Thursday, 23 June 2016

Why are people so eager to listen to lying?

This is a genuine puzzle. There is a sense in which we cannot avoid people lying to us - but it is striking that people will go to great lengths - in terms of moving themselves from one place to another, spending money, and directing their attention for considerable periods - to sit and be lied to.

It is not as if this is unusual - it is usual and normal. As a generalisation that is almost 100 percent true; every time somebody famous, powerful, or high status communicates - they will be lying. Sometimes they lie so much that there are only a few snippets of reality dotted among their comments, other times they speak mostly true things but from a lying perspective deliberately to mislead, other times they just slip one important lie into a background of true facts...

But - if people were honest with themselves - they know that they are being lied-to in public discourse - pretty much all of the time and by everyone. It is a web of lies.

People know at some level that the people addressing them are not even trying to be truthful - but are trying to 'sell' them something or another, or manipulate than for the good of somebody else, or simply as part of the kind of status competitions which humans so often regard as the main business of life.

Given that there is such an awareness, then why to people go to such extreme efforts to listen to lies? Why don't they do anything at all to avoid being lied to? Why, on the contrary do they bask in lies?

Why? - The answer must surely be because people are very thoroughly corrupt? Because, so far as I can see, only a person who was very corrupt would want to be lied to; and since almost everybody behaves consistently with the fact of wanting to be lied to - then almost everybody is corrupt.

The populations of The West are full of complaints about each other's behaviours, the way they are treated, or the way some people treat other people... but then they actively sustain a network of lies, counter lies and the acceptance of lying... Those very few people who try to be truthful, or who will not passively accept lying are ignored or persecuted - to general approval...

Indeed, openly to disbelieve someone - even in an environment which makes no attempt at truthfulness and where dishonesty is meat and drink, and a lucrative career - is regarded as an awe-full insult and an outrage. Yet another lie!

Whose fault is all this? Clearly there is responsibility - such things don't 'just happen'.

Modern people would, of course, like to blame somebody else for the situation - just as they do for everything. Or else they would assert that nobody is responsible personally, that these things are due to larger forces, out of their own control and anybody's control...

But of course that will not wash, not really. Each person just-is responsible for their own life - nobody else is. And if they know-about the lying (and they do) and they don't just accept but actively choose to swim-in the sea of lies... then they already have-made a fundamental decision of the type of world they want.

And that kind of wanting will always be gratified: it is a standing invitation to evil, saying 'Come in! You are welcome in my heart'.