Untruth Comes in 2 Forms

I was reading FaceBook posts and I could not keep a thought out of my mind. There are a huge number of liars posting on FaceBook. I commented on a friends post that part of the post was possibly not correct or ‘wrong’. His reply was ‘Why does it matter?’ The evidence to make his point was wrong but it was an excuse for the remainder NOT a reason. There is a saying, ‘Let’s throw it on the wall and see what stick’. What you throw on a wall is not lies, or truths or facts, it is anything that may be believed.

Taken from On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt, Princeton University Press (2005). £6.50/$9.95 pp.67.ISBN: 0691122946. The distinction between lying and bullshitting is fairly clear. The liar asserts something which he himself believes to be false. He deliberately misrepresents what he takes to be the truth. The bullshitter, on the other hand, is not constrained by any consideration of what may or may not be true. In making his assertion, he is indifferent to whether what he is says is true or false. His goal is not to report facts. It is, rather, to shape the beliefs and attitudes of his listeners in a certain way.

The distinction is very clear but I see the problem in the personal (reverse) direction. The difference is the mind of the writer or speaker. It doesn’t even depend on whether the statement or idea is actually true! So does it actually make a difference. Only in OUR mind about the speaker’s motive. Is he not my friend (because he lied to me when I expected the truth) or is he still my friend ( because he was just kidding around and getting me to think about what he said just as I did)? My conclusion is: It only matters if it is from a friend! A friend should be the only one we give the Right of untruth!

Maybe it s Facebook thing that I FRIEND someone that I do not know. Certainly it is not in politics or business that I assume that a person is a friend without having proof or history as a base for this relationship. But we act that way. Don’t we?

In politics the candidate delivers speech after speech and we make decisions on what is said, truth, lie, or BS. After the election, no responsibility, We elect a businessman with a history of refusing to pay suppliers he used in business and wonder how/why he could/would to the very same thing in his first political office.

In the Facebook website there are ADs that promise a product that is too-good-to-be-true from companies that have no history or proof of being responsible except that they are allow to use Facebook and act surprised to find that is not true, that the company is not responsible, and is not really a company at all but just a person who disappeared as easily as it appeared.

The truth is that truth does not matter in our current, normal world. It is the appearance of truth that covers untruth that matters. It is the truth that NO ONE is or can be held responsible in our current normal world. A person is killed by police for trying to pass a bogus $20 bill (held responsible) and the police who overstepped his Right (to detain) must be made to be responsible. To me it seems that the New Normal is expecting the people that accept NO RESPONSIBILITY to require all the rest of us to accept ALL RESPONSIBILITY for the untruths in our world.