Friday, February 16, 2018

Epistemic Responsibility

It appears that a lot of what I have written about recently have to do with being morally responsible for what one believes and the beliefs one tries to transfer to others.

I have called liars parasites who seek to feed others false beliefs that will cause them to act in ways that sacrifice their interests and support the interests of the liar.

I also stipulated a term "trumpster" as a less vulgar version of the term "bullshitter" to indicate somebody who only cares about whether a belief is useful, not about whether it is true. A trumpster cannot be said to be lying. The liar knows that what he says is false and does not care. The trumpster does not care whether his claims are true or false - only whether they are useful.

I have also wrote of that version of trumpster who likes to share internet memes without concern over whether they are true or false - only whether they support the conclusions that the person wants others to believe.

I have also objected to the practice of messing with the definitions of words - changing a definition to a non-standard use while pretending that one is offering its standard definition.

Along with this, I reiterated the standard obligation of communication - the principle of charity. This is a principle that requires that one interpret an opponent's claim in the best possible light, rather than create a straw-man interpretation easily dismissed.

Imagine what our society would be like if we made this the common practice?

Of course, one way to move society closer in that direction is for each person to resolve for themselves to act responsibility when it comes to promoting the truth and sharing information.

Another is to stress the fact to others that these are moral requirements, and that there are many and strong reasons to condemn those who act in an epistemically irresponsible manner.

Think about it . . . a society filled with people who care about whether what they say is true, who desire to tell that which is true and hate to say that which is false, who do not try to manipulate others with misleading or false information, who actually want to know what the truth is and who hates the idea that they may be living a lie (or a fiction), and treats the ideas of others with respect even as they may disagree with those ideas.

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