Gary Kasparov and Charles Sykes on Truth

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
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Gary Kasparov and Charles Sykes on Truth

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:39 pm

From a Charles Sykes opinion piece.

How do these questions of truth relate to our understanding of truth as Christians? Is this battle over truth important to our faith too, or not? If it is, how can we even approach questions of traditional truth without getting lost in partisan politics?

The Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov drew upon long familiarity with that process when he tweeted: “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

Mr. Kasparov grasps that the real threat is not merely that a large number of Americans have become accustomed to rejecting factual information, or even that they have become habituated to believing hoaxes. The real danger is that, inundated with “alternative facts,” many voters will simply shrug, asking, “What is truth?” — and not wait for an answer.

In that world, the leader becomes the only reliable source of truth; a familiar phenomenon in an authoritarian state, but a radical departure from the norms of a democratic society. The battle over truth is now central to our politics.

This may explain one of the more revealing moments from after the election, when one of Mr. Trump’s campaign surrogates, Scottie Nell Hughes, was asked to defend the clearly false statement by Mr. Trump that millions of votes had been cast illegally. She answered by explaining that everybody now had their own way of interpreting whether a fact was true or not.

“There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts,” she declared. Among “a large part of the population” what Mr. Trump said was the truth.

“When he says that millions of people illegally voted,” she said, his supporters believe him — and “people believe they have facts to back that up.”

Or as George Orwell said: “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
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lesterb
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Re: Gary Kasparov and Charles Sykes on Truth

Postby lesterb » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:56 pm

Hitler used to say that the bigger the lie, the more likely people were to believe it. Since a statement is so obviously not true it must be true or the person making it wouldn't have tried to make people believe it.

Excuse the reference to Hitler... :-|
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Re: Gary Kasparov and Charles Sykes on Truth

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:23 pm

lesterb wrote:Hitler used to say that the bigger the lie, the more likely people were to believe it. Since a statement is so obviously not true it must be true or the person making it wouldn't have tried to make people believe it.

Excuse the reference to Hitler... :-|


I assume you are saying that Hitler used the Big Lie too, and invented the term, not that everyone who uses the Big Lie is necessarily Hitler. Though I can' think of any politician who used the Big Lie and was great for democracy and freedom in their country.

Here's the quote that invented the term Big Lie:

Adolph Hitler wrote:All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X


And here's Goebbels:

Goebbels wrote:If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
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KingdomBuilder
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Re: Gary Kasparov and Charles Sykes on Truth

Postby KingdomBuilder » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:14 pm

I really enjoy the OP, Boot.
A few minutes ago I said something similar in the "Climate Change" forum, though I was not as clear or articulate. :)
I agree that this mindset is a problem.
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Re: Gary Kasparov and Charles Sykes on Truth

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:56 pm

KingdomBuilder wrote:A few minutes ago I said something similar in the "Climate Change" forum, though I was not as clear or articulate. :)


I found this very clear and articulate, and I agree with you.

KingdomBuilder wrote:This whole thing seems to be the result of the rampant Western mindset that we are all so well endowed with some sort of insight to the "real" truth. Expertise doesn't matter when we are all so individually aware of these huge networks of conspiracy, corruption, and "false truth", right? We don't need any more knowledge than we already have, cause we've each got it all!

We pin our own "badges of honor" to our universal insights to try and establish some kind of credibility. Be it a political platform, theology, or some fanciful run-around interpretation of things.

My real question is, which is more inspired by Satan: Scientific evidence that claims humans are having an impact on the climate or the mindset I mentioned above?


And that mindset makes it so difficult to discuss facts. How dare you correct a "fact" that I mention! If you disagree you must be completely blinded by (fill in the blank here, depending on your favorite personal enmities).
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Jazman
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Re: Gary Kasparov and Charles Sykes on Truth

Postby Jazman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:39 pm

Thanks for sharing the article, Boot. I listened to his radio show some during the election and he's actually very conservative (politically) and in the past would have been lumped in with all the other right-wing AM radio gum-flappers, but in a typical 2016 twist, he was a strong trump critic during the campaign. I'm heartened to see he's still keeping his discernment glasses cleaned and on, even though I'm sure he's pleased with some of the things Republicans have been able to do as of late.
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