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Politics and The Truth

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Politics and The Truth

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:54 pm

That got your attention!

I have spent a lot of time wondering what has happened to our society. Everything is polarised, and there is diminishing trust in those putting forward opposite views. We are seeing this with Brexit, and across the Atlantic with Trump.

To my mind, the truth is in the middle, and no one side has a monopoly on truth or wisdom. But each side seems to have a degree of blinkers towards whatever comes from the other.

Why is this happening? Well, I don't know. Nor do I know what can be done about it. We can start, however, by listening to each other and not throwing around pejorative terms.

I am prompted to write this having just discovered this excellent BBC Radio 4 programme from about a year ago. It gave me so much to think about that I have listened to it twice. I strongly recommend it to everyone, whether Brextremist or Remoaner, Liberal or Conservative.
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:08 pm

I will have to listen to that later, but a part of the problem is of a clear black and white issue overlaid on a field of grey. However grey it is, everyone must come down on one side of the line or the other.
I have noticed on a few occasions that if you argue a point against (for example) a remoaner, then they (and their gang) assume you are a Brexiteer and argue accordingly, often ignoring the actual point altogether. Likewise on the other side of the fence, possibly more so.

As to "Perjorative terms", "Brexiteer" and "Remoaner" are terms used by the BBC which makes them approximately official. I don't use either as perjorative: "Brexiteer" may derive from piracy, but I understand it is a term they chose for themselves and moaning is a traditional British pastime, so if the Remoaners want to get upset about that then they might just as well get upset about being called "British".
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:17 pm

I disagree with your first sentence. Compromise, a path between the extremes, is very often possible.

Come back once you have listened to that excellent programme.
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby shootist » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:54 pm

atticus wrote:I have spent a lot of time wondering what has happened to our society. Everything is polarised, and there is diminishing trust in those putting forward opposite views. We are seeing this with Brexit, and across the Atlantic with Trump.


In many ways I think the answer is fairly easy. A combination of Mainstream Media seeking to sell their products at any price and with any lies, with particular reference to their pandering to the stupidity and gullibility of the conspiracy theorists. This, I believe, goes right across the board of all MSM. Mix in with that the so called (anti) 'social media', where anyone can hide behind a screen name in almost perfect anonymity, and spout whatever vitriol they want to, as secure as an individual in a crowd of rioters. Lies no longer seem dishonourable because honour is of no consequence. What a man might once have quite literally fought to the death to defend has become worthless. To top it off we have the signalling of false virtue, the bastard child of politcal correctness, for no other reason than the passive aggressive pursuit of power. Lies are now so familiar that everything is presumed to be a lie until proven otherwise, so just believe what you will.

atticus wrote:To my mind, the truth is in the middle, and no one side has a monopoly on truth or wisdom. But each side seems to have a degree of blinkers towards whatever comes from the other.


Some things have no middle ground. The middle ground to wife beating might be to use a stick no thicker than your thumb.

atticus wrote:Why is this happening? Well, I don't know. Nor do I know what can be done about it. We can start, however, by listening to each other and not throwing around pejorative terms.


What! Both of us?

atticus wrote:I am prompted to write this having just discovered this excellent BBC Radio 4 programme from about a year ago. It gave me so much to think about that I have listened to it twice. I strongly recommend it to everyone, whether Brextremist or Remoaner, Liberal or Conservative.


I will give it a go.
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:57 pm

Your first paragraph certainly shows where your particular tribal loyalties lie!

Your second invites a contemptuous reply.

But do listen to that prog.
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:35 pm

atticus wrote:I disagree with your first sentence. Compromise, a path between the extremes, is very often possible...

Often indeed, but that compromise will still have to come down on one side of the line or the other.

shootist wrote:Some things have no middle ground. The middle ground to wife beating might be to use a stick no thicker than your thumb...

Or to stop when she says the safety word...
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby shootist » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:47 pm

atticus wrote:Your first paragraph certainly shows where your particular tribal loyalties lie!


Why is this happening? Well, I don't know. Nor do I know what can be done about it. We can start, however, by listening to each other and not throwing around pejorative terms.


Do you never consider your own contribution to what might be 'done about it'?

What tribal loyalties? In using that term you immediately dismiss any possibility that I might have given serious and long term consideration to those issues but instead have adopted the loyalties you consider my 'tribe' maintains. I have raised while not having to bother actually saying so. What tribal loyalties are shown in that paragraph? Detail please. You raised an interesting matter for discussion in your post but revert to type, flying in the face of your own expressed concerns. I find this disappointing for so many reasons, the greatest of which is that I suspect that somewhere beneath your wilful obtuseness and determination to win, rather than discuss, you might be able to contribute towards a most informative discussion, possibly on this very thread.
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby shootist » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:51 pm

Still working on signing in, but the intro page using the term 'post truth' doesn't give me hope.
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby shootist » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:58 pm

Well, that's 45 minutes of my life that I am not going to get back. 45 minutes of stating the obvious I felt. A few snippets. It was gravely suggested that 'facts don't matter any more'. In the grand scheme of things they never have, quite possibly since humans learned to speak to each other. The rabble rousers have always managed to sway the crowd with emotions and not facts. Horatio At The Bridge did not appeal to logic. The crusades could not possibly have been based upon facts but yet so many thousands died because they chose to follow the emotional call. History is writ through with people following emotion and charisma.

You may be unsurprised to read that the 'study' using figures to suggest an outcome, one set referring to skin care, the other to gun control aroused my curiosity. I would have my doubts that the figures could be comparable for the purpose they were used for. Skin care either works or it doesn't. Gun control has so many variables within it as to be impossible to use for a comparison.

The Lady Bird and the stolen jewellery? When the gardener was released without charge the question was asked "Who do you think did it?" My answer was immediately "I don't know." When the butler was charged and the same question was asked, my answer was the same, although I would lean to think (hope?) that the butler may have done it in the possibly vain hope that the police have acted competently on the basis of the evidence they had.

Then there was the question about living with 'constant doubt' about the world around you. I do not find this difficult. I doubt everything to some degree. I am almost certain that the earth is an oblate spheroid but if compelling evidence was presented to me that is was flat a la Terry Pratchett's vision I would have to alter my opinion. I think this may be a consequence of my police service. So many lies and so many liars that in the end, life is just about probabilities.

Nothing, other than the means of communication (internet etc.) was new or surprising in that program.
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Re: Politics and The Truth

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:19 pm

As I hope my introductory post would indicate, I disagree with that analysis. I shall be interested to read what others have to say, once they have listened.
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