Truth Decay (EP.25)

In Choices, Podcast, Responsibility, Truth by Will Luden2 Comments

Does it seem to you that we see more and more examples of agenda over integrity? Said differently, are politicians, people on social media and the media themselves holding out something less than the truth in order to make a point? Or win an election? Or to get something they want? If they are doing that, that’s what I mean by a triumph of agenda over integrity.  

I see this everywhere; in politicians of all stripes, and on all sides of almost every discussion, from education debates to social issues to road funding. Perhaps you see this happening more on one side or the other—I see it happening equally on all sides of almost every issue.  

BTW, to get our thought juices flowing, where do you go to get trustworthy, neutral reporting? You know, the kind of reporting that is NOT all-but written before the interviews and other “research” are even started. I go to the same place where I know that I can find a unicorn farm.

Sometimes adhering to, “The truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth.” is ignored simply in order to win. This works for those who actually believe that all’s fair in love and war. Others hide behind the end justifying the means, feeling that this reason for playing fast and loose with the truth it morally superior to lying simply to win; it is not. It’s still just Truth Decay. Means are ends in and of themselves, and they cannot be fairly or morally manipulated in order to achieve any particular end result. No matter how moral or important you think that result might be. You’ve heard that it is not the destination, it is the journey. Well, that’s true. Here, the journey is the means, and the destination is the desired results. It is all journey. It is all just a series of means, and any achieved end is simply another means to another end.

Side point: We’re not talking about people who use cliches, catch phrases and insults in discussions as substitutes for facts, logic and honest debate. That’s as wrong as lying, but it is  different topic.

Say what you mean. Not doing that is another example of truth decay. Remember the whole truth part? For example, if you are for open borders, don’t just stay that walls don’t work. Or claim that people who want walls are all racist. Stand up for yourself and say that you want open borders. Similarly, if you are for no additional gun control, don’t hide behind law enforcement failures, and the sloppiness involved when some people slip by on pre-purchase background checks. Just stand up and say what you mean.

And opinions masquerading as facts, portrayed as facts,  pretending to be facts and logic, are another example. Pretending is, well, lying. We are not kids anymore, where pretending can be a growth tool. Here, pretending is just more Truth Decay.

As in the law, where much goes to intent, the same is true here. If the intent is to spin the facts, make what shold be clear intentionally fuzzy because of an agenda, then you are lying–or being lied to.

The principle here is: let facts and logic discover, uncover, reveal the agenda, not use the agenda to “create” the supporting facts and logic. Repeat.

“Stolen honor” used to be in the news. Included videos of people dressed up a military when they were not. And there’s always the money from stolen taxpayers under false (there’s that word again) pretenses. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: “We need to raise taxes, or you lose LEO, fire, schools or roads.” Why is fat never never on the chopping block? Bigger buildings, lavish pensions, layers of marginally useful administrators are some examples. If politicians tell you the truth about why new taxes are needed and use our money efficiently, it is legal and beneficial taxation. If they disguise the real reasons, and use our money inefficiently, it is theft by extortion. “More money in taxes, or I take away your cops and teachers.”

Here are a couple examples from advertisers. “Overweight? Not your fault. Take this pill and lose 40 pounds. No dieting and no exercise.” What better example of Truth Decay can there be than this; preying on the overweight and desperate? Trading that desperation for profit.

Here are some other examples that are just as heinous. “Call us and get your credit debt dramatically reduced or eliminated.” Same thing with taxes owed. If someone gets away with not paying for what they bought, or what they owe on their income, do you think the credit card companies and government won’t get it from the rest of us? Don’t be silly. If these get-out-of your-responsibilities companies were to tell the truth in their advertising, they’d say, “You owe the money, and we can get you out of it. Just don’t tell your neighbors that we sent your bill to them.” How well do you think that would work? No wonder they indulge in Truth Decay to make a dishonest buck.

Please do contact me. Respond in my Results With Reason blog, email me at will@resultswithreason.com. And I’m easy to find on iTunes, Google Play and the usual Bat Channels, including Twitter and Facebook.

It is time for our usual parting thought. For us at Results With Reason, it is not simply change your thinking, change your life. It is change your thinking, change your actions, change the  world. And if you can do it in love and enjoy the people around you at the same time, all the better. Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
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Will Luden

As an author, speaker, public company board chair, family man, a man with many friends (and friends-to-be), citizen and a child of God, I am driven to contribute. One way to for me to contribute is to start thought-provoking discussions.My overall objective is to stimulate “Passionate, Relentless, Reasoning.” My specific goals include getting people to act (only) after Reasoning.
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Comments

  1. Will, right on point.
    A book I read recently referred to the terms “soft eyes” and “hard eyes”. People with hard eyes look at things from the standpoint of whether or not they confirm their preset notions, while those with soft eyes look at a situation with the idea of gaining additional knowledge. The best example I can think of is Columbo ( or Monk) versus the regular detectives. The foil detectives would always jump to a conclusion and look for evidence to support it, while the hero characters would take in the whole scene and focus on what didn’t seem to fit so they could understand the larger picture.
    It seems that most people today view news and other events in the same way. They ignore those things that don’t support their political, racial or religious beliefs and share the hell out of something that backs up their own ideas.
    Of course, this plays right into the hands of those who want to weaken America by dividing it. And our politicians, instead of trying to look at the big picture, go for the sound bite that will get them votes instead of trying to find a solution.

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