Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In satire, truthiness is a "truth" that a person claims to know intuitively "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

This definition is from Wickapedia

I love this word. It's relevance to so much of the experience of my life is profound. Not only with respects to the particular brand of fundangelical conservative (but not a cult) religious experience I tangled myself into, but also in so much of my personal relationships and in my own self-examinations of my grasp on "the Truth". Having started out in life with some degree of idealism about being able to find and know "the Truth", (in general, about life, the universe and everything, a notion, perhaps encouraged by the Douglas Adams books) I might have known that the universe, with it's love of irony would sit me smack dab in the heart of truthiness. My experiences with trying to find the Truth in a religion, or in a political ideology, or in the reasons why we are living and rationalizing what we are doing as individuals and as a culture, has led me to this notion of where we are now as a people on earth. The age of reason is past away. We still appeal to it nostalgically, in the way some people appeal to the "good old days" of Leave it to Beaver. Liberals seem particularly hung up on this nostalgia We keep thinking reason is going to win the day. Conservatives have evolved more rapidly with their grasp of the shift from reason to belief, as the dominant force in moving ideas. We are firmly, it seems to me, now in the age of belief. Truth is replaced with truthiness. What matters in this brave new age is not what is true, (how 1950's) but what is believed to be true. This is a much more convenient Truth. It unshackles us completely from the hastles of factual representations of claims, and opens the door to all manner of possibility (four legs baaaad, two legs gooood). As anyone with any sophistication in the new art of argument knows, the idea of a smoking gun, or an irrefutable fact, or an obvious evidence, is an absurdity. Ask a Buddhist if a rock is a rock. Or ask physicist if that table and chair are actually solid. Or ask a string theorist if there are such things as ghosts. You get my drift. Factual evidence for beliefs is too cumbersome for this complex world. To get anything done, we have to realize the issue is not Truth, but belief. and Belief is just a matter of getting someone to choose your proposal over someone else's proposal. Conservatives have been mopping the floor with liberals and progressives with their grasp of this paradigm shift. In this respect, the conservatives are the progressives and the liberals are the ones appealing to a passed age that is no longer relevant. It's hard for us liberals and progressives to give up on the ideas of using reason. We, after all, are so idealistic. But lots changes in this fast spinning ball of gas and matter. I for one plan on watching the show with my eyes wide open and my feet firmly planted in the truthiness. (the truthiness will set you free)

Note: if you find yourself encouraged and emboldened by this rallying cry to embrace the truthiness (you know who you are). might I remind you of the concept of satire.


John Franks IV said...

Well simply put, I could argue much of this post with you for hours and it would wind up being a stalemate.

It is well written, and some points are extremely valid, others not so much.

However, it is your "belief".

This means you are as I am, much of the problem and less of the solution.

Suckered into the system to survive.

Your idea of nostalgia, is not lost on me. I remember when Freedom was something we had not something we wished for.

You are giving far too much credit to conservatives and liberals. Both have become masters at smoke and mirrors.

The progressive moniker is a joke all of it's own. Just a new nomenclature for the same old bull.

Politics has always been getting the masses to believe in the theory and not the practice.

The difference now is the theory has nothing to do with common sense or right and wrong or the truth. At one time they walked hand in hand. When people had faith in the system and the system had faith in the people.

Now, the system believes that the people are incapable of intelligent thought and proper decision making.

In other words we are not smart enough to take care of ourselves and make our own informed choices.

So, the politicians think they can protect us and take care of us far better than We The People Can!

By promising us the Government will be our babysitters and safety police. They have appealed to those who do not want to be responsible for themselves, those who believe they are entitled to everything without earning it.

Well I have gone on long enough.

Remember the pendulum swings in both directions.

Your Friend,

Yug Nostaw said...

Right on and well stated. Unfortunately I'm stuck with objective reality. On one point I disagree. I think those whose "reality" is founded on belief are devolving not evolving. The dark ages churche would love them.