Monday, April 15, 2019

The Economist: Lane Greene- 'The Truth About Lies'

Source:The EconomistPresident Barack Obama: 44th POTUS and no more dishonest than any other politician or vote.
Source:The New Democrat

"From little fibs to big fat whoppers, lying is part of human nature. Lane Greene, our language guru, examines the difference between lies, falsehoods and plain nonsense."

Source:The Economist

From Dictionary

A lie is a: "a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood."

Similar to terms like racist or bigot, Islamophobe, antisemite ( and unfortunately I could go on ) liar is a real word with real meaning and shouldn't be misused especially by people who are simply trying to score partisan points for their team and make the other side look as bad as they can get away with by spinning convenient facts to make their arguments. So if you're going to call someone a liar, you better know that they're deliberating making false statements with the intent to deceive and you better know that they tell lies, otherwise you're just falsely libeling that person.

If I told someone that I was 7'0 tall, I would obviously lying there, but only because I'm a half foot short. ( Or more ) But if I told someone I was 6'5 when I'm 6'4 3/4, I wouldn't be lying there especially if I believed I was 6'5, or just rounded it up. People make false statements all the time, doesn't mean they're lying all the time. Most if not all of us lie anyway, but tell real lies or flatter people because we want them to feel good. The only difference between the average Joe or Mary on the street compared with famous people on the street like politicians, is most of the country doesn't know when we're lying, because most of the country hasn't heard of us.

What makes politicians different is that they're public people and have to be public people to accomplish anything in their current job, or to get elected to higher office. And of course politicians lie, the question is do they lie more than the average Joe or Mary or any other average non-famous American. And I would argue that they don't simply because politicians are no more or less American and human as anyone else other than they're famous and are very ambitious people.

And politicians tend to represent people who say they want honest people and yet they elect and reelect people who in many cases are dishonest and see lying as a way to avoid taking tough stances on positions and to coverup their less than honest behavior. ( Let's say ) So in that sense at least voters are liars as well because when polled they say they want honest, moral people representing them while they elect and reelect dishonest and crooked people. So who do voters have to blame for that other than the person that they see in the mirror?

To paraphrase Lane Greene: there are liars and bullshitters and I would add idiots.

The liar consistently says things that they know aren't true to deceive who they're talking to.

The bullshitter is even worse because that person simply makes things up and could probably care less if people who they're talking to knows that they are bullshitting them.

The idiot, is the biggest asshole of the group, but not internally because they continually speak out of their ass about things that they know almost nothing about and believe that they're a lot smarter than they actually are. And aren't even smart enough to know what they're saying is simply bullshit. (Nonsense or garbage, if you prefer ) Stay away from the idiot, because that person is probably the most dangerous of the group. Sort of like a drunk gunslinger with a loaded gun.

But not everyone who makes false statement are liars. And as we've learned from the Russia investigation the last two years, you don't have to be lying to get in trouble with law enforcement officials. You can be arrested and prosecuted for simply making false statements to those officials even if you believe what you're saying is the truth. Which is another reason why we shouldn't call ever false statement a lie and every asshole a liar, because they might simply not know what they't saying and what they're talking about. And be no more dishonest than you are an average politician.

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