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LostInParadise's avatar

Do you have any friends or acquaintances who are less than faithful to the truth?

Asked by LostInParadise (26457points) April 22nd, 2009

What I am talking about are not outright liars but people who seem indifferent to whether or not something is true. I have run into people like that. Sometimes they will come up with something to make a good story. What happens is that you place extra skepticism on just about anything they say. It seems to me that for those who know them, these people lose more than they gain by their behavior.

There was a philosophical book written on this with the appropriate title of On Bullshit http://www.amazon.com/Bullshit-Harry-G-Frankfurt/dp/0691122946/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240417471&sr=1-1 .
BS is the name the author gave to what I am describing – not lying so much as indifference to truth. He is of the opinion that BS is rampant in our culture. I wonder how our modern culture stacks up in this regard to cultures of other places and times.

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12 Answers

RedPowerLady's avatar

Ya. My sister. She people pleases by stretching the truth.
It is very frustrating for me.

Also in my community story telling is cultural and traditional so whenever someone tells a story I have to wonder if they are exaggerating to make it better, lol. Of course traditionally you were supposed to tell the story “as is” only but nowadays people just want to be good story tellers.

cwilbur's avatar

It really depends on whether they’re representing that what they’re telling is true.

tinyfaery's avatar

I let people assume things because I do not want to take the time to explain. I guess that could be considered lying. For instance, someone asked me if I traded in my old car for my new car. I said yes, even though it was another car, mine but not the one this person was thinking of. Did I lie? Yes. Did it really matter? No.

And besides, EVERYBODY lies.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Acquaintances, co workers but it’s mostly part of their making small talk and I take it with a grain of salt. It’s only annoying when the small talk gets taken to someone I know on better terms and then that person tells me the related story and I pretty much have to screen out person #1 from future conversations. Happens all the time, everywhere.

LostInParadise's avatar

So everybody is okay with being given BS. No wonder Bush was re-elected.

tinyfaery's avatar

I never voted Bush, and never fell for the 9/11 crap or the WMD. I just know that all people lie and BS. Why care? Your world is what you assume it to be anyway. What is truth when all is perception?

cyndyh's avatar

I think it depends on why someone is doing it and what effect it has on me. If someone told me as stated above that yes they traded in their old car and I found out it was a different car I wouldn’t really care. Now, if there were some reason that car had some other meaning to me or she was going to sell it to me if she didn’t trade it in or something then it would matter.

It could matter in the long run if I find the same person doing that repeatedly and I’m in a position to need to know whether to rely on what they say exactly or not.

hearkat's avatar

Probably 99% of the population. But I only have to answer to myself, and I know that I sleep more soundly when my conscience is clear, and no longer need medications to help me sleep or to ease depression/anxiety.

ratboy's avatar

No. My friends and acquaintances, however, do.

SeventhSense's avatar

As per the question there is a type of attitude wherein we overlook the BS artist. There’s always that one whom you’re almost embarrassed to listen to. The whole time one imagines that it would devastate him to pull his coat so you just go along with it. And then he gives you that look like a kid who’s waiting for approval from a parent. It’s a look like, “you believe me right?” And then you just smile. If you’re feeling less than benevolent, you call him on it but you know it’s just going to shut down the whole conversation.
As per the author’s book link at Amazon, I like the first review:
” it is tempting to say that On Bullshit comes very close to defining the essence of postindustrial society”.—Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Education

@tinyfaery
That seems so blatantly fatalistic and a recipe for apathy. It could easily border on anarchy in the right hands. Our society is based on an understanding of truth or “subjective truth” as an underpinning of our social and legal institutions. Imperfect yes, but absolutely vital. —Subjective but not SUBJECTIVE.—

tinyfaery's avatar

@SeventhSense I never claimed to be anything else.

SeventhSense's avatar

@tf
u mean an anarchist I suppose?

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