Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The Age of Acceptable Lies

To survive in a culture of acceptable lying, one must constantly pick and choose what to believe, and our choices—which bath soap to buy, which cable news network to watch—are simultaneously driven by and shaping our desires. We mostly believe what we want to believe, and by choosing to believe what we want to believe, we confirm our beliefs.

This puts desire at the center of what we believe about the world. Truth, then, becomes subservient to desire. Rather than the need for true speech, we need speech that corresponds to what we desire—and when it doesn’t, we’re free to dismiss it.

In other words, we don’t want Trump to be a misogynist, since it undermines our ability to vote for him. So his words find new interpretations. Or we don’t want Hillary to have a record of disregard for both the rule of law and policies that protect national security. So we don’t believe her email scandal means anything. Or we don’t want the Bible to say hard things about sexuality. So we don’t believe it does. Read More

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