A discussion in the comments of Big Hollywood

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This discussion thread is from the post “The Lives of Other Inconvenient Truths” on Big Hollywood.
Man, this Right vs. Left feces flinging gets tiresome!

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» 10 hours ago
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Des_
It depends on what you mean. If you’re saying that name-calling is tiring (on both sides), then I agree. If you’re saying it’s wrong to point out the truth (especially when people have been lying for years to smear the other side), then I disagree. The truth is everything. Once it’s out there, we can disagree about the where’s, why’s, etc…. Until we can agree on the facts, it will always degenerate into name-calling and attacks.

ChrisInToronto
To the left, there is no “truth”. There is a universe of “personal truths”. Hence, relativism. There are no facts: there is no black; there is no white; there is only the many shades of grey.

AndrewPrice
Chris, while I agree that the left talks about moral relativism, let me suggest that they very much believe in absolute truth. However, they know that most people won’t accept their version of it, so they hide behind moral relativism to weaken our “truths” (trying to make them appear optional or prejudicial). They then force their own truths in as a replacement through the self-censorship of political correctness, by shouting down those who would disagree, and by legal fiat (where they can get away with it).

ChrisInToronto
I think you have a good point. But, I think, you are making my point about the left and the universe of truths by saying that on the one hand they believe in universal truths while on the other hand they have their own version of it. But truth doesn’t have versions. Their intention is to make rational thought untenable. I get a sore neck from shaking my head in disbelief whenever I have a serious discussion with leftists because, deep down, they don’t even believe in definitions of terms.

And, thank you, for adding the bit about political correctness, which, to my mind, is the greatest plague of all as it enables the “up is down” mumbo-jumbo that makes any kind of honest discourse impossible.

AndrewPrice
Completely agree on the effects of political correctness. And I think you make a very good point. Political correctness is used as a way to make rational debate impossible. It twists logic, makes facts irrelevant and, more importantly, impunes the character of anyone who would lay out an opposing position.

I think it’s no accident that the same people who bring us political correctness are the same people whose ideological kin in other countries (China, East Germany, Russia, Cuba) use secret police to punish thought crimes. PC is just a more subtle way of doing the same thing.

I also agree that your average, everyday leftist found in the wild seems to believe that they believe in differing truths, but if you push hard enough you will find a set of “truths” that they not only accept but will violently defend. The more doctrinare leftists, though, usually recognize that the whole moral relativism doesn’t apply to their own truths.

ChrisInToronto
I think you’ve nailed it, my friend: they will violently defend the one truth of leftism: might makes right! The one, absolute, universal and ultimate truth to which left adhere is that truth flows from the barrel of a gun. (Mao Zedong)

PeterPike
Chris said: “…because, deep down, they don’t even believe in definitions of terms.”

I have to agree with Andrew on this one. Consider postmodern deconstructionism.

There are people who write books that contain words with meaning to try to convince you that words have no meaning. This is utterly self-contradictory; it is self-refuting. As I writer, I have to ask: what’s the point of writing if words have no meaning? The only answer is that there is no point to writing then, so the very fact that these PoMos write PROVES that deep down they do NOT believe the nonsense they espouse.

What they espouse is merely a tool. It’s a tool used for them to get their own way. It’s a very pragmatic tool, and the only way they can use it is to not think about it rationally. As a Christian, I believe this is simply an outworking of Romans 1:18–They suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

ChrisInToronto
Can I both agree and disagree? Everything you say is correct except that “the very fact that these PoMos write PROVES that deep down they do NOT believe the nonsense they espouse” is not. They do believe it because they are intellectually dishonest. Maybe I should say the do believe it as much as they can believe anything.

I don’t do it often, but I have argued, hard, with leftists on occasion. Frankly, I don’t often undertake the exercise because it’s frustrating in the extreme. But when I have done it, I get down to the basic premises of the positions (granted, this can take hours) and I use their premises of one position against the premises of other positions. Long story short, when confronted with the contradictory nature of their positions they resort to arguments from authority and resorting to force (ie: when you want people to go against their natural inclinations, you must force them to bend to your will). Force (violence) trumps reason to leftists. Always has, alway will. Doesn’t make it right, though.

PeterPike
I’ll preface this by saying that I understand why you think the way you do, and I don’t have much of a problem with it, nor would this be any reason for us to be at logger-heads 🙂 The reason I still disagree is because of philophy and psychology.

I agree that liberals are intellectually dishonest. The philosophical problem is that reality is real, and it doesn’t change to conform to anything anyone wishes, dreams, hallucinates, desires, or (to quote a new pres.) hopes for. Thus, if a lion is coming at me in the jungle, I cannot wish it away–I have to deal with it. The liberal is a subjectivist who believes that he can wish it all away, but reality always asserts itself. That means that at some point, the liberal knows that reality hasn’t changed–because he’s been impacted by reality.

ChrisInToronto
I agree with everything you have said here. Therefore, I must not be speaking (writing) clearly. My apologies. : )

PeterPike
To give an example, someone once asked a man who believed there was no physical reality, “If you truly believe that the physical world isn’t real, why don’t you stand in front of this on-coming bus and prove it?” Of course, the subjectivist didn’t take up that offer, because he KNEW that the physical world did exist.

In the same way, if a liberal does not act consistent with his belief at some point (i.e., a deconstructionist writing about deconstructionism as if words had meaning), then we can take it as evidence that that person really doesn’t believe what he claims to believe.

ChrisInToronto
Paragraph One: totally agree.
Graph Two: assumes (I fear falsely) that the deconstructionist will agree that words have meanings AND that those meanings are fixed.

I have several times had the lovely — and neck-pain inducing — experience of arguing with a leftist/deconstructionalist and at the end, after pointing out how my opponent’s use of words is slippery (a nice way of saying dishonest), that (s)he just “loves to play with the language.” This, I think, is were the problems with deconstructionists lie: the professors from whom they have learned the methods of deconstructionalism have this same love of playing with the language and, in their unquestioning naivety (thank you public education system), have never called them on it.

To be truthful, there is no academic advantage to it as to do so is to invite lower marks. The same is true in arguing against Keynes in most university econ faculties (I know of what I speak, here). Sadly, most people do not value the integrity of their own rational mind. The leftist gangs that rule academe rely on this fact and by the time a personal has emerged at the other end of a post-secondary education they have had their minds so contorted by the pretzel-logic of the dons that it is easier to not think lest cognitive dissonance blows the tops of their heads off. And the left wins because having a populace that is unwilling to think for themselves is a populace easily led.

PeterPike
(part 3)

And that brings us to the psychological aspect. Namely, people are able to self-deceive themselves, at least on the surface level. And I think on the surface level, you and I agree. That is, on the surface these liberals really do believe there is no such thing as meaning in definitions. But a surface-level deception doesn’t get to the heart of the person. Internally, a person knows that he is deceiving himself–this is the reason for the angst and the cognative dissonance that comes about. It’s also why they will respond with violence (at times) when the surface-level is exposed as a lie.

Psychologically, they WANT the surface-level lie to be true. And that’s why they try to act as if it is true. But since the surface-level is something they created, internally they cannot escape the fact that they’ve supressed the truth and exchanged it for a lie.

So there is an aspect I agree with you on, but I disagree on the deeper part. Again, not in a way that I would want to make too much of a big deal about. But my own nature is to try to be as precise as I can be 🙂

PeterPike
For the record, these “Your comment is too long” things are killing me!!!! 😛

ChrisInToronto
I jumped the gun and responded to part two ahead of time. I apologize.

It looks to me like we are in complete agreement. (I once had a boss who called this phenomenon “violent agreement”). Insofar as that is the case, the thing we are, forgive me if I’m putting words in your mouth, beating around the bush about is that they are evil. Deceiving someone is bad. Deceiving yourself (denying your own mind) is evil.

ChrisInToronto
I think, Peter, that we’re all on the same page on this one.

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