Monday, February 14, 2005

The Real Question

As heated debates constipate the Montana House on What Is a Quality Education, a more fruitful and pertinent question is pondered by Princeton professor Harry G. Frankfurt: "On Bullshit". As reported in the NY Times, "[t]he bull artist, on the other hand, cares nothing for truth or falsehood. The only thing that matters to him is "getting away with what he says," Mr. Frankfurt writes. An advertiser or a politician or talk show host given to [bull] 'does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it,' he writes. 'He pays no attention to it at all.'"
This reminds me of a friend who, when in the midst of debate, would call bullshit with a curt "Cite your source!" I think of this phrase often when discussing contentious topics, but don't have the guts to say it, as I am typically guilty of using unresearched and unsubstantiated "facts" to support my arguments. Although, the fact that I know I have no source for my data indicates I'm more of a liar than a bullshitter. Whatever. I know I'm right anyway.


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