ON TRUTH By Simon Blackburn

Simon Blackburn’s slim, 142-page book addresses one of the most vexing problems of our Times: the devaluation of Truth. Blackburn writes that people “have been denied trustworthy sources of information.” The result is they “take refuge in believing whatever they would like to be true.” Yes, Magical Thinking rules right now. Of course, there is a cost to ignoring Truth. Sooner or later, all the Fake News and propaganda lead to disasters. Problems that don’t get addressed tend to grow.

Blackburn criticizes Religion because it “deliberately stupefies the understanding” with “explanations” like “The Lord works in mysterious ways” and “God will provide.” Using Religion to justify polices like Jeff Sessions has done is another perversion of Truth. Lies and exaggerations corrupt. We’re in for some Tough Times ahead. And that’s the Truth! GRADE: A
Part I: The Classic Approaches
1. Correspondence
2. Coherence
3. Pragmatism
4. Deflationism
5. Tarski and The Semantic Theory of truth
6. Summary of Part I
Part II: Varieties of enquiry
7. Truths of Taste; Truth in Art
8. Truth in Ethics
9. Reason
10. Religion and Truth
11. Interpretations
Further investigations

29 thoughts on “ON TRUTH By Simon Blackburn

  1. wolf

    It seems that many people believe what they want to be true – inEurope we have the same problem. Religion doesn’t help either!

    My favourite debunking site is snopes.com – it’s really fantastic what kind of fake news or truthiness people accept.

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, as Simon Blackburn says in ON TRUTH, people today engage in “magical thinking” where “truth” is a function of their desires.

  2. Patti Abbott

    Truth has clearly moved in the subjective realm for many people. Once that happens, it is hard to go back. As a liberal is is hard for me not to believe what MSNBC, NPR and CNN tell me. Maybe I am foolish to not question that.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    “Perversion of truth” pretty much sums up Trump’s entire M.O. Even though I should no longer be surprised, I still can’t help but be amazed at the idiotic crazy sh!t these people purport to believe because Trump and State Television (Fox News) tell them is true. I’ve always hated the hypocrisy of so many politicians, but this age has hit new depths. Every day I’m hoping a lightning bolt will come from the sky and smite Sean Hannity for his inexcusable behavior. I invite any Fox News fan (I doubt there are many here, but still) to go back and read the things Hannity said about Obama during his eight years in the White House. Now he’s nothing but Trump’s jester and apologist. It truly makes me sick.

    Yes, TRUTH MATTERS. I’ll look for the book.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, we’re seeing the manipulation of the Truth right out of the 1984 playbook. Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” was eerily predictive about the Age of Trump.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    Wolf, you’d be surprised. Fox News has waged war on snopes for just that reason – they expose their lies and distortions of the truth.

    I reserved the book.

  5. Dan

    George, you (and some others here!) need to accept the fact that God made Trump our President and not question anything H/he says or does.

      1. Dan

        Remember what Nixon said about how “If the President does it, it’s not illegal” ? Well by the same brilliant logic, if God does it, it can’t be a mistake.

        Can it?

      2. george Post author

        Dan, I think the Supreme Court would have to rule on Nixon’s “If the President does it, it’s not illegal” assertion.

  6. Michael Padgett

    This is pretty scary stuff, and what may be even more frightening than Trump himself is that we now know that 35-40% of the population is stupid enough to believe ANYTHING if it comes from the right person. Right now it’s Trump, but after he’s gone there will be others pandering to the same people. The future isn’t looking bright.

    1. george Post author

      Michael,”You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

      1. Michael Padgett

        I think I prefer Bret Maverick’s version of that: You can fool some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. And those are pretty good odds.

      2. Jeff Meyerson

        “Half of the people can be part right all of the time
        Some of the people can be all right part of the time
        But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
        I think Abraham Lincoln said that”

        Bob Dylan, Talkin’ World War III Blues

  7. wolf

    The comments here give me some hope again for the USA!
    There will be life after Trump. 🙂

    Rather OT:
    Here in Hungary we have state owned tv channels with news – but they are so full of shite that my wife will not watch them, never ever …
    They are so full of propaganda and fake news that I’ve taken to call them “North Korean State TV” – maybe you can also apply this to Faux News? 🙂

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, it’s not just FOX NEWS. It’s Trump’s constant tweets, the Fake News web sites, and the constant barrage of conspiracy nonsense from right-wing sources.

  8. Rick Robinson

    I blame Donald (liar/bully/racist) Trump for his creation of “fake news” as a way to refute and deny everything. I terrified he has created a template that will continue long after he is gone, which can’t be soon enough for me. Some days I’m glad I’m old and won’t long have to endure what Washington DC and it’s politics has become. I pity Barbara’s kids and grandkids and the others in their generations. I just can’t believe Truth has become to subjective.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I agree with you. Now that Trump has created a template for Fake News and constant lying–and getting away with it!–other politicians will follow in his footsteps. We’re in for a rough ride! Barbara’s kids and grandkids are going to have to deal with dire environmental issues since we’re doing nothing about them now.

      1. Rick Robinson

        Oh, we’re doing something. We’re going backwards just as fast as Trump and his rich cronies can go. If it’s bad for the environment, and especially good for Big Corp. he’ll do it. Regulations are for idiots, he thinks.

  9. Cap'n Bob

    Fake news has been around since the days of papyrus! Snopes was started by a socialist and is run by a socialist couple! The left and the right are both overloaded with liars, fakes, and crooks! The only thing that’s changed is the ability to spread the manure farther and faster!

    1. wolf

      I still find it funny that people are called Socialists in the US who are considered “Middle of the road” over here in Europe. But of course for many ‘muricans there is no difference between the Social Democrats (which are part of the government in Germany and other countries) and the Socialists or even Communists.

      If we apply the same kind of logic to the USA we’d have to call most Republicans Fascists …
      A large part of Republican policies are totally strange even for the Conservatives in Europe.


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