, , , ,

Lying is easy but telling the truth is hard. Part of what makes telling the truth so hard is that it is not only constrained by objective facts but also by the speakers and by the hearers preconceptions of reality and their presuppositions of what new facts  mean and how they fit into each of their already existing understandings. Some facts are difficult for the speaker to describe in his world view and impossible for the hearer to understand in their world view if this second person doesn’t have an understanding of the general subject from the same perspective as the speaker. What they said just doesn’t make sense from this second persons preexisting world view.

For a speaker to simply present new facts and expect the hearer to understand these facts and apply them rationally from their same point of view totally discounts what the hearers knows to be true, from their perspective. Both people will understand the new facts by inserting them into their preexisting world view which servers only to strengthen each of their personal world views.

Minds are preprogrammed to find patterns and after even a little experience they will have a set of feedback tests to verify that the patterns they presently accept as correct are correct. New information is consumed selectively to fit into those existing patterns because it is easier to assimilate the information into an already coherent system and because it is easier to recall the information from that system when necessary for use. Once some new facts are integrated into a person’s world view they disappear from their consciousness but are part of their decision-making processes all the same.

We seem to prefer a good story to just about anything whether it informs us to something useful for our lives or is just plain fantasy. People need their information to be presented to them in a way which they find enjoyable as well as coherent with their preexisting world view. For example: TV now has innumerable channels of information and Netflix has an additional hundred thousand and counting movies and there are books, magazines and inumerable other media each conveying in its own way vast quantities of information on how people behave. Most of the behavior by heroes of these media would be instantly punished by reality it living people attempted any of it. What we usually see in these stories is a cartoon reality with seemingly flesh bearing actors portraying the impossible actions. The visuals are a format for maintaining our vision while the dialogue and story line are being juiced into our brain. There is a moral content but that is carefully observed it is usually just as ludicrous as the action. Real people don’t watch much TV or absorb much media. Real people have real things to do which occupy their attention which is more rewarding than ridiculous fantasy brought to us in such sugar-coated forms. All the same vast multitudes of people are absorbing media at this very moment. Why? Because it fills a need for a good story that proves to them that their personal world view is valid, that there is meaning and morality in the universe.

Lies are easy because all that is necessary to make them real is to have a series of events which have people doing plausible things in response to  plausible situations with a coating of snappy dialogue. If the story is interesting people will listen and if they listen to the story the assumptions that make it work will be built into the story and be accepted by the recipient as legitimate. After they have heard the story they will more readily make assumptions and decisions based upon the story line. If the decisions to be made are made soon after hearing the story the person’s behavior will be greatly biased to be in compliance with the story and its assumptions. If some behavior can be elicited from the person which is in compliance with the story line that behavior will become imbedded into their unconscious set of spontaneous beliefs and behaviors. By this conception and definition, truth becomes what the person believes to be  fitting into  their world view and that is generated by a plausible story followed by some personal action. The action is probably necessary to get the idea and future behavior firmly fixed into the subconscious. It follows that it is a waste of time and of clear presentation of facts if these can not be couched in such a way that they are followed by some corroborative behavior of the audience of the story. Truth only become true for a person when it is integrated into their existing world view and that happens when words are followed by some physical action.

There is an old saying, You can tell what a man believes by the newspaper he buys. Perhaps by a similar line of thought one could say, You can know what a man’s world view is by the way he behaves.