Tag Archives: lies

Lies, Damn Lies and Making Stuff Up

dilbert14Even though this particular example is directed at a Christian, it seems to be a problem all over so I don’t want anyone to think this is a religious-only issue.  On an atheist forum, a Catholic member asserted that there were more male forum members on atheist forums and more female members on religious forums and was wondering why this might be.  Now, it’s an innocuous question but while other forum members were trying to provide possible answers, I took a step back and started wondering exactly how she came up with those statistics in the first place.  Having been a member of the atheist forum for a very long time and going to the religious forum she mentioned, there was nowhere that I could see where the members identified their real life genders and besides, even if they did, how would anyone know if they were telling the truth?

So I started asking questions about how this data was determined and how was it tested?  I would have actually been satisfied if she could point to anywhere on both forums where gender statistics were listed, but she couldn’t.  She said through “observation”. Well how the hell can you observe someone’s gender in an online forum?  Guess?  Still, she maintained that somehow she had that knowledge, just like she maintained that somehow she knew that God was real.  I guess delusion is an equal opportunity liar.

Certainly though, she’s not alone, there are plenty of people out there who claim that they have knowledge they cannot possibly have, there is no end to online debates and discussions where one side will say they know things they can’t conceivably know and when cornered, they will ignore any and all requests for their methodology.  They just know.  I guess it’s magic.  Everything from the feminist’s favorite whipping dog, the patriarchy, that thing they can’t prove exists but they’re sure is real, to various motivations ascribed to large groups of people without a shred of evidence to back it up,  This is a huge barrier to having intelligent discussions with people whose confirmation bias not only leads them to cherry picking data that agrees with them over that which does not, but to just make things up when they can’t find any actual data to trot out during the debate. And, of course, they can’t be honest about any of it because that gets in the way of feeling good about their positions.  They’re too busy just making stuff up to care about reality.

It’s sad that rationality is a lost art for so many.

Military Recruiters are Liars

parents-to-pentagonAbout a week ago, my oldest daughter got a phone call.  While I thought it was a little odd because they called on the house phone instead of her cell phone, they asked for her, it didn’t sound like it was anyone older so I figured it was one of her friends.  It turned out to be a military recruiter and she told him no, she wasn’t interested in no uncertain terms. I know, I was standing right there.  But a few days later, the same guy called back and this time I intercepted the call and asked him to identify himself.  He said he was a military recruiter and I said that he had already been told she wasn’t interested and he lied to my face, saying he had “hit it off” with my daughter and they had a “long conversation” and she “wanted him to call back”.  Well, if 30 seconds is a “long conversation” and “no, I’m not interested” is wanting him to call back, sure.  I told him, in no uncertain terms, that he was never to call back ever again and while he was trying to argue with me, I hung up on him.

These people are assholes and I’m not the only one to think so.  In 2013, ABC News wired up a bunch of high school students with audio and video recording equipment and sent them into military recruiting stations on the east coast and, almost without exception, the recruiters lied through their teeth to the kids. I’m not talking about mis-statements, I’m not talking about making it sound better than it is, I mean out-and-out lies.  Like the one recruiter who told a kid that they could quit the military any time they wanted, with no harm done, by asking for a “failure to adapt” discharge.  Sure, that’s a thing.  Another said that the chances of being sent to a combat zone was “slim to none”.  Yes, I believe that… not!

In fact, things are so dishonest in military recruiting that in 2005, the Army suspended all recruiting operations until recruiters could take a mandatory course in ethics.  It didn’t stop the problem at all, in fact, there is video evidence not long thereafter of a student, claiming to be a drug addict, going into a recruiting office and the recruiter not only lied and said it wasn’t a problem, but helped him to falsify his entry application.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing necessarily against military recruiting, we need people to sign up, even though our military is far, far, far too large, but if you have to lie about it to get people to sign up, if you have to go after kids who aren’t even legally able to sign contracts and then guilt them into keeping their coerced word down the road after they turn 18, you’re doing something wrong.  If the job is so bad that most people don’t want to do it, maybe you need to reconsider the job.  In WWII, people lined up to go to war because they thought it was the right thing to do.  Maybe the U.S. government needs to reconsider whether their military actions (since Congress rarely ever actually declares war anymore) are the right thing to do.  Maybe then they’d get more volunteers and not need to resort to underhanded tactics to force people into the military.

Something to think about from the people at Getty.