The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

The Joy of Sleight-of-Hand Manipulation

The magician finds his joy in misleading through distraction and by means of a consilience of evidence lay down as predicate to the observation his audience is about to make. But the magician is operating under a license granted by his audience. The audience agrees to be deceived and to allow sleight-of-hand to unfold as a sort of play. The magician is not held accountable for his act, and rather entertains by challenging his observers to see if they can spot the trick.
In the mind of some, this joy of deception has utility well beyond the play of the magician.

Why Humans LieRebecca Newberger Goldstein, 2014 National Humanities Medalist and author of Plato at the Googleplex, contends correctly that philosophy is the social and cognitive process of “maximizing our coherence.” At a first layer of logic the enemy of philosophy, therefore, is the lie.

But is this indeed the reality? Or rather, is the lie a most cleverly disguised bedfellow of philosophy? Pablo Picasso has been attributed the saying “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” Philosophy is an art, which segues our path into the sciences. However it is not the act of creating a lie to which I refer to herein, rather it is the latent leveragability of an existing one.

I learned during my days in Intelligence that a lie can serve to be very informative, once one gains a foothold of understanding even one rung higher than the lie itself. So much is learned from a lie after all. Not simply the resolution of an incorrect fact; rather the whole realm of the lie infrastructure, its fabric, approach, its society, structure and meaning – all these things are ultimately of significance to the philosopher seeking to maximize coherence.  Who created the lie, who fostered it and how, what was being protected, stolen or who was to be harmed by the lie? What have the former and current habits of the lie promoter been? Are there undercurrents of method employed in this lie, which match methods we have observed in other purported or contended ‘facts’? All of these questions suddenly become very salient and informative when a lie is exposed. In similar fashion, when one promulgates a lie, it is useful to see who repeats it, who buys it wholesale and who ignores it. Lies leave traces of intelligence which can be put to good use by an intelligence assimilation specialist.

The enrichment gained in the finding of a true organic fact, pales in comparison to the vast enlightenment entailed inside the exposing of a lie. A fact simply serves to inform on one element of the structure of gnosis – while a lie, once resolved, explodes into a cornucopia of information. The philosopher therefore, ironically, is in the business of lies in a way. The lie, like a spy who is exposed, but who’s exposure is not yet known, is his enemy held closer than friend. To the philosopher, the lie is the threshing flail and not simply the chaff itself. It is a tool and lens, and not simply a disposition.

Rudyard Kipling lamented in his famous poem inside The Elephant’s Child: I Keep Six Honest Serving Men.

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

It is clear that knowledge is not simply a set of facts, rather it consists as well in the form of the Who and the Why, the How of the What, Where and When. These are the factors which become elicited in the discovery of a lie. This is why the observation of the lie, informs so well. Perhaps we should re-write Kipling’s poem in this fashion.

Of honest serving-men
(When all is not known true);
Step past the What and Where and When
And find How, Why and Who.

The Seductive Opiate of Sleight-of-Hand Control (and Conflict)

Surreptitious MethodWhen a magician applies his wares, there exists in reality only the joy of entertainment to be found in sleight-of-hand performance. When a Social Skeptic deceives, this act is done under the full infrastructure fabric of a lie. The play is known only to the Social Skeptic.

The Social Skeptic bears an addiction to the methods and rush of deception to such a degree, that they have invested a portion of their human worth inside their ability to deceive as many types of people as possible, in as clever a means as is sustainable. The more voices of celebrity and authority who regurgitate their pablum, the greater their high.

This is their ‘one ring.’ And if the Social Skeptic can not only deceive his opponents, but even more satisfyingly mislead scientists, politicians, sychophants and journalists alike; so much more enrapturing is the opiate of the lie – prompting the anti-philosopher to craft more and more elaborate forms of disinformative contrivance, in order to sustain their fix. The Social Skeptic does not care about philosophy, gnosis nor the subject at hand. These are all implements which serve inside the play, the play to which only he and his wink and nudge allies, are witness. Truth is therefore in reality, irrelevant – belied by an ubercompliance to instead, being right.

Doubt, belief and provisional knowledge are three building blocks which compose some of the fabric of the lie. This is why the ethical skeptic relies upon the suspension of these things – embodied in the philosophy of the epoché. Rather than decide for himself what is true and untrue, instead he robs the lie spinner of the raw material he desperately needs.

In general, humans lie for 3 main reasons (see the blog graphic above). They lie in order to

  1. Protect something they love,
  2. Gain without delivery of commensurate value in return and
  3. Harm through revenge or condemnation of someone they disdain.

However, there is a fourth reason why humans will lie.

4. The Joy of Sleight-of-Hand, Control and Conflict

In the graphic above, we can observe an operating group who are not functioning under this assumed contract between the magician and his audience, nor are they acting under one of the three motivations of the lie, cited above. The red circle depicts a very specific undercurrent motivation for this type of broader social liar. The heady rush of power experienced by those who find that they can work certain methods in order to craft the basis of what it is that people believe. The joy of using sleight-of-hand (even more so than facts) confirms to us that it is indeed we, and not science nor research nor doctrines, that controls the minds of men. We are the science, you are not (see Nihilism).

Those who perpetuate this type of lie exist in three groups:  those who promote the OverLie, those who fabricate the lies themselves, and those who unwittingly become the pawns and sycophants who serve to enforce the lies socially. The OverLie is typcially a cosmology, religion or social structure which must be protected at all costs. It is not always known by the fabricators and usually is not understood by the sycophancy as well.  Let’s examine the definition of the OverLie in terms of Popperian Science:

OverLie:  The compulsory adherence to an idea around which testing for falsification is prohibited.

Lie Spinner:  Ω • ⊕  Any entity which has been ceded ongoing power, yet at the same time retains an ongoing lack of accountability. A standard employed by a proxy agent, as a virtual mass in the social leveraging of a victim.

Sycophant: A newly indoctrinated person possessing an energetic Pollyanna vulnerability (see the Ten Pillars), along with a lack of depth, experience and circumspect wisdom; who is exploited into a role of win-at-all-costs enlistment under the cause identified by a Lie Spinner.

The avid reader will notice that the preceding definitions are the same ones offered by The Ethical Skeptic for ‘religion’, ‘god’ and ‘god proxy’ respectively, under a separate blog. This is not an accident. For in reality, the one who fabricates a lie is operating under a god-complex to begin with.

The seeking of truth without prejudice, preference and undue provision, is the finest act of humility on the part of the ethical skeptic.

And as an ethical skeptic myself, my hackles only get raised when I see someone tampering with the raw materials to be employed in the crafting of the lie. I could care less when Social Skeptics get sued, caught molesting children, or put in jail for medical fraud. I do not find satisfaction in these events in the least. These are the negative manifestations of humanity upon which I do not wish to focus. I do not possess an epistemic commitment to such an extent so as to seek or appreciate harm or revenge on others. Nor do I seek to rub their misfortunes as salt into their wounds. These biases are anathema to the ethical skeptic. I wish them well. I wish them to not lie to me.

The Habitual Methods (Fabric) of the Social Liar

The person making a claim to science,

  • Can easily go observe for them self, yet refuses to do so
  • Will bash only whipping-horse subjects (like ‘homeopathy’) popular inside their peer group
  • Refuses to re-examine underlying assumptions and provisional knowledge used
  • Exhibits an over-reliance on inductive science and refusal to undertake deductive alternative assessment
  • Views the world as being divided into opponents and allies
  • Focuses on the high visibility of journalism which promotes their beliefs
  • Exhibits a strong urge to punish their opponents
  • Employs weapon words, mocking and one-liners
  • Advocates for the removal of a human right or freedom (typically because someone might die if we don’t)
  • Habitually argues and exhibits a win-at-all-costs attitude
  • Gets angry or scoffs when any research is conducted which they do not like
  • Misrepresents (see The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation) in consistent patterns, protecting one idea or social understanding, with respect to
    • Opponents
    • Semantics
    • Data
    • Method
    • Science
    • Argument
    • Assumption
    • Groups
    • Self and
    • Authorities

For more on this analysis of the faking science representative, see How to Spot a Fake Skeptic.

TES Signature


July 30, 2016 - Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Institutional Mandates, Social Disdain

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