The Clare Spark Blog

February 19, 2016

Is the word “liar” un-PC?

liar-woman-lyingNumerous pundits on the Right have been stigmatizing certain candidates for calling one another “liars.” I found this startling, for in the theater of politics “anything goes.”

I have been aghast at this turn of group criticism, for in my youth, I assumed that fact-checking would be a prime responsibility of citizen-journalists and the candidates too, but I was unaware then, that “the search for truth” was considered a fool’s errand, indeed, a form of “monomania.” I blame the bad reputation that rationalism and empiricism have earned in this long period of irrationalism and the elevation of “feeling” as “freedom” over critical thought; i.e., digging into the archives with appropriate skepticism and the resuscitation of relevant contexts.

The reason that scholars are supposed to use footnotes when challenging older versions of history harkens back to the early phases of modernity, but “postmodernism” has made the use of footnotes a bad joke, for “inter-subjectivity” and the unreliability of all “texts” fits all too snugly into multiculturalism and its “perspectivism” in which “facts” are relegated to the realm of “group facts”—indecipherable to other races, though you have to dig a bit to find that out.

Or the curious reader might consider this: an alarming number of persons, world-wide, believe in the real existence of the Devil, the Great Liar, whose antithesis is the Truth conveyed by either the Gospel or by the deity “in a better place” than “this vale of tears”; i.e., the inevitable deceptions of our earthly existence.

Of course, “everybody” knows who the greatest liars are: women and Jews. No kidding.

British professor Simon Schama addresses a seminar entitled 'Facing the Climate Crisis' at the St James's Palace Nobel Laureate's Symposium in London, on May 27, 2009. The Symposium convenes Nobel Laureates from a variety of disciplines and world experts in climate change. AFP PHOTO/Shaun Curry/WPA POOL/AFP (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images); found on Eddie Izzard’s AZL page


  1. It is education that is supposed to protect us from the Old Deluder and other saint-seeming deceivers:

    Comment by Random Reader — February 21, 2016 @ 3:59 am | Reply

  2. Truth, in post-Kantian philosophy, is relative; a matter of context and perspective instead of a set of “hard” facts. As Berkeley once put it, just because I pound on the table a thousand times doesn’t mean that it won’t disappear on the 1001st attempt. So, a thing exists, not because there Is evidence for it, but because we agree that it must exist. Truth is a convenient convention.

    “The Devil” — the great other — is evil, not because he has *done* evil, but because we need an eternal enemy, the opposite of the good and ideal, however it is defined. The Devil is the thing we fight against when we need something to blame for our failures, when we fail to deal with “hard” facts and information that collapses our narratives. The consequence of this denial is madness and suicide. We are rational creatures and cannot maintain contradictions indefinitely.

    Comment by stereorealist — February 20, 2016 @ 12:38 am | Reply

    • And the Devil is evil because he leads us into thinking that we can find and know the truth. He is the Big Liar.

      Comment by clarelspark — February 20, 2016 @ 12:43 am | Reply

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