Thursday, February 25, 2016

People of the Lie

“We begin, I think, when we set out to lie and deceive, by having an increased sense of power.  When I am lying, if I am at all good at the art [and most of us are very good at the art] I am conscious of occupying a superior position.  I know the truth, but to get my own way I impose delusions on others, thus triumphing over them double—by having a monopoly of truth on the matter in question and by altering the world in accordance with my will….” (W. R. Matthews)

Many people are very conscious of their statements of falsehood.  They exhibit a “malignant narcissism,” described by M. Scott Peck in his book, “People of the Lie.”  Others, in order to support their particular way of seeing things, impose their own delusions (formed usually from the lies promulgated by their leaders) on others as truth.  This is commonly expressed these days in the various “conspiracy theories” and in “religious absolutism.”

Just because a statement is made by the networks or in the social media does not make it true.  Facts are facts.  Truth is truth.  However, when I research various political statements via “fact-check” agencies available through the Internet,  I have found that the facts are seen as truth by one group, and false by another.  How can this be if facts are facts and truth is truth?  Pinocchios seem to rule the day.  Delusions abound and the proboscis (nose) of those who express them continues to grow to monstrous lengths.  Sometimes I wonder if any of us have a normal proboscis!  We can alter the world, or so it seems, with our delusions.

"All that is true, all that is noble, all that is just and pure,
all that is lovable and gracious, whatever is excellent and
adorable--fill all your thoughts with these things."
Dr. Samuel Johnson paid strict attention to truth, even in the most minute particulars.  “Accustom your children, (said he) constantly to this; if a thing happened at one window, and they, when relating it, say that it happened at another, do not let it pass, but instantly check them; you do not know where deviation from truth will end.”

Do not be deceived.  Do not let it pass.  Check it out.  Deviations abound!

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