http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/10/some-varieties-of-bullsht.html

What interests me here is the distinction between lies and BS.  With lies, you are against the truth.  With BS, you just don't care.  

So it has a different purpose... or may not!

You may be giving BS not to convince others of your words, but to convince them of something else:  say, you give 'em a lot of crap detail about issue X, not because you care what they think of issue X, but to convince them you're smart.  You may want to distract them from something else (like why you haven't done something you promised).  You may want to make sharp, clear questions seem fuzzy, so you can get away with something.  Or not face something.

On tests, you may simply be hoping some of your guesses happen to be right.  So you make lots of them.

It reminds me of the poetry of T. S. Eliot.  He's not talking about mermaids and peaches and Michelangelo; he's talking about feeling old and insecure... but it works.

Those are my random thoughts on BS.  What's yours?  Do you BS others -- or yourself?  Is your BS detector online -- and do you find others' to work too?  (Feel free to BS, but be warned:  with a thread title like this, everybody's going to be on the lookout for it!)  

Views: 61

Replies to This Discussion

I never read the essay that made this a topic, so I won't talk about that. But I can tell you that this suggestion that big speeches are for self-promotion reminds me of what may have been the hallmark of the classical sophists. That, I suppose, would be the high end of the range. In that case, as far as I understand, there is a kind of skepticism of society--there being no knowledge of the human things, or the political things, there can be no truth. (This could be argued in this way: The science of nature studies the unchanging things--there is knowledge there; science of the very variable human things is impossible; theoretical physics is the most important, or nearly, politics the least, or nearly.) That is why persuasion is important--human beings can be dangerous, or useful--whereas truth simply does not matter.

There is a lot of this nowadays as well; I suppose that whenever there is no persuasive argument that human things do admit of scientific or philosophic inquiry, this opinion may flourish, so to speak, that there is no truth, only opinions.--I think Americans call this spin. I think it goes very far. I remember hearing Mr. Stewart & Mr. Colbert say, as a kind of defense of their shows, that they do comedy, or entertain. (Suggesting that nobody takes them seriously--they are innocent, for their activity is innocuous, & they have no influence on serious life.) But of course their comedy includes criticism of political opinions they dislike; if it is only entertainment, that is because there is no truth about the human things, or political things--all they can do is persuade those who laugh at their jokes to vote their sense of humor, so to speak...

RSS

Latest Activity

Regular Joe replied to Will's discussion The red pill
"I'm saying "it appears" in the sense of "it becomes visible" not "it gives the impression". "
16 minutes ago
Josh Allen replied to Will's discussion The red pill
"That is my ceremonial robe. It is necessary."
17 minutes ago
David F. replied to Nick's discussion Th lonely life of full-time pastors
"I'm not qualified to advise beyond this.  My faith tradition is highly structured with a clear chain of authority.  With this comes the ability for the pastors to ask for help.  Reach out to the elders in your faith and talk to…"
34 minutes ago
Rick Shelton replied to Will's discussion The red pill
"If something walks like a duck, craps like a duck, and talks like a duck then you're F8cK'n crazy 'cuz ducks don't talk. I just looked at the site and Regular Joe's right.  It's a bunch of guys talking crap about…"
40 minutes ago
Alan Robertson replied to Kneller's discussion business casual shoes for under $100?
"Check out Aldoshoes.com or see if they have a store in a mall close by. They aren't superb quality but they do make some pretty decent entry level shoes for someone looking to step up their shoe game. Most everything is $100 + but I never pay…"
54 minutes ago
James Sullivan posted a photo

wedding

Me and wifey at a friend's wedding this past weekend...
1 hour ago
Michael J. K. replied to Nick's discussion Howdy from the Desert!
"welcome Preacher man "
2 hours ago
Upside down bloke replied to Upside down bloke's discussion Nature of relationships
"Yes I agree with you.  I think the other person makes the relationship good and that you shoudn't stick with someone because of an idea.  I think if you really love someone then it's easy to live with them.  So my idea is…"
4 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service