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Words Mean Things & Always Define Your Terms

The term “FAKE NEWS” is a hard term for many people due to the way we use the word “fake”. We often confuse it for being the opposite of genuine or real. For example I have some fossils and some replica fossils. I will show them off and sometimes someone will ask, “Is that real?” What they mean is “is that genuine”. Of course it’s “real”, you’re holding it aren’t you? But fake doesn’t mean not real, it means not genuine. Fake news is actual news with actual reporters reporting on actual stories. The problem is that often what they are reporting isn’t genuine. This can be because they have made up facts, or told lies.
 
Often though it’s because they use word choice to sway the reader or viewer. A simple example: You have a 60% chance to win! & You have a 40% change to lose. It means the same thing in terms of percentage. It’s not “fake” information either way, but words mean things and the person running the raffle will encourage you to buy a ticket by focusing on the chance to win. News and politicians do this too. They focus their words and pick words that soften what might be perceived as a harsh reality. Abortion will call it a fetus or clump of cells rather than a developing human being. All of that is true information. Do you want the hamburger that’s 20% fat or the one that is 80% lean?
 

When having a conversation about specifics it is very important to first define your terms.

You will notice this will laws. There is a section in a law about definitions. For example how would you define “bicycle”? A statute would likely describe it thus:
 
“Bicycle” means a device, including a racing wheelchair, that is propelled by human power and on which a person may ride and that has either:
 
(a) Two tandem wheels, either of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter.
(b) Three wheels in contact with the ground, any of which is more than sixteen inches in diameter.
 
Suddenly a BI-cycle can have three wheels!
 
On the left, let’s consider what they mean by “diversity”. They don’t mean a diverse set of ideas but rather a diversity of skin color and gender. They can have 14 people of various ethnic backgrounds, skin colors, and genders who all have the exact same point of view and claim they came to their conclusion using a diverse panel of experts. 
Consider the difference between an illegal alien and an undocumented worker. One is clearly here illegally and from a foreign place. The other, well, they are just here to work and didn’t sign on the dotted line. Same person, different words. Those words lead to a different perspective.
You and the person you are arguing with aren’t even having the same conversation if you haven’t defined your terms. You can go around in circles all day long then find out that the words they have been using don’t mean the same thing to them as they do to you. It’s perfectly okay to ask, “Please define X for me. What does it mean to you?” You won’t always think of doing this though because often it’s a word you think you know. For example the word “phobia” is one I frequently pick on. I argue there is currently no diagnosed case of an actual homophobe. But that word gets used frequently, not to describe someone with an irrational fear of homosexuals, but someone who disagrees with gay marriage or who thinks the behavior is a sin. The people using the term know very well that a phobia is something irrational so they use the term to simply dismiss their detractors without ever having to discuss their concerns.
They use harsh terms on those things they want to dismiss and soft terms on those things they want to support. Would you be in favor of “Race discrimination in hiring and college admissions”? Probably not. That sounds terrible! So let’s call it, “Affirmative Action” instead. It’s the same thing intentionally termed to hide what it really is. (Michael Knowells)
Take this simple example from the book The Hobbit where Bilbo wants to get rid of Gandalf and bids him “good morning”.
The wizard replies, “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
What Bilbo actually meant was – go away.

It’s just semantics

That phrase is a pet peeve of mine. Just what do people think semantics is? Semantics is the meaning of words or the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. When you are discussing anything semantics is of the utmost importance.

“We must think things not words, or at least we must constantly translate our words into the facts for which they stand, if we are to keep to the real and the true.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes

What good is human sentience without the means to comprehend it? Words are what allows us to parse the universe, to contemplate, to share our very thoughts. Imagine if you will seeing something new. It’s your first time viewing this object. Now try to contemplate that object without words. Try it with an object you know. A planet. Contemplate a planet without words. You can’t even tell yourself it’s a planet. You can’t describe its shape, size, color, or guess if there are others like yourself on it. It simply hangs there in space, an object that “is” but that cannot be defined by you.

No man can slay him

“The classic example is the word “liberal,” which the far-left co-opted. It was adopted because of its positive connotation, and used as a cover for imposing greater leftist control under the guise of liberty. In reality, there is nothing liberal about failing to protect life, burdening individuals with regulations and taxes, or forcing individuals to provide services to others. This is no accidental misnomer, but strategic messaging to influence people. Who doesn’t want to support a policy that is “progressive,” “pro-choice,” or “affordable”?” (Dierker, 2018)

“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” – Joseph Goebbels

I bet you’ve heard a lot about Postmodernism lately. I have shared some items myself on the subject of Postmodernism. And of course Jordan Peterson is simply obsessed with the power and influence postmodernism has had on modern society and thought. Ironically, to define Postmodernism for someone violates the premise of the philosophy that things cannot be defined. For the postmodernist there are no definite terms or absolute truths so a postmodernist cannot tell you what it is or isn’t since to do so would violate it. Of course, as you can see right from the start the entire concept is a contradiction. The only truth, it claims, that can be applied to all people all the time is that no truth can be applied to all people all the time. Which is to say that no truth can be known while at the same time is stating a truth. If that makes your head hurt, it should. It is nonsense.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” ― George Orwell, 1984

It is largely against this that Ayn Rand created her philosophy of Objectivism.

The very basic way to describe what she believed is that truth can be known and that there is an objective reality that sentient man can detect with his reason and senses. That the senses can sometimes fool a man or that his reason fail him is not enough to say that nothing can be known.

We will get back to that in a moment. But first let’s talk about postmodernism and its relationship to socialism and communism. Those two systems (kindred in evil) defy logic. When one reasons them out it is clear they do not and cannot work. It is clear that capitalism does work. It works very well when left alone. Much of what people who rail against capitalism about isn’t actually capitalism at all. The left is in love with socialism and fully engulfed in hatred for capitalism but they can’t beat it using logic. Postmodernism creates a system in which socialists can insist their philosophy is sound because they aren’t bothered with facts.

“If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and those who claim to be the bearers of objective immortal truth, then there is nothing more relativistic than Fascist attitudes and activity. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, we Fascists conclude that we have the right to create our own ideology and to enforce it with all the energy of which we are capable.” ― Benito Mussolini

Ayn Rand aptly said, “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”

That is the very thing that the left attempts to do. The reality is, their systems don’t function properly. They continue to go after them. They will do so no matter what.

One more quote from Ayn Rand, “To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality. ” And that is the world that the left, the postmodernists, live in, a world focused on the maintenance of contradictions. I’ve written before on the subject of cognitive dissonance. Basically defined it is holding two contradictory things to be true at the same time or to be inconsistent in your beliefs. We know from experience that this is painful for the human mind. A person cannot do this without breaking their mind. It is to be insane. Orwell called it “doublethink” in his book 1984 which was said to be “…holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” As you can imagine that’s not reasonable. To say, it is day, and to say it is night, and to believe both of those things are true when only one can be is – insane.

Words – mean – THINGS.

 

 

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