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Archive for the ‘Epistemology’ Category

On political matters, at least, it

06 Mar

is quite clear that Snopes plays fast and loose with the truth. Unfortunately, one cannot trust them. They are just shilling for a certain world-view.

Of course, that brings up the question of who you can ultimately trust. The answer? No one living on this earth.

There is no human source of unimpeachable knowledge. There is effort to be truthful, but not Cartesian certainty. There is no human Truth-Teller. There are only accounts, to riff off the Post-Modernists. So science is not a foundation for truth because it is dependent on human interpretation–a graph of numbers is totally meaningless until some human assigns meaning to it.

As Carl Popper so famously said, it is structurally impossible (due to the logical fallacy of Affirming The Consequent) to prove a theory correct (you can just rule out competing theories–thus falsification). And one can NEVER falsify ALL other known and unknown or even implausible explanations–it is logically and practically impossible. You can get approximations of truth from science (and that is indeed useful), but no Cartesian certainty. You get accounts, not immutable facts.

Journalism certainly isn’t a source of Truth–it is just the accounts and interpretations of the journalist. The only option is to turn to another source, or we are totally adrift on a Godless sea… In other words, the BEST sources of human-sourced knowledge have been incontrovertibly demonstrated to have feet of clay. They are ultimately unreliable.

Now Snopes has dutifully pooped in its own bed, following the lead of “climate scientists” and the MSM. You watch, this is the beginning of the end for Snopes. Their ONLY claim was that they told the truth, and that has been shown to be unequivocally false. They are shown to be just another axe-grinding hack. And ONE incident of demonstrable dishonesty ruins the whole thing–if it is 99% accurate, you can never be sure that any one item is not in the 1% false group. You can fish the poop out of the soup, but that doesn’t make the soup appetizing. It’s (to quote the original Iron Chef) OVAH! They are a dead man walking. I mean, on what grounds should I believe Snopes over a dog-faced baboon? I can’t think of one…

Yes, I agree that in the human realm there are no facts, only accounts. But one can STRIVE to give valid accounts. While that won’t fix the knowledge problem, it would be practically useful.

This Snopes thing is just another nail in the coffin of human truth. Already it is clear that only a great fool trusts the MSM. They abdicated their role of honest broker long ago.

 

To riff on Rush Limbaugh,

22 Feb

the First Amendment does NOT prevent one from criticizing the press. It just gives you, me, and everyone the legal right to express opinions without fear of legal/govenment retribution. That’s it. The press have no more or less freedom of speech than you or me. They are NOT in a privileged position. So some “reporters” need to get off their high horse and recognize that.

A free press is important, but really the bedrock issue is free speech. You don’t have to be a NY Times reporter to have that, and a NY Times reporter has no more of it than you or me. The NY Times reporter is no more immune from criticism than you or me. If they are full of crap, they can be called out on it without any damage whatsoever to the Constitution. So I would say to NY Times reporters to quit your whining and kvetching and defend yourself! And take that weak sauce and get out of here, you freakin’ loser…

Criticizing the press is just NO problem, Constitutionally or morally. THEY need to tell us why we should believe them over a dog-faced baboon, to quote Socrates. Otherwise it is just a bald-faced appeal to authority, and I don’t buy that, even a little. Upon what grounds are they standing? Why should I believe them?

 
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Posted in Epistemology, Free Speech

 

Yes, the media

20 Feb

has lost all credibility. Quote:

the public doesn’t believe you people anymore.

But I think it has gone way beyond being skeptical of what the MSM says. Now it is that one just assumes that they are lying. It is the first and most likely option in many cases. There’s no way to get solid truth from them. It’s NOT that every little thing is false, it’s that there is some significant proportion that is demonstrably false and you just never know what group a specific piece of news falls into. So one drop of mold ruins the whole batch. There are some pieces of brownie that are perfectly fine, but you just never know which one you got.

See, most people can accept “mistaken.” There is no shame in being innocently incorrect. What they can’t accept is “deliberately misleading. “HUGE difference, there.

 
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Posted in Epistemology, Media Bias

 

Yeah, the MSM

12 Feb

is getting totally hammered. Actually, the fact that they unreasonably and psychopathologically criticize Trump redounds to his benefit. People hear what the MSM says and assume that they are mistaken at best or outright lying. Look at the poll numbers on trust. The MSM is NOT trusted, and that is for a very rational reason. The problem for them is that most people know that they are just political hacks spinning as much as they can. They have shown us that we live in a post-modern world where there is no truth.

They have crapped in their own bed. They have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage. I mean, why should I believe them over a dog-faced baboon? What claim to truth do they assert? Upon what grounds are they standing? See, they won’t say because that question and the honest answer destroys their Truth-claim.

 

Gee, whoda thunk?

08 Feb

Oh yeah, anyone with half a brain.

But it’s a problem of Post-Modernism: If all is just opinion and ax-griding, on what grounds to you imbue truth-value to anything?

It’s ironic that the media both believe this and have taken us down this road. Again I paraphrase Socrates, “On what grounds should I believer you over a dog-faced baboon?”

 
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Your wonderful and reliable

06 Feb

MSM.

Tell me again: Just WHY do these dolts have jobs? Oh yeah, because they are lying Lefties. But I’m not sure why I would give a crap what they say. Why should I believe them over a dog-faced baboon or some stranger creature, still? Just why are they believable sources? On what grounds do I believe them?

They are NOT a reliable source. Like the Haitian proverb says, I don’t need to turn and look at every  yapping dog.

And if the facts are not really supportive, you can just change the definitions to smear your opponents! There, all fixed… But according to them it’s all just opinion, anyway, and there is no actual “truth.” So we can call up down, right wrong, and NAZIs (National Socialists) right-wing. It’s all grist for the mill…

 
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Yes,

30 Jan

and Trump will be lauded by the same media that now belittle him. Once he is done with his last term and is safely never going to run again, that is. Until then he is Hitler incarnate, the 6th beast of the apoclypse. It is stunningly predictable. It is the same ol’ same ol’.

You would think that the general public would wise up to this schtick. I hope they will, eventually. <sigh>

But it’s entirely predictable that the MSM will do all they can to discredit Trump now. It’s what they do. It’s who they are. That leopard is not gonna change spots. Whether or not their reports are rooted in truth, though, is quite unclear. Maybe. Maybe not.

But tell me again why I should believe them over a dog-faced baboon? I mean, the baboon also has sensation, so what makes the media’s sensations more representative of truth than the baboon’s? What is the basis for believing them?

And if you admit that they are not infallible, how do YOU decide what is actually true and what isn’t? All you have done is moved the question down a level, but you have not at all answered the question. You’ve just stamped your foot and said it’s turtles all the way down.

See, the media are making a truth claim, and I would like to know the basis of that claim. Upon what is it based? Just why should I believe them?

One reason for mainly local government (as local as possible) is that you can actually know and have a human relationship with local leaders. National? Not so much. That’s a big reason why all leadership and all regulation should be as local as possible and national leadership should be both minor and unobtrusive. Maybe the most important one.

I can know my local leader. I have never even met Donald Trump.

 

Wow,

29 Jan

in case you needed yet another example of boosterism and incompetence, here it is.

These guys are dishonest shills. Only a fool believes them.

And if you say that you believe them some of the time and not others, all you have done is make things conceptually worse. Just how do decide what is Truth and what isn’t? If Kessler is sometimes wrong and sometimes right, just how do you know which is which?

If you are making a distinction, on what grounds are you standing? It sounds like you have some higher but unspoken standard you use to make your judgment. Well, make it explicit! Again, in the immortal words of Socrates (via Plato), why should I believe you over a dog-faced baboon?

 
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Posted in Epistemology, Media Bias

 

Honestly,

23 Jan

I think this is great. More, please!

After Todd kept harassing Conway, she said, “I think we are going to have to rethink our relationship here. I want a great open relationship with our press.”

Good.

The MSM is very obviously trying to salvage the reputation of their boyfriend, Obama. They simply are not honest brokers. They are dishonest shills pushing their own agenda and preferences. Nothing more. We have known that incontrovertible fact for some time, and it’s nice to see someone finally pushing back.

Freakin’ HACKS!

The cucial issue is indeed epistemology. Just what is actually true and just how do you know it? I woud ask of the MSM the same question Socretes had of Theaetetus.  “Why should I believe YOU over a dog-faced baboon or some stranger creature still?”

It is not meant as a slam, it is a legitimate question. On what (epistemological) grounds are you standing? If all knowledge comes from sensation, well, a dog-faced baboon has sensation too. On what grounds do you claim that your sensation is somehow more “true” than a dog-faced baboon’s? Why should I believe that YOU are an arbiter of truth? Why are YOUR sensations an indication of Truth and mine are not–so I have to rely on you for Truth? Seems like you are setting yourself up as an infallible secular Priesthood. I can believe, but just tell me why I should take your word for it!

Obviously (since it pretty much spawned epistemology) it was a great question. And it’s one the MSM has no answer for–they simply depend upon people hewing to tradition and not asking questions. Their response: Shut up, prole!

 
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No wonder that

16 Jan

people don’t trust the mainstream news media. They lie.

We truly live in a Post-Modern world–there is simply no truth. There is ONLY opinion. In order to overcome that, you have to have a human relationship with a Truth-Teller. See, I can tell the truth as best I know it, but I am not the Truth-Teller.

Only a great fool believes uncritically what the MSM says. I am NOT a great fool, and they are not Truth-Tellers.

And I hear people all the time say, “Well, I don’t believe ALL the MSM says, but they are still reliable–let’s not be black-or-white in our thinking or throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Hang on just a doggone minute, here! Just how do you choose what to believe and what not to? How do YOU know what is black and what is white? There is clearly some implicit, unspoken (and almost for sure unexamined) set of beliefs or standards, here. Make your standards clear, man! I mean, to paraphrase Socrates, why should I believe you over a pig or dog-faced baboon or some stranger creature still? I mean, they have sensation, too. Upon what grounds are you standing? Just how do YOU know?

Is man’s reason the measure of Truth and of all things? But what makes you think that reason is primary? Is your opinion the measure of all things? Maybe, to quote Dickens, you just had a bit of bad beef! In other words, your knowledge is NOT reliable. It’s just a bit of bad beef. It’s just all that wacky-weed you’ve been smoking. Maybe it’s just your inherited synaptic firings–we can go as reductionist as you like! It’s turtles all the way down. That is how we come to the Post-Modern position that there is no Truth at all, but only opinion.

And mere consensus proves absolutely nothing in terms of truth-value. If you had asked 100 people in 1460 if the world was flat, 100 people would have told you “yes.” If, before Copernicus, you had asked 100 people if the earth was the center of the universe and all planets revolved around the earth, all 100 of those people would have said that the earth was the center (though that is debatable). Heck my own father was taught in school that humans had a different number of chromosomes than we currently assume to be the case. How many planets are in the universe? Does Pluto count as a planet? I had a rather goofy science teacher in high school that argued that the moon is actually a planet! So what is the Truth and how can I know it?

Again, let me say that in the human realm, there is simply no truth. There is ONLY opinion. In order to overcome that, you have to have a human relationship with a Truth-Teller. And now we’re into revelation as the ONLY reliable source of truth. That is a very uncomfortable position for many.

See, you can say that there is no God and therefore there is no Truth. That’s was Stanley Fish and Giorgi Amadeo and most of the post-modern thinkers do. But one cannot logically separate God and Truth from revelation. You either have all three or you have none. If there is no Truth-Teller, there is no Truth. There is no God, there is no sin. Everyone conquers according to his or her own strength, and whatever you do is no sin. There is only malum prohibitum and no malum in se.

But appealing to a Truth-Teller is not a popular modern position, which is why post-modern thought has become so influential in the academy. But one has to make a choice, here.

Wow, I have waxed philosophical. Just a bit of bad beef?

 
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