These days, influential people say crazy stuff and expect us to believe it. If they really are educated, responsible people, are they cynical LIARS or just UNHINGED?
When a guy with a PhD CONTRADICTS what you learned in Principles 101, is he a GENIUS (who just hasn't shown his data) or is he a
CYNICAL LIAR promoting a personal agenda or
just plain crazy?
I get a sense of which is which, what do you think?
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Ryan. I think you make some good general points. Can we ever know for sure if Bush was a deranged end times Christian, probably not. But the evidence presented here is from private meetings with foreign leaders not from his public record. Bush went out of his way to let Americans know he was a Christian when he first ran for President. I was suspicious that he could be a cynical liar, and was doing this only to get votes. But this new evidence is from statements he made privately, not expecting it would be revealed indicates that I was wrong, that he was truthful about being a Christian. But you're right about public rhetoric, we must look for other evidence.Also, this focus on leaders tends to let the public off the hook. I think maybe we should look at why large numbers of people seem to almost enjoy being lied to, and why they embrace so many crazy beliefs.
0 · October 28, 2012
I think you need specifity to answer such questions. Lots of public rhetoric is simply vacuous. Not necessarily malicious. Also, popular groups tend to cultivate rival groups who take their comments out of context. I imagine we all have said things we regret at one point. Imagine if everything you ever said was recorded and people who disliked you could sift through your words to find the least ingratiating bits? Finally, human learning has reached a voluminous state such that there are no more polymaths. You can, at best, expect to be truly educated about only a handful of subjects. People who debate for a living will change gears in order to find a topic that their subject is weak on and, having found it, pursue it for all its worth.
0 · October 27, 2012
Thanks for the nice file write up. BTW, the answer to the question about GW Bush concerning religion is that he was not a cynic liar. In fact, he was so unhinged, that he scared the crap out of the President of France to the extent that he ordered his intelligence people to find out what Bush was talking about.
I have sat with many groups like Libertarians, Tea Party, Evangelicals, Mormons, etc. You get a SENSE about them by asking questions. Are they Cynics, Crazy or only Psychologically Dependent on nonsense. BUT THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE IN IMPRTANT POSITIONS, I only talk to the followers. ,
0 · October 23, 2012
Yes Chris, it is all very murky to me, That's why I would like it discussed. I have a FEELING about which is which, but cannot know for sure, which leaves me with back in my own court of my feelings. It's like researching sub atomic particles.
Well, don’t you have to determine which one they are, a cynical liar or just unhinged, before you can decide how you should think about them? I always wondered which Bush was regarding religion, because he did need the votes of fundamentalist Christians to fulfill his personal agenda to win the nomination of his party, so I thought it was a good example, because my view about him did change once I saw proof confirming which one he was.Also, I’m not sure what you are driving at regarding Phds, why aren’t they allowed to be cynical liars or unhinged, just like everyone else?
0 · October 22, 2012
Thanks Chis, I think he actually believed but was so poor at critical thinking that he could not see any contradictions. That is the function of culture, to keep people from having to confront their absurdities and contradictions.
Good insight. My question is HOW SHOULD I THINK ABOUT THEM? What motivates them we cannot know.
If we are talking about political speeches I really think the incoherence we see is mostly a product of public demand. Or, more specifically, the fractured and reactionary nature of public demand. I don't think presidential candidates, for instance, are crazy or even necessarily dishonest. But they are beholden to an evolved system that demands they behave in certain ways. If forthright and informed statements were rewarded in the political arena that's what we would hear. As it is, the process of getting elected necessitates an arcane routine of splitting the difference and carefully avoiding subjects that are prone to offend and anger a poorly educated electorate. Listen to what retired presidents have to say. They are often very articulate. But they have to wait until their party obligations expire before saying anything of substance on camera. When the public grows up its leaders will too.
1 · October 22, 2012
Cynical LIARS or just UNHINGED?
OK. Let’s see if any of you can guess right on this one.
Was GW Bush just being a cynical liar to get votes, or was he really a believing Christian?
I have the evidence, which I can post after everyone has had a chance.
0 · October 20, 2012
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