Truth is a White Lie

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Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:28 pm
Truths are lies that work. Lies are truths that don't work.

What does it mean to work? In the end it gives us pleasure. Perhaps it secures us food, builds us a better bomb and makes us feel safer. Perhaps it dazzles our mind. Perhaps it enhances our self-esteem. Perhaps it structures our experience in a pleasant way.

To call truth a lie is to insist on its dynamic nature. The truth changes.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:09 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108970 wrote:
Truths are lies that work. Lies are truths that don't work.

What does it mean to work? In the end it gives us pleasure. Perhaps it secures us food, builds us a better bomb and makes us feel safer. Perhaps it dazzles our mind. Perhaps it enhances our self-esteem. Perhaps it structures our experience in a pleasant way.

To call truth a lie is to insist on its dynamic nature. The truth changes.


Is it true that white lies work, and give us pleasure? And, is it really true that the truth changes? Does it work that the truth changes, or not?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:11 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo wrote:
Truths are lies that work. Lies are truths that don't work.


Please define "work" here.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Well, work can be endlessly defined. "Gives us pleasure" is an approximation. But I also suggest the impossibility of closure. We continually reinterpret "reality" in light of the words of others and in light of our experience. I suppose some truth is static enough. 2+2 = 4. But symbolic tautology is an extreme.

We never wake up in the same world twice. We are never the same human being from moment to moment.

I don't deny that some lies stay fresher longer than others.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 07:26 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;109000 wrote:
Well, work can be endlessly defined. "Gives us pleasure" is an approximation. But I also suggest the impossibility of closure. We continually reinterpret "reality" in light of the words of others and in light of our experience. I suppose some truth is static enough. 2+2 = 4. But symbolic tautology is an extreme.

We never wake up in the same world twice. We are never the same human being from moment to moment.

I don't deny that some lies stay fresher longer than others.


But is it true that if things work they give us pleasure? And is that the same as asking whether It works that if things work they give us pleasure?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 08:59 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108970 wrote:
Truths are lies that work. Lies are truths that don't work.
This seems like an algebra problem.

Truth = lies that work
Lies = truths that don't work



Therefore:

Truth = truths that don't work that work

Lies = lies that work that don't work


the work and don't work cancel each other out:

Truth = truths that don't work that work

Lies = lies that work that don't work


Finally, we arrive at:

Truth = truths

Lies = lies


It's all clearer to me now :a-ok:
 
Stansfield
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:39 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108970 wrote:
Truths are lies that work. Lies are truths that don't work.

What does it mean to work? In the end it gives us pleasure. Perhaps it secures us food, builds us a better bomb and makes us feel safer. Perhaps it dazzles our mind. Perhaps it enhances our self-esteem. Perhaps it structures our experience in a pleasant way.

To call truth a lie is to insist on its dynamic nature. The truth changes.

So it is your position that everything you just wrote is not the truth? So why should anyone read it then? Why did you even post it?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 09:47 pm
@Stansfield,
Stansfield;109060 wrote:
So it is your position that everything you just wrote is not the truth? So why should anyone read it then? Why did you even post it?


I guess he is trying to persuade you and me to believe it even it it isn't true. Not very successfully, I fear.
 
prothero
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 10:38 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108970 wrote:
Truths are lies that work. Lies are truths that don't work.
To call truth a lie is to insist on its dynamic nature. The truth changes.
I am confused.
What happened to truth as correspondence? or even as coherence, consistency or consensus?
And does the "truth" change, or just our approximation or conception of it change. Is "man the measure of all things"?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 10:56 pm
@Reconstructo,
Ever read Nietzsche, kids? Ever heard of the sophists? Or did I interrupt the altar boys at their rosary beads.

It's an old old idea. Put into play yet again in the 1880s. And yet again with neo-pragmaticism.

Consensus -- pleasure -- persuasion -- "truth"--

I can't connect the dots for you. But I do enjoy taking on the whole Sunday school class.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 10:58 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;109085 wrote:
Ever read Nietzsche, kids? Ever heard of the sophists? Or did I interrupt the altar boys at their rosary beads.

It's an old old idea. Put into play yet again in the 1880s. And yet again with neo-pragmaticism.

Consensus -- pleasure -- persuasion -- "truth"--

I can't connect the dots for you. But I do enjoy taking on the whole Sunday school class.


It is an old idea. You are right about that. And it is false too. Or, at least, there is no good reason to suppose it is true.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 11:05 pm
@Reconstructo,
Have as anyone out there ever changed their opinion? Why did you do so? And I'm not talking about trees. I'm talking about God or no-God, right and wrong, politics, standards of truth.

What were your reasons? Was it a cold pure dialectic? Or did some of them fit your life better?

---------- Post added 12-08-2009 at 12:29 AM ----------

Is democracy better than monarchy? Why? Are there no feelings or identifications involved in such a preference?

Do theists and atheists and agnostics pick their sides for "logical" reasons, or do they defend what they are attached to for other reasons?

Do I stress the subjective element for purely rational reasons or because I find it more aesthetically satisfying to against the grain?

We inherent a reverence for science as previous generations inherited a reverence for theology.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 02:16 am
@Reconstructo,
It's Plato the closet mystic versus the sophists, those well-paid wind machines.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 07:51 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;109049 wrote:
This seems like an algebra problem.

Truth = lies that work
Lies = truths that don't work



Therefore:

Truth = truths that don't work that work

Lies = lies that work that don't work


the work and don't work cancel each other out:

Truth = truths that don't work that work

Lies = lies that work that don't work


Finally, we arrive at:

Truth = truths

Lies = lies


It's all clearer to me now :a-ok:


You are right. But he doesn't really mean that truth is a lie (white or any other color). He means that the proposition that there is truth is false. And that those who tell you there is truth are saying what is false. Reading Reconstructo is like trying to read something written in code. Two steps. Trying to decipher, and then considering the post.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 01:58 pm
@Reconstructo,
"Truth is a white lie" should be interpreted as a conceptual poem. As the metaphor it is. It's a succinct paraphrase of pragmatism, you might say. The lie is white because its a good lie.

Nietzsche opened my mind to this conception. Why truth? Why not rather untruth?

Because a false belief is sometimes better for survival. It may a person's belief in God that gets them through a terrible ordeal. It's an ideas value for life that is important.

Where the food is or where the enemy is generally the type of question that should be answered with a "truth" and not a "lie."

Imagine a theist who finds great emotional comfort in his theism and lives a happy productive social life. Imagine an agnostic who fails to find meaning on planet earth, and puts a bullet through his brain.

If the "truth" kills, should we keep it as our replacement for god?
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 02:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;109295 wrote:

Imagine a theist who finds great emotional comfort in his theism and lives a happy productive social life. Imagine an agnostic who fails to find meaning on planet earth, and puts a bullet through his brain.

If the "truth" kills, should we keep it as our replacement for god?


So who does the atheist shoot?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 02:20 pm
@Reconstructo,
The atheist writes poetry.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 03:02 pm
@Reconstructo,
My completely unfashionable attitude is that truth is something that philosophers aspire to. Why aspire? because to the natural man, it is not something apparent. The natural man will usually see what he wants, in accordance with his wishes, conditioning and prejudices. If life is kind enough to knock all of that out of him and leave him intact, then his perception is enlarged to the extent he is not looking through his own spectacles all the time. I don't think Neitzsche ever got to that point. He might have idealised it or fantasized about it from various angles but in the end he fell short. So it is a lot easier from his position to parody the truth than to aspire to it. Didn't do him a lot of good though.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 03:27 pm
@Reconstructo,
I see what you are saying, and in essence I agree. But to say that "truth is a white lie" is just such an attempt to discover truth. What is the truth about truth? It's a passion for truth that leads one to question the will-to-truth, and also what it is that "truth" is made of.

Nietzsche had his faults, which I have criticized without restrain in the Nietzsche forum, but as a philosopher he is certainly a success. His name is not likely to be forgotten. He quite obvious had moments of intense happiness. See his description of inspiration in Ecce Homo. He danced around naked in his hotel rooms. True, he was also anguished, but this hardly negates his best ideas.

Nietzsche could be described as an extension of Kant, criticizing what Kant was afraid to. It's pretty obvious to us in the real world that desire distorts our perception. It's so strange to conceive of truth as a white lie.

Rorty was clearly influenced by Nietzsche's view of the truth as "an army of mobile metaphors, and Rorty seemed to have lived a comfortable life, with more than the average share of success and prestige. Hegel also had a dynamic theory of truth. He did pretty well himself. William James also deserves mention here.
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2009 03:29 pm
@Reconstructo,
The metaphysical notion has always been there is a transcendent "Truth" and that possession of it was a "Good". This notion always acknowledged that human truth was only an approximation (better or worse) to metaphysical Truth. For postmodernism truth is always relativism; there is no transcendent or metphysical Truth or for that matter Good.

If ones notion of the truth or if the real Truth is that the universe is purposeless, accidental and indifferent, then perhaps possession of the truth, is not a good? It may be better to have Faith in purpose and meaning than to have the Truth. Perhaps possession of the Truth is not a Good? Perhaps there is no Truth to start with?

For me, I sticking with Plato the (True, Beautiful and Good).
 
 

 
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