Monday, October 11, 2004

More Liberal Lunacy About Lying

I saw an anti-Bush advertisement the other day: "Bush lost the debate, now he is lying about it."

Suppose my wife says, "It’s cold in here!" I reply, "You’re lying Mary, it’s just right!" Why is this an idiotic use of the word ‘lying’? The answer is obvious. If there is no fact of the matter one cannot be said to be lying about it. And surely there is no fact as to whether or not it is cold. The only facts in the vicinity are these: It feels cold to Mary; it feels just right to Igloo Man; it is 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the room. But that it is cold in the room is not a fact but a mere projection of Mary’s subjective sensory state. For this reason, it makes no sense for me to say that Mary is lying.

Is there any fact of the matter as to whether or not Bush won his first debate with Kerry? Arguably not, since it is purely a matter of subjective interpretation depending on how one understands ‘won the debate.’ Therefore, it makes no sense to say that Bush lied about losing his first debate with Kerry.

For a person to lie, he must (i) intend to deceive his interlocutor (ii) about a matter of fact. Many liberals repeatedly make the following mistakes. They confuse lies with false statements, and they fail to grasp that one cannot lie about something that is not a matter of fact. My friendly advice to them: stop making these mistakes, and you will appear less dumb.