Author Topic: Truth Isn't Truth  (Read 2253 times)

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2018, 03:33:36 PM »
I agree with brilling.

Giuliani had a point.   His point was basically, so what happens if Trump testifies and his testimony is different from Cohen's or whoever else?  In the absence of any other evidence, it proves nothing.  Oddly, well known since the film Rashomon but generally ignored.

Brill's other point, I think, is that we can use this as an educational moment and convince some of our fellow citizens that memory and eye witnesses are unreliable.
See I disagree, what is true is true regardless of whether the testimony all agrees or disagrees. We don't demand unimpeachable truth as evidence in court either, we go by standards of evidence like "probable cause" and "reasonable doubt" instead because we know we can't expect perfect knowledge. Giuliani is fundamentally confusing truth for the gestalt of truth that we call "fact" in court. If I shot JFK and fired 12 bullets, but only 3 are recovered and accounted for at my trial, the truth is 12 bullets and not 3.

The truth of the matter is that Giuliani is narrowly redefining truth in order make a statement true, akin to religious jargon.
While I don't think you are wrong, I think you are giving this much more thought than Giuliani.  I do think he was trying to point out that these cases it is effectively he said she said. 

I'm trying to look at what he said rather than plopping it into the case specifically. Specific to the case, it's not just a case of what Trump says versus what Cohen says.
HIISSSSSSSS

Offline CookieMustard

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2018, 04:15:21 PM »
If you ignore the spin, politicing, and jerknuggets, Rudy had an actual point. What he meant to say, I think, is that your truth and mine can be incompatable because humans are seething vats of cognitive bias.

Well, who knows what is point was. But, if you take RG at his word he wasn't talking about cognitive bias. A day or two after making the "truth isn' true" statement" he tried to clarify his remarks by explaining he was worried about "the classic 'he said, she said' puzzle". That 'puzzle' is where one person accuses another and there is no physical, documentary, or other evidence to back up the accusation. It, in essence, has nothing to do with cognative bias, or Rashomon-like subtleties about the subjective nature of experience. It is a case of one if the two people (the "he" or the "she") lying with no way of determining which.
So, as one vat to another, you shouldn't say Rudy had a point when the point you are ascribing to him is not the point he was making.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2018, 06:35:33 PM »
That was where I was going, but I doubt that this community can compartmentalize enough to focus on that without getting sucked into specific politics.

Don't do that.

Do what? Observe and then comment on our behaviour? There is evidence in the few posts of this very thread that we are not good at compartmentalizing our discussions. I'm well aware that I am part of that too.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2018, 06:40:26 PM »
If you ignore the spin, politicing, and jerknuggets, Rudy had an actual point. What he meant to say, I think, is that your truth and mine can be incompatable because humans are seething vats of cognitive bias.

Well, who knows what is point was. But, if you take RG at his word he wasn't talking about cognitive bias. A day or two after making the "truth isn' true" statement" he tried to clarify his remarks by explaining he was worried about "the classic 'he said, she said' puzzle". That 'puzzle' is where one person accuses another and there is no physical, documentary, or other evidence to back up the accusation. It, in essence, has nothing to do with cognative bias, or Rashomon-like subtleties about the subjective nature of experience. It is a case of one if the two people (the "he" or the "she") lying with no way of determining which.
So, as one vat to another, you shouldn't say Rudy had a point when the point you are ascribing to him is not the point he was making.

I haven't followed his subsequent bullshit - I'm assuming since it's him it's going to be mostly made of fertilizer - so I wasn't aware of the justifications he's tossed out there. The 'my word against your word' situation is very hard to adjudicate in any system of justice. 
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2018, 12:24:20 PM »
Do what? Observe and then comment on our behaviour? There is evidence in the few posts of this very thread that we are not good at compartmentalizing our discussions. I'm well aware that I am part of that too.

You wrote it as political commentary which makes a number of assumptions. It's not an issue of, "compartmentalization."
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 12:52:55 PM by Soldier of FORTRAN »
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Online CarbShark

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2018, 12:42:59 PM »
In context, the point I think that RG was making was that these minor points of evidence implicating Trump and/or his cronies in crime might be true, the bigger truth is that they are good people and not criminals.


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and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2018, 02:08:07 PM »
Brill's other point, I think, is that we can use this as an educational moment and convince some of our fellow citizens that memory and eye witnesses are unreliable.

That was where I was going, but I doubt that this community can compartmentalize enough to focus on that without getting sucked into specific politics.

Do what? Observe and then comment on our behaviour? There is evidence in the few posts of this very thread that we are not good at compartmentalizing our discussions. I'm well aware that I am part of that too.

You wrote it as political commentary which makes a number of assumptions. It's not an issue of, "compartmentalization."

Maybe I wasn't clear that I was responding to the last paragraph? I'm not trying to be dense here. I honestly have no idea what I said that irks you. What assumptions? What political commentary?
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2018, 03:01:07 PM »
As soon as I read --
Quote
we are not good at compartmentalizing
-- my reaction was, "you wrote it that way!"

You buried the lede behind political commentary.  Your lede is contingent on the political commentary:
Quote
Given that truth isn't truth,

Your post is political commentary.  Hence my initial response being a rewrite of the OP.

How are you relating the subjectivity of perception to interference on acts of persuasion? I think that's the ideal jumping off point here. 
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2018, 06:02:25 PM »
Trump is an inveterate liar. We all know that. And while Guiliani may be rather stupid, he's not so stupid as to not realize that.

His excuse is bullshit though. I don't buy this narrative that everybody carries their own "truth" and never the twain shall meet. The idea that Trump, Cohen, and others could all be honestly telling the truth, yet Trump's testimony could still turn out to be wildly divergent from everybody else (possibly including himself, in recorded conversations), that's clearly a problem with Trump himself. The man is completely untrustworthy. He's been caught in countless blatant lies already.

Just the same, it's often said that one of the most foolish things a defense attorney can do is put his client on the stand to waive the Fifth and defend himself in his own trial. It opens up the defendant to answering all kinds of difficult questions that could hurt his case even if he isn't a habitual liar. That's reason enough to justify the decision not to let Trump talk to Mueller.

Of course Giuliani wasn't about to point that out, but it's also unnecessary to have reiterated the Trumpian theme that truth is subjective, all facts are relative, and news is fake. All that does is further their cause of breaking down the political discourse, a strategy that punishes honest people and only serves the liars, hypocrites, and authoritarians.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 07:00:30 PM by John Albert »

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2018, 06:18:27 PM »
As soon as I read --
Quote
we are not good at compartmentalizing
-- my reaction was, "you wrote it that way!"

You buried the lede behind political commentary.  Your lede is contingent on the political commentary:
Quote
Given that truth isn't truth,

Your post is political commentary.  Hence my initial response being a rewrite of the OP.


I think we're talking at cross purposes here or something. Your rewrite seemed like an edit for simplicity and clarity, not a change  "to eliminate what I saw as pointers toward 'Giuliani's defense of Trump.' " In any case, the inspiration for the thread was, in fact, Gulianni's widely discussed defense of Trump, so I mentioned it. I thought I was clear that the topic I wanted to discuss was about not that specific defense (which was why I put the post in Philosophy, not politics). No question that I don't like Gulianni or his politics. Sorry that wasn't clear.

How are you relating the subjectivity of perception to interference on acts of persuasion? I think that's the ideal jumping off point here. 

I didn't think I was talking about "interference on acts of persuasion". What does this refer to?
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2018, 06:22:45 PM »
Trump is an inveterate liar. We all know that. And while Guiliani may be rather stupid, but he's not so stupid as to not realize that.

His excuse is bullshit though. I don't buy this narrative that everybody carries their own "truth" and never the twain shall meet. The idea that Trump, Cohen, and others could all be honestly telling the truth, yet Trump's testimony could still turn out to be wildly divergent from everybody else (possibly including himself, in recorded conversations), that's clearly a problem with Trump himself. The man is completely untrustworthy. He's been caught in countless blatant lies already.

Just the same, it's often said that one of the most foolish things a defense attorney can do is put his client on the stand to defend himself in his own trial. It opens up the client to answering all kinds of difficult questions that could hurt his case even if he isn't a habitual liar. That's reason enough to justify the decision not to let Trump talk to Mueller.

Of course Giuliani wasn't about to point that out, but it's also unnecessary to have reiterated the Trumpian theme that truth is subjective, all facts are relative, and news is fake. All that does is further their cause of breaking down the political discourse, a strategy that serves the liars, crooks and authoritarians.

I agree that their idea of "truth isn't truth" goes far beyond the reality of memory and perceptual biases. There is a grain of truth there, but their war against truth is a perversion that has little to do with  reality.
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2018, 06:47:43 PM »
I didn't think I was talking about "interference on acts of persuasion". What does this refer to?

Quote
Given that [your truth and mine can be incompatable], how do we pursuade and influence people to do good?

The juxtaposition seems to imply interference by the former on the latter.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2018, 08:20:48 PM »
I didn't think I was talking about "interference on acts of persuasion". What does this refer to?

Quote
Given that [your truth and mine can be incompatable], how do we pursuade and influence people to do good?

The juxtaposition seems to imply interference by the former on the latter.

Ah. I see what you mean. If I'm talking to a person who believes in homeopathy there are a number of approaches I can take to persuade them to not use it. About 8 years ago I convince some family members to stop using it by playing on their fears of low quality control. A few years later we had conversations about how it's supposed to work and why the ideas are more than a little impossible.

This is very different from trying to talk to someone who remembers an event in a very different way than I do, or who interprets a situation differently than I do. There can be a lot of reasons for this kind of mismatch. It can be hard to figure out what's going on to prompt the disagreement about reality, let alone get the other person - or myself - to see the reality.

This gets harder as facts become "facts" and truth is usurped by truthiness. Even without those problems it's difficult to deal with my truth not being your truth.
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2018, 08:41:31 PM »
I think that you took what might have been an interesting topic and needlessly wrapped it in what appears to be praise for and agreement with the twisted lies of Rudy Giuliani such that you should have known it would be impossible thereafter to have a reasonable discussion on the topic.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Truth Isn't Truth
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2018, 08:54:56 PM »
Wow.

Praise and agreement? Really?

Wow.

No, that's not what I intended to say, nor what I think I said in the first or following posts.

If that's what everyone's reading please feel free to ignore this thread.
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