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Why Are Lies So Believable?

Why are Lies so Believable?


Who you gonna believe….me or your own eyes?

In the 1933 classic, Duck Soup, after Groucho Marx left the room, Chico Marx, impersonating Groucho, exclaims to Margaret Dumont when she states he had left the room gives this immortal line. It has been slightly modified through the years but remains part of legend.

During the past few years, we have been subjected to pretty much the same line, multiple times. The surprising thing is that in many cases we believe the lie instead of what we clearly see:

  • Covid originated in a wet market.
  • There is nothing you can do…just “social distance,” sicken at home until you can’t breathe, then come to the hospital and be put on Remdesivir and a ventilator.
  • Churches and schools must be closed, but liquor stores must remain open.
  • Masks work. Wear two of them! Wear them outside and while alone in the car.
  • The “vaccine” is safe and effective.
  • Disagreeing with Fauci is an attack of science itself.
  • Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin are useless.

But this has not been confined to Covid. These assertions have also made the rounds and similar statements are actually increasing:

  • Defunding the police will make you safer.
  • “Climate Change” is an existential threat and more dangerous than nuclear war.
  • “Science is settled!”
  • “White Supremacists” and Christian Fundamentalists are more dangerous than Al-Qaeda.
  • “Silence is violence.”
  • Israel was ultimately responsible for the massacre of Jews on October 7, 2023.
  • There were no Jews in Israel before 1948.
  • Being against anti-Semitism is being for islamophobia.
  • Advocating genocide is not always wrong. It depends on the “context.”
  • “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” should be mandated as it is fair. The fact that it really is “Orthodoxy, Inequality, and Exclusion” is false.
  • Those who have a different opinion on anything the government says are guilty of “misinformation,” “disinformation,” or “malinformation.” (whatever that is!)
  • The January 6th “Insurrection” was worse than Pearl Harbor.
  • The Hunter Biden laptop was just Russian propaganda.
  • This administration is the most transparent in history.
  • The border is secure.

ALL these assertions are at least open to questioning. Yet to question them is considered anathema by the current powers that be. Why? Why can THESE assertions not be open to discussion?

The answer is found in the definition of “truth.” Two-thousand years ago, a certain Roman Procurator asked a prisoner in Jerusalem: “Truth? What is ‘truth?’” Many consider truth to be an absolute, binary quality, such as it is either raining here or not raining. Someone either robbed the bank or they did not. A senator either voted for a bill or they did not. But is it really that simple? Is the “truth” rooted in facts?

Joe Biden does not think so. In August 2019, in a rare campaign event in Des Moines, he famously said, “We choose truth over facts.” This was explained away as one of the numerous gaffes for which Joe is famous. He “meant” to say, “We choose truth over lies.” Maybe…. But maybe this was one of the rare instances in which a politician actually tells the “truth.” Is “truth” just determined by ideology?

The concept of “truth” in the Post-modern world has become malleable. There is not “THE truth” but “MY truth” which may not be the same as “YOUR” truth. It depends…as Bill Clinton famously said, “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

“Truth” has become more or less a “preference”. Sort of like you may like chocolate; I may like vanilla. You like a Chevy while I like a Ford. When we ask which is the “better” car, we can both truthfully say what we think. 

Has the meaning of “truth” just evaporated? Or is something more at work?

John Leake may have hit on an answer. In his December 8 2023 post, “Faith Immune to Facts

He relates a Boston Globe interview with recent Nobel Laureates Drew Weissman and Katalin Kariko in which they proclaim their “faith” in the Covid-19 vaccines. Mr. Leake puts it this way:

Philosophers and anthropologists have long observed that humans seem to be inherently religious in nature. Thus, if people no longer believe in the God of Judaism or Christianity, they are left in a spiritual vacuum in which they feel an implacable yearning to believe in something else. Many of the social and political movements that are now afoot in America and Europe strike me as an expression of fervent religious energy.

This seems to be supported by Christopher Rufo’s December 10, 2023 substack exposing the plagiarism of Claudine Gay, the President of Harvard. 

In discussing this with Fox’s Jesse Waters on December 12, 2023, Rufo remarked that it is ironic that an academic institution, the motto of which is Veritas, seems singularly uninterested in its pursuit. 

The title of this essay is a question that needs to be discussed.

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