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Cognitive Dissonant Oxymoron: "Dictatorship of Relativi
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Ether St Vying
medicine forum beginner

Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 12:31 am    Post subject: Cognitive Dissonant Oxymoron: "Dictatorship of Relativi Reply with quote

Tom wrote:

"Carmen Miranda"
wrote in message

Everything I do, in virtually every moment, proves the simple truth
that even an average child knows: that some words are lies, and some
words are the truth.

Well, now, I don't agree with that either, as a general statement, although
I understand how you meant it in the particular examples you gave. I don't
regard any words as being either lies or truth. They're just words.

Exactly. Individual words are neither truthful nor deceptive. But when they're
strung together to convey meaning, the person who is the source of the words
can skew their statements to reflect what they perceive to be the truth, or
lies, or anything in between.

describe and denote things and they do it with only partial success.

The problem is not in the words themselves, which have certain learned
connotations in any given culture. Just as in 'beauty is in the eye of the
beholder', interpretation of the raw data is in the mind of the perceptor. We
can all see/hear/read the same thing and come away with completely different
impressions. Everything we perceive is coloured by our personality, cultural
upbringing, beliefs, education etc.

So each word is both in some way true and in some way false.

That is why some people choose them carefully.

Sometimes people
string together words in order to deliberately misrepresent a situation or
condition. That would be a lie, but it's not that the words are lies, it's
that the person stringing them together is a liar.

This is evident to, at least, some of us. But some people don't seem to be
able to cut to the heart of that simple concept. It's like blaming science for
the world's ills instead of blaming the people using it badly.

Have you read Isaac Asimov's essay entitled "The Relativity of Wrong"? It
addresses the very point that statements may never be absolutely true, but,
if carefully constructed, they can approximate the whole truth for most
practical purposes.


Good ol' Asimov, both a scientist and an artist.
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