On Bullshit

Submitted by: boredhuman 1 year ago in Misc


Have you EVER encountered bullshit on IAB? Ever? Of course not!

Well, just so you know, there is bullshit out there in the world. Here's the intro to the theoretical analysis of bullshit by a philosopher. Read the entire 15 page "On Bullshit" Essay by Harry Frankfurt here.

Intro: One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. 

But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. 

So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. 

In consequence, we have no clear understanding of 
what bullshit is, 
why there is so much of it, 
or what functions it serves. 
...

My aim is simply to give a rough account of what bullshit is and how it differs from what it is not, or (putting it somewhat differently) to articulate, more or less sketchily, the structure of its concept. 

Deeper in the text: 
It is just this lack of connection to a concern with truth, this indifference to how things really are, that I regard as of the essence of bullshit.

...

What bullshit essentially misrepresents is neither the state of affairs to which it refers nor the beliefs of the speaker concerning that state of affairs. Those are what lies misrepresent, by virtue of being false. Since bullshit need not be false, it differs from lies in its misrepresentational intent. 
There are 9 comments:
Male 543
A book full of bullshit...about bullshit...
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Male 13,398
lame
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Male 7,280
A Truthful person knows the truth and will speak the truth

A Lying person knows the truth but will speak falsehoods.

A Bullshitter does not care about the truth, he will say whatever he wants/needs to further his agenda, and thus we come to:


 The Bullshit Asymmetry Principle states that:

The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

I think that sums it up rather well.  Using this as a guideline, its hard to find a single bigger bullshitter than the Donald.
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Male 1,453
daegog The distinction between bullshitter and liar is a fine one.
"[A bullshitter] does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose."

One example is finding and quoting articles on the internet to support own point, without bothering to check the quality of sources. Or just telling 'facts' without any sources whatsoever. The goal of supporting your own point of view becomes more important than to try to actually find the truth on the matter - wherever it may lead. 

Some bullshit artist here on IAB are not give enough credit for their craft. It takes perseverance to be called on your bullshit and continue to plow ahead again and again. 
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Male 9,627
boredhuman Some bullshit artist here on IAB are not give enough credit for their craft. It takes perseverance to be called on your bullshit and continue to plow ahead again and again. 

Ok, that statement got me laughing unfortunately because of how true it is.
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Male 6,502
The us-against-them political side of the internet is seeping in bullshit. Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, if you watch partisan cable news, read partisan blogs, visit partisan "news" sites, etc, you are allowing yourself to be lied to. They call it spin but spinning something so much that it no longer represents the whole truth is a lie. No matter how smart you are a human brain is defenseless against repetition, especially when a trusted source is repeating the spin. I had a liberal friend spouting off on Facebook how Ted Nugent had verbally attacked all Indians, when in fact he was attacking an individual. Ted adopted native American attire for his shows. He loves native Americans. But no matter how many fact checking sites I showed this guy and no matter how much I tried, I could not get him to change his mind because the lie had taken hold. I hated using Ted Nugent as an example because he is one of the biggest spreaders of misinformation out there, but I did it because I wanted to see if I could get someone who is on my side to change their mind when presented with facts and the truth. Sadly, I could not. And I really really, tried. The cold hard fact is if you are in the world of partisan politics you are allowing yourself to be lied to and you yourself start spreading the lies further. By being in that world a person is literally making themselves dishonest. There's no other way to put it. It is a horrible, negative place to be. Within days of giving it up you will see your mood increase tenfold.
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Male 2,352
markust123 spin = politicized term for bullshit.
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Male 9,627
markust123 Problem is, passion is in the extremes, they are picking our leaders.  They are defining this country.  The moderates among us need  to get passionate and take back this nonsense.  

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Male 913
markust123 Seems to be about 30 percent on either side are susceptible to this trap. I have personally found that they are just outright exhausting...
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