Confused presentation and tortured logic

Tony Blankley discusses Bad faith (Washington Times 05dc14) by political leaders whose words seem to be rather confused. What they are saying doesn’t make sense when compared to what they say they are saying.

Once upon a time, the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre shrewdly and stingingly criticized self deceivers with the charge of bad faith (mauvaise foi): the self-deceptive motives by which people often try to elude responsibility for what they do.

Now would be a good time to review the applicability of such bad faith to the politicians who claim to have our national security at heart even as they call for surrender and retreat.

There are two approaches one can take when someone is confused about what you say. One of them is to attack the listener for being ignorant and stupid and unable to understand the plain truth of what you say. The other is to accept the confusion as feedback telling you that your message needs a bit of work. In the self help market, this is the difference between the ‘you’ message and the ‘I’ message. It is whether or not one accepts responsibility for one’s own views and expression.

In this case of bad faith, Blankley points out that the collection of assertions being made in some quarters does not have consistency of meaning. The effort to reconcile one statement with another becomes an exercise in tortured logic. Lots of explanations are offered and the meanings of words are carefully parsed. These are indications that the views and opinions being expressed lack intellectual integrity and need a bit more self understanding to avoid a confused presentation.

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