Denial, amnesia, political correctness, and cheeseburgers

Moose, Bourbon, Tim, Ken, and I talked late into the night about various things. It’s really hard to summarize, or even remember, most of these things now. But major topics included political correctness, and the denial of truth that our culture seems to be burying its collective head in.

So, the general idea is that Policital Correctness is built around the idea that nobody should offend anybody else. The fact that this is impossible does not seem to bother the Powers That Be, since denial of reality is a major portion of how this all works.

The surest way to offend someone, it seems is to claim that you know the Truth, and that someone else, whose opinion is out of sync with this Reality, is therefore wrong. Telling someone that they are wrong is a big no-no. Claiming that you know the truth on any matter is therefore also wrong. Accepting multiple mutually-exclusive truths, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. This is called “tolerance” rather than the more correct “self delusion” or “logical fallacy”, because either of those would be judgemental, and therefore intolerant.

While it seems that any intelligent person you speak to will deplore this intellectual dishonesty, Moose made the interesting observation that they will only deplore it when it refers to issues on which they don’t have a firm unbending opinion … I mean, know the Truth. So it is very possible that I am practicing exactly the same kind if dishonesty that I am deploring.

The other thing that came up in this context was the idea of authority. Because we cannot know everything, we need to accept the idea that someone is an authority on a particular topic. On #apache yesterday, I told someone that they were wrong about something, and he called me politically incorrect – which, in part, started this train of thought. In this technical matter, which has a clear and indisputable right answer, I was supposed to accept his wrong answer, in tolerance, and not make him feel marginalized for holding a different opinion. This is hogwash. He was wrong, and I was right. But political correctness, which rejects the ideas of wrong and right, also rejects the idea that I could be an authority on the matter, and that he has to accept what I say on the matter, because of my authority.

I was going to write about the idea of denial and amnesia, also, but I’ll have to get back to that when I have more time to collect my thoughts.