POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan


Recently finished a great little book entitled "On Bullshit" by Harry G. Frankfurt. This little 67 pager does an excellent analysis and definition of BS in our day. I will most likely review the book in a coming entry but for now here are a couple of quotes (note, if the actual word BS is offensive, the following use it in the flow of the text - apologies, no offense intended)

For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He doe not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose. Harry G. Frankfut, On Bullshit (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005) 56.

Someone who lies and someone who tells the truth are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game. Each responds to the facts as he understands them, although the response of the one is guided by the authority of the truth, while the response of the other defies that authority and refuses to meet its demands. The bullshitter ignores these demands altogether. He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are. Ibid, 60-61.

A friend today asked me to look into some comments made by Oprah Winfrey about the nature of religion (See video here). Due to my recent research into the nature of BS, I must categorize that Oprah is communicating the lies of another and then she is covering his lies with a bunch of bullshit. At least, that is my humble estimation of the estate of Oprah’s religiosity. The Biblical Witness is very open about these matters:
  • Jesus: "Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8).
  • John: "He who has the Son, has the Life. He who does not have the Son, does not have the life" (1 John 5).
  • Peter: "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
  • Jesus: "He who believes has life; he who does not believe does not have life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).
  • Paul: "If anyone delivers to you another Gospel, let him be anathema" (Galatians 1).

This list of passages from Greg Koukl - How to Do Postmodern Theology

Oprah, please do not demean the faith of 1/3 of the globe with your smattering of BS...