Saturday, April 23, 2005

on bullshit, lying vs. bullshitting, and american bullshit

I have recently been reading On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt, a philosophy professor at Princeton. Frankfurt succeeds in very clearly distinguishing between lying and bullshitting.

Lying is the act of knowing the truth and purposely deviating from it, providing information that is known to be false. Bullshiting is verbal defecation. Bullshitting is the act of having total disdain for the truth and providing information that is not known to be true or false, usually in the vein of persuasion.

You see, the bullshiter does not consider the truth in any way. What is said very well may be true! The bullshitter doesn't care. The bullshitter and the liar are engaged in different enterprises. Liars at least consider the truth. They must do this in order to offer falsehood.

With that said, consider this from comedian George Carlin...

America's leading industry, America's most profitable business, is still the manufacture, packaging, distribution, and marketing of bullshit. High-quality, grade-A, prime-cut, pure, American bullshit. And the sad part is, most people seem indoctrinated to believe that bullshit only comes from certain places, certain sources; advertising, politics, salesmen. Not true. Bullshit is everywhere. Bullshit is rampant. Parents are full of shit. Teachers are full of shit. Clergymen are full of shit. And law enforcement people are FULL of SHIT. This entire country is completely full of SHIT and always has been from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution to the Star Spangled Banner. It's really nothing more than one big steaming pile of red-white-and-blue all American bullshit. Because, think of how we started. Think of that. This country was founded by a group of slave owners who told us "All men are created equal." Oh, yeah, all men. Except for indians and niggers and women, right? I always like to use that authentic American language. This was a small group of un-elected white-male land-holding slave owners who also suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. Now that is what's known as being STUNNINGLY and embarrasingly full of shit.

3 Comments:

Blogger Greg Tidwell said...

have you seen this guy? he's old as dirt. i saw him give a lecture on the evolution of his book. it was quite awesome to witness an old man in a suit say bullshit over and over again to other old men in suits while my college buds and i snickered.

1/21/2007 06:33:00 PM  
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7/04/2009 12:02:00 AM  
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7/04/2009 12:16:00 AM  

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