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Thread: "Alternative Facts"

  1. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
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    3,033

    Re: "Alternative Facts"

    The article mentions a story of the blind man and an elephant, assuming the blind man will never discover what an elephant really looks like, however I would think that a blind man would have some idea of what the elephant looks like after longer periods of study, just as a blind person will eventually learn the layout of his or her home after a while.

    Take for example, Ben Carson and his claim that the pyramids were Joseph's granaries. If your only exposure to Egyptian history was the Bible and *maybe* playing one of the Civilization games, you might come to the conclusion that the pyramids were for storing grain.
    On the other hand, you have Egyptologists that have made it their life's work to study the pyramids, and built upon the knowledge that came from the generations of Egyptologists that came before them, trying to discover its secrets. They know Egyptian history from its simple pre-dynastic beginnings, its ups, it's downs, to its fall under Cleopatra, how they lived under the Persians, Greeks, Romans, how they converted to Christianity then Islam, and even to its modern day. They have unearthed the worker's villiages, tombs and burial sites around the pyramids, exchanged information about their findings and came to the conclusion that the pyramids were the tombs of the pharaohs.
    They do all of this work, and for what? So some American wannabe-politician can make up some claim that they were for storing Joseph's grain because he read that part of the Bible and played a video game?

    That is the fallacy of Libertarianism.

  2. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    3,516

    Re: "Alternative Facts"

    Yes. The key is facts of substance rather than subjective opinion. It's true that one statement can include alternative truths, like if it's 6 O'clock on the east coast it's also a fact it's earlier on the west coast. That said, if someone lies about something just to make others think it's the truth....it's still a lie.

  3. #11
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    Dec 1997
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    3,033

    Re: "Alternative Facts"

    We've had a number of high profile trials where one set of facts (much of which is known to the public) that says someone is guilty according to the court of popular opinion, while the other set of "alternative facts" sets such a person free. We've seen this with OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, and George Zimmerman. There's a number of cases where the actual trial resulted in a guilty verdict, while a bunch of law school students could get a not guilty verdict years later, or DNA evidence that showed up later proved someone innocent.
    And each of these cases, guilt or innocence based on the competency of the lawyer(s) involved, not about actual facts.

  4. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    Re: "Alternative Facts"

    There is the burden of proof to consider. Heresay is not factual data, but can result in the guilty going free as well as it may be the innocent being found guilty. DNA evidence is pretty foolproof and too bad it took so long to be a mainstay of the judicial system. Definitely though, in the court system, if one can afford expert legal representation the balance of justice can be tipped.

  5. #13
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  6. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    3,516

    Re: "Alternative Facts"

    Sometimes I wonder how someone, like Carson, who has attained the educational level to be a neurosurgeon, ran for the office of US President, end up with a high level cabinet appointment can make so many historical blunders (i.e: the Pryamids were built to store grain for Christians). He says slaves were unwilling immigrants, no that's called being criminally kidnapped. I highly doubt that anyone laying chained side-by-side in the putrid conditions in the belly of those ships were thinking about what future prosperity for themselves were under those circumstances. I mean, sorry Dr. Carson, some things one just can't spin to make some kind of alt-fantasy outcome of positivity.

  7. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
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    3,033

    Re: "Alternative Facts"

    I would think his educational background probably involved avoiding subjects that would have conflicted with church teachings. His recollection of history is probably whatever is in the Bible and the child-friendly version of American history from 1492 to whatever year he graduated high school.

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