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Why do humans in general believe blatant lies?

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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13 June 2019 12:03
 

Choosing Which Lies to Inspire Your Church Practices

Mark 16:14-18

Later Jesus appeared to the 11 disciples as they were eating. He spoke firmly to them because they had no faith. They would not believe those who had seen him after he rose from the dead.

He said to them, “Go into all the world. Preach the good news to everyone.  Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who does not believe will be punished.  Here are the miraculous signs that those who believe will do. In my name they will drive out demons. They will speak in languages they had not known before.  They will pick up snakes with their hands. And when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all. They will place their hands on sick people. And the people will get well.”

 

(That was Jesus instructing us after being dead for 3 days).

Can you imagine being born into one of those congregations in 2019 U.S.?  - every Sunday going with your parents to handle poisonous snakes, babble in ‘tongues’, drink poison and heal the infirm like Benny Hinn?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVG1x-rh6FE

Like Benny Hinn, Donald Trump is never dull.  63 million supporters?

[ Edited: 13 June 2019 12:09 by unsmoked]
 
 
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14 June 2019 12:25
 
unsmoked - 12 June 2019 01:54 PM

Why do humans in general believe blatant lies?

Consider the lies of history books and holy books that are taught to us as truths by parents and teachers.

For example, in the U.S. we are taught that the Founding Fathers fought for and established a free country.  In fact they established a country in which 20% of the population were slaves - about 500,000 in a population of 2.5 million.. (20% of today’s U.S. population would be 70 million).  If a slave ran away, trying to reach freedom in Canada, they were arrested if caught and returned to their owners.  Captured slaves were often whipped, or worse, as an example to other slaves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugitive_Slave_Act_of_1850

The Fugitive Slave Act or Fugitive Slave Law was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave-holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers.

The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a “slave power conspiracy”. It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to their masters and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate. Abolitionists nicknamed it the “Bloodhound Law”, for the dogs that were used to track down runaway slaves.

Until machines were invented to replace slaves, the U.S. economy depended on slave labor to produce profitable exports like cotton and tobacco.  It was 1920 before a cotton-picking machine was invented.

Q:  Is it a lie if the liar thinks he is telling the truth?  Do our history teachers not know that after the American Revolution 20% of the U.S. population were enslaved?  Do they not know that Washington and Jefferson and other plantation owners couldn’t profitably sell cotton to England without slave labor?

Washington already had qualms about owning slaves when he was shocked to receive a letter from Jefferson recommending that he encourage his slave women to have more children since they could be profitably sold at auction when they came of age.

Is it any wonder that school teachers today can’t teach the truth about Thomas Jefferson?

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-dark-side-of-thomas-jefferson-35976004/?all

“What Jefferson set out clearly for the first time was that he was making a 4 percent profit every year on the birth of black children. The enslaved were yielding him a bonanza, a perpetual human dividend at compound interest. Jefferson wrote, “I allow nothing for losses by death, but, on the contrary, shall presently take credit four per cent. per annum, for their increase over and above keeping up their own numbers.” His plantation was producing inexhaustible human assets. The percentage was predictable.

In another communication from the early 1790s, Jefferson takes the 4 percent formula further and quite bluntly advances the notion that slavery presented an investment strategy for the future. He writes that an acquaintance who had suffered financial reverses “should have been invested in negroes.” He advises that if the friend’s family had any cash left, “every farthing of it [should be] laid out in land and negroes, which besides a present support bring a silent profit of from 5. to 10. per cent in this country by the increase in their value.”

The irony is that Jefferson sent his 4 percent formula to George Washington, who freed his slaves, precisely because slavery had made human beings into money, like “Cattle in the market,” and this disgusted him.”

Could U.S.schoolteachers today ever tell their students the truth about the Vietnam War?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kill-anything-that-moves-the-real-american-war-in-vietnam-by-nick-turse/2013/01/25/f6f8db0c-5e95-11e2-90a0-73c8343c6d61_story.html

 

 

 

 

[ Edited: 14 June 2019 12:29 by unsmoked]
 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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17 June 2019 08:55
 

With respect I think the question should be couched a little more carefully. Lies are statements of deliberate deceit. Not merely untruths. A lot of the self affirming narrative we are referencing here does not actually qualify under that definition. Political ideologues are not generally liars under this definition. I think they generally believe the larger themes of what they report. They may have some self awareness of the liberties they take or they may not but they are believers. It’s not possible to lie by accident. Not as I understand the concept anyway.

I think this distinction is important because I believe that untruths reported with sincerity are, on balance far more dangerous than lies. I think the reason people are often persuaded of false propositions isn’t because they are lied to but because the person speaking is, themselves also genuinely persuaded and therefore persuasive.

Some further distinctions might be useful. Such as the difference between a moral lie and a pathological one. Also the distinction between a demonstrably false statement, marginally false statement and a statement with no discernible propositional content. A lot of political rhetoric consists of the last category. These might be considered lies in the sense that they are calculated to achieve an effect but it’s tricky because they do not commit to a case. Can as statement that is not measurable as true or false be a lie? I think so but I’m not actually sure.

All that aside my direct answer is that people are not driven by facts but by stories. Most of need to place ourselves into an arc of significance. When we find a source of significance we tend to defend it at all costs.

 
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17 June 2019 12:26
 
Brick Bungalow - 17 June 2019 08:55 AM

With respect I think the question should be couched a little more carefully. Lies are statements of deliberate deceit. Not merely untruths. A lot of the self affirming narrative we are referencing here does not actually qualify under that definition. Political ideologues are not generally liars under this definition. I think they generally believe the larger themes of what they report. They may have some self awareness of the liberties they take or they may not but they are believers. It’s not possible to lie by accident. Not as I understand the concept anyway.

I think this distinction is important because I believe that untruths reported with sincerity are, on balance far more dangerous than lies. I think the reason people are often persuaded of false propositions isn’t because they are lied to but because the person speaking is, themselves also genuinely persuaded and therefore persuasive.

Some further distinctions might be useful. Such as the difference between a moral lie and a pathological one. Also the distinction between a demonstrably false statement, marginally false statement and a statement with no discernible propositional content. A lot of political rhetoric consists of the last category. These might be considered lies in the sense that they are calculated to achieve an effect but it’s tricky because they do not commit to a case. Can as statement that is not measurable as true or false be a lie? I think so but I’m not actually sure.

All that aside my direct answer is that people are not driven by facts but by stories. Most of need to place ourselves into an arc of significance. When we find a source of significance we tend to defend it at all costs.

I agree with your comments.  In the OP, the definition of ‘blatant’ was meant to give ‘borders’ to the topic:

blatant - adjective

(of bad behavior) done openly and unashamedly. - “blatant lies”

synonyms: flagrant, glaring, obvious, undisguised, unconcealed, overt, open, transparent, patent, evident, manifest, palpable, unmistakable

Last night did any of you watch George Stephanopoulos interviewing Trump on 20/20?  I was reminded of an octopus concealing its escape by ejecting a cloud of ink.  Trump was asked why he hadn’t released his tax returns and he began by saying he wanted to release them, and of course they’ll be released, maybe, but his lawyers needed to . . . and the fake news and lying media . . . and the enemies of the people . . . and we all know you’re a little wise guy George . . and Clinton should be in jail . . . and Mueller hates me . . . and Comey . . . and the New York Times is guilty of treason and . . . “

63 million people voted for this juvenile playground babble in 2016 and most of them will likely endorse it again in 2020.  This struts on the world stage representing the U.S.

Not blatant enough?

Trump’s chief lawyer, Giuliani, has called Trump’s successful tax evasion a sign of ‘genius’.  Has cheating, lying, and wealth become an admired part of our culture?  Is there a better way to get more than your share of the world’s limited resources?

[ Edited: 17 June 2019 13:14 by unsmoked]
 
 
EN
 
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17 June 2019 12:37
 

In Trump’s case the lies are accepted for other reasons.  The two basic groups supporting Trump (white working class and white evangelicals) each have their own reasons.  The WWCs want Trump to make America white again, so that minorities won’t be better off than them.  The WEs want a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade and any LGBT protections.  Both groups are willing to overlook his lies and grotesqueness to achieve their ends. He is their man. They’ve made a deal with the devil, and most of them know it.

 
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17 June 2019 13:22
 
EN - 17 June 2019 12:37 PM

In Trump’s case the lies are accepted for other reasons.  The two basic groups supporting Trump (white working class and white evangelicals) each have their own reasons.  The WWCs want Trump to make America white again, so that minorities won’t be better off than them.  The WEs want a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade and any LGBT protections.  Both groups are willing to overlook his lies and grotesqueness to achieve their ends. He is their man. They’ve made a deal with the devil, and most of them know it.

Agreed, though I doubt they’d admit they’ve made a deal with the devil.  Before I read your post, I added another comment at the end of post #19.

 
 
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04 January 2020 12:55
 
unsmoked - 14 June 2019 12:25 PM

Could U.S.schoolteachers today ever tell their students the truth about the Vietnam War?

Posted: 24 December 2019 13:16

https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/02/how-do-german-students-learn-about-the-holocaust.html

After reading ‘KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES - The Real American War in Vietnam’ by Nick Turse, I wondered if any high school history teachers in the U.S. ever asked their students to read it, or even played the PBS interview between Bill Moyers and the author.

I suspect that 99% of Americans have never heard of American War Crimes in Vietnam except for the Mai Lai massacre.  What would we think of the Germans if they were 99% ignorant of the Holocaust?  What would we think of them if their leaders called Germany a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ and never taught their schoolchildren about the Holocaust?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7x6upOmdrw

https://time.com/longform/my-lai-massacre-ron-haeberle-photographs/

Has the U.S. military destroyed all the photographs and movies that document what Nick Turse writes about in his book?  If not, will they ever come to light like the dreadful images documenting the Holocaust?  What is the U.S. moral landscape with huge portions redacted?

 
 
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04 January 2020 13:03
 
icehorse - 24 December 2019 04:51 PM

And then tack on to that our last - almost 20 years - in the ME

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/10/09/new-veteran-suicide-numbers-raise-concerns-among-experts-hoping-for-positive-news/

quote from this article:

“In my eyes, this report tells us it’s time to do something different,” Nuntavong said. “We lost more than 60,000 veterans to suicide over 10 years. That’s ridiculous.”

I wonder how many U.S. veterans grow up in a Christian household and attend church regularly?  Then ‘Caesar’ trains them to obey orders (from him), trains them to kill, and convinces them that collateral damage (killing civilians) is inevitable.

collateral damage  noun
during a war, the unintentional deaths and injuries of people who are not soldiers, and damage that is caused to their homes, hospitals, schools, etc.

 
 
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04 January 2020 13:07
 

n his 2018 book, ‘ROAD TO DISASTER - A New History of America’s Descent Into Vietnam’, author Brian VanDeMark includes this footnote:

“The consequences of so much bombing persist to this day:  an estimated 350,000 tons of unexploded ordnance still litter the landscape of Vietnam.  Nearly 40,000 Vietnamese have been killed and 67,000 maimed since the war ended in 1975.  At the current disposal rate it will take the Vietnamese 300 years to defuse and remove all of them.  See Ariel Garfinkel, “The Vietnam War Is Over, The Bombs Remain.”  New York Times, March 20, 2018

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/opinion/vietnam-war-agent-orange-bombs.html

That’s not the only, or even the worst, legacy of the war that Vietnamese families still face. Seeking to defoliate entire forests to expose enemy forces to spotter planes, the Americans dropped 18 million gallons of chemical herbicide over South Vietnam from 1962 to 1972. There were several defoliants used, but the best known was Agent Orange. In 20,000 spraying missions, planes drenched the countryside and an estimated 3,181 villages.

While entire forests dried up and died typically within weeks of spraying, it would be years before scientists established that one of the active ingredients in the defoliants, a group of compounds called dioxin, is one of the deadliest substances known to humankind. Just 85 grams of dioxin, if evenly distributed, could wipe out a city of eight million people. But illnesses and deaths from Agent Orange exposure were only the initial outcomes. Dioxin affects not only people exposed to it, but also their children, altering DNA. Large numbers of Vietnamese babies continue to be born with grotesque deformities: misshapen heads, bulging tumors, underdeveloped brains and nonfunctioning limbs.

The deadly defoliants also rained down on American troops. Researchers led by Jeanne Stellman of Columbia examined military records of the flight paths of Agent Orange spraying missions. Comparing those flight paths to the position of nearby villages and American ground troops revealed a direct association between exposure and later health problems.

These findings, published in 2003, put an end to the longtime denial by the government that Agent Orange spraying did not harm American troops. The Department of Veterans Affairs now assumes, as a blanket policy, that all of the 2.8 million troops who served in Vietnam were exposed to chemical defoliants, and provides some medical coverage and compensation for that. But the United States has never acknowledged that it also poisoned millions of Vietnamese civilians in the same way.

(read more in article)

VanDeMark’s book - https://www.amazon.com/Road-Disaster-History-Americas-Descent/dp/0062859668  (published 2018)

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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04 January 2020 18:19
 

Many Trump supporters know he’s lying. They have conceded as much to me. Sometimes directly. Other times by the consistent habit of changing the subject and shifting the burden whenever the factuality of a Trump statement is challenged. This isn’t what a person who believes a lie does. This is what a person complicit in that lie does. Many of his supporters are in on the fix. They think they stand to gain what he gains. Note who answers questions directly and who doesn’t.

 
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05 January 2020 13:27
 
Brick Bungalow - 04 January 2020 06:19 PM

Many Trump supporters know he’s lying. They have conceded as much to me. Sometimes directly. Other times by the consistent habit of changing the subject and shifting the burden whenever the factuality of a Trump statement is challenged. This isn’t what a person who believes a lie does. This is what a person complicit in that lie does. Many of his supporters are in on the fix. They think they stand to gain what he gains. Note who answers questions directly and who doesn’t.

https://www.pbs.org/video/how-one-iowa-city-is-planning-for-a-rising-mississippi-river-1578161914/

I watched this PBS news segment last night about the Mississippi flooding in Davenport, Iowa.  The reporter asked a resident if he thought the increase in devastating floods might be caused by climate change.  “No,” the man said.  “We had one of these back in the ‘90’s.”

The reporter said, “But that was called a 500 -year flood, and since then you’ve had several more . . . now they’re like 10-year devastating floods, threatening the city.”

The resident was evidently in total agreement with Trump that climate change is a hoax.  500-year floods becoming common were not going to convince him otherwise.

https://wqad.com/2019/10/16/davenport-releases-price-tag-of-record-flooding-3-5-million/

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/may/27/is-the-earth-pancake-flat-among-the-flat-earthers-conspiracy-theories-fake-news

 
 
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24 January 2020 06:47
 

You have to distinguish between actually blatant lies and statements which are commonly called blatant lies as a dishonest way to argue against them or an insult to those who would make or believe them.

At this point I would argue that global warming being a hoax is the latter. There is now so much confusion around the topic that it is difficult for a layman to navigate, so I don’t think it can be called blatant by any reasonable definition.

 
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24 January 2020 09:45
 
pluka - 24 January 2020 06:47 AM

You have to distinguish between actually blatant lies and statements which are commonly called blatant lies as a dishonest way to argue against them or an insult to those who would make or believe them.

At this point I would argue that global warming being a hoax is the latter. There is now so much confusion around the topic that it is difficult for a layman to navigate, so I don’t think it can be called blatant by any reasonable definition.

Now I’m confused by what you wrote here.  Are you confused when scientists say that humans are causing climate change?  When Trump & Co. call climate change a hoax do you think most of the 63 million people who voted for him agree with him?  Do those 63 million think scientists are lying?  What’s difficult for them to navigate?

 
 
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24 January 2020 11:35
 
unsmoked - 24 January 2020 09:45 AM
pluka - 24 January 2020 06:47 AM

You have to distinguish between actually blatant lies and statements which are commonly called blatant lies as a dishonest way to argue against them or an insult to those who would make or believe them.

At this point I would argue that global warming being a hoax is the latter. There is now so much confusion around the topic that it is difficult for a layman to navigate, so I don’t think it can be called blatant by any reasonable definition.

Now I’m confused by what you wrote here.  Are you confused when scientists say that humans are causing climate change?  When Trump & Co. call climate change a hoax do you think most of the 63 million people who voted for him agree with him?  Do those 63 million think scientists are lying?  What’s difficult for them to navigate?

Two things, first of all, whether the climate is changing is not so important. The important question is how big of a problem it is and how urgently we need to act. If leftist politicians predict the climate apocalipse for year x, and then nothing happens, and then they move the prediction to year x + 5, and still nothing of significance happens etc. or when leftist politicians warn that the continents will be flooded in a few years if we don’t stop cows from farting and then they buy some expensive beachfront property, how can you be surprised when people are starting to think the whole thing might be a hoax? And this doesn’t even require any right wing propaganda.

Secondly, the scientific consensus is often exaggerated by the left, like the famous 97% consensus claim (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2016/12/14/fact-checking-the-97-consensus-on-anthropogenic-climate-change/amp/&ved=2ahUKEwiayq_U8ZznAhVKbFAKHdWoDSgQFjAAegQIBxAC&usg=AOvVaw3F61g4_mYjnuMWEIPLe_3J&ampcf=1) which creates further mistrust and confusion, and especially people without higher education may not know how to navigate the academic community and get information from respectable experts unfiltered by corrupt media.

Sure, it’s possible to inform yourself despite these hurdles but that’s not what I call blatant or obvious.

[ Edited: 24 January 2020 11:53 by pluka]
 
unsmoked
 
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25 January 2020 11:29
 
pluka - 24 January 2020 11:35 AM
unsmoked - 24 January 2020 09:45 AM
pluka - 24 January 2020 06:47 AM

You have to distinguish between actually blatant lies and statements which are commonly called blatant lies as a dishonest way to argue against them or an insult to those who would make or believe them.

At this point I would argue that global warming being a hoax is the latter. There is now so much confusion around the topic that it is difficult for a layman to navigate, so I don’t think it can be called blatant by any reasonable definition.

Now I’m confused by what you wrote here.  Are you confused when scientists say that humans are causing climate change?  When Trump & Co. call climate change a hoax do you think most of the 63 million people who voted for him agree with him?  Do those 63 million think scientists are lying?  What’s difficult for them to navigate?

Two things, first of all, whether the climate is changing is not so important. The important question is how big of a problem it is and how urgently we need to act. If leftist politicians predict the climate apocalipse for year x, and then nothing happens, and then they move the prediction to year x + 5, and still nothing of significance happens etc. or when leftist politicians warn that the continents will be flooded in a few years if we don’t stop cows from farting and then they buy some expensive beachfront property, how can you be surprised when people are starting to think the whole thing might be a hoax? And this doesn’t even require any right wing propaganda.

Secondly, the scientific consensus is often exaggerated by the left, like the famous 97% consensus claim (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2016/12/14/fact-checking-the-97-consensus-on-anthropogenic-climate-change/amp/&ved=2ahUKEwiayq_U8ZznAhVKbFAKHdWoDSgQFjAAegQIBxAC&usg=AOvVaw3F61g4_mYjnuMWEIPLe_3J&ampcf=1) which creates further mistrust and confusion, and especially people without higher education may not know how to navigate the academic community and get information from respectable experts unfiltered by corrupt media.

Sure, it’s possible to inform yourself despite these hurdles but that’s not what I call blatant or obvious.

Thank you.  At least you have shown your true colors here instead of playing a verbal shell game as in post #27

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/venice-fears-exodus-residents-after-latest-flood-n1089566

headline from this article:

Venice fears exodus of residents after latest flood
Inhabitants are used to seasonal deluges but were not prepared for recent onslaughts, which plunged more than 80 percent of the city under water.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11/new-un-climate-report-offers-bleak-emissions-forecast

 

 
 
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