they sight an obvious truth such as that when you have sex with a lot of people you don't know you expose yourself to a greater risk of contracting serious STDs  is something we've come to be accustomed to.   It is a trick that is seen in the pathetic spectacles that the media sells as "debates" it's a staple of political campaigns and is, in a more rarefied and genteel form found in courtrooms and Supreme Courts.  Bush v. Gore was built of that form of dishonesty, it gave us the disaster of the Bush II regime, the illegal invasion of Iraq and the other disasters that came from five liars in black robes sitting on the high altar of secularism lying through their teeth to impose a president of their own party and their own ideology on us and the world.   And if you don't think that could happen again as soon as next year with the court we have, I'll bet a weeks paycheck that it could.

I am under the impression that when someone points out someone is lying like that it is the person who points out the lying who is held to have crossed some line, as if calling someone for lying is worse than lying.   I think in the case of blog owners who take that pose it is because they don't want to be bothered to take responsibility for what they host, pretending they don't, ultimately, decide that and who obviously care more about the volume of comments and clicks than they do to not be party to spreading lies.  They pretend to be hosting a serious blog on serious topics while degrading the level of discourse.I used to be confused when the corporate, commercial media seemed to have a ban on people pointing out that someone was lying.   Considering the number of lies that get told by politicians, by corporations, by people in public life, it is truly bizarre that there is a taboo on calling lies, lies.  But I think they have set the standard for dishonest discourse in which a lie is as good as the truth if it can get you what you really want,  commercial or political, which is the same thing for corporations.  That the alleged non-commercial alternative that the "new media" was supposed to be hasn't exactly been a boon for the truth is revealing.

This situation suppresses a lot of important discussion, it doesn't enhance it.  If someone saying that having sex with strangers in large number is dangerous, something which is as obvious and as scientifically validated as any health issue, can be intimidated into silence or assumed acquiescence with nonsense what issue can't be so suppressed?

Breaking that taboo and calling people for their purposeful misrepresentation of those points, of similar points is certainly necessary to the success of any political ideology that begins with a claim to value reality over the insane unreality that has become ubiquitious in the United States under a regime of lies.

The replacement of the truth with lies in public life was accelerated with the Sullivan decision in 1964, by the misguided thinking of the Warren Court on behalf of the New York Times with the full support of the ACLU.   That it was the judicial branch of government, the branch with the most explicit responsibility of judging FOR THE TRUTH as opposed to what was false and that there wasn't a rebellion against that is, I think, the result of an education in materialism such as William Jennings Bryan and a number of others warned would lead to all kinds of trouble.   If that is an inevitable result of the understanding of secularism which those same justices demonstrated in other decision - not the only necessary understanding of it, by the way - I don't know.  I do know that any secularism which doesn't also have the deepest and most profound respect for the value of truth over lies, which makes that difference a real factor in allowing the truth and forbidding and punishing lies, will turn any country into the republic of lies we have become.  The "honor" which the drafters of the Constitution seemed to think could replace religiously based morality hasn't proved to be especially effective, I don't see how it could rationally be expected to, especially when you look at the real lives of those slave holders, sharp dealers and hard businessmen.*

That the disastrous Sullivan decision came just as liberal politics reached its highest peak of achievement in the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts which have been under attack under the regime of lies established by that decision and similar ones allowing broadcast media to lie with the most incredible abandon provides us with the most impressive real-life demonstration of why there is a difference between a lie and the truth in the most real of realities.   Four years later that champion liar, Richard Nixon would take office, setting a new standard for what was a common political tool before him.  In 1980 Ronald Reagan would head a government which set the media free of any vestiges of obligation to refrain from lying for profit and to corrupt the public mind.  And it wasn't only the Republican party which was influenced by the opportunities to lie, Democrats, even those not predisposed to, had to take into reality the political system as rigged by the Berger, Rhenquist and no Roberts courts, building similar thinking to that which produced Sullivan, downward to Buckely v. Valeo, Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and last years Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus decision. THAT LAST ONE A UNANIMOUS DECISION THAT A STATE COULDN'T MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO LIE IN A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.  That the decision was written by one of the premier purjurers to have ever been appointed to that bench, Clarence Thomas, speaks volumes.

For any liberals keeping track, all of those later decisions favored right wingers, which should tell you something about how well that kind of permission of lies works for liberal politics.  And, lest anyone not notice, that "liberal" icon, the ACLU supported the decisions in all of those cases.   That certainly doesn't do anything to harm my contention that an addle brained concept of secularism that can ignore that lies are a sin that have to be forbidden is fatal to liberal politics.

*  The Letter of James, one of the less read of the books of the Second Testament comes to mind.

Update:  Well, it is about lying but technically it isn't a response to Duncan's truth-challenged trolls so I didn't break my resolution in writing this.  That they misrepresented things is old news, old business and old hat and just old.

Thanks for the heads-up, but I've got to deal with genuine Jr. high folk who can't help it because of their age, not their failure to mature.

Update 2:  Selves Emits.  Anagram

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