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Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe - On public spectacles and propaganda

i am not sure this is the proper place to post this because i haven't read all of the posts that have gone before but there is an interesting thing about the concept of "truth setting you free". the more adult and sophisticated we become, the less important truth seems to be to the "powers that be".

when we are young, we are taught or come to believe that telling the truth will solve all of our problems and we won't be punished if we only own up to our mistakes. in reality, it sometimes causes more problems. a white lie would have served your needs better.

when my son was a senior in high school, he had to go to a college interview. i asked him not to call in sick to his job because i didn't want him to lie. i thought surely, telling the truth would be better. (how naive i was!) so he told the truth which was a huge mistake. he was told if he went to the interview, he would be fired because although he had sick days, he was not allowed personal days or some such foolish answer.of course, he went to his interview, was accepted into the university of his choice and was fired from his job. of course, he was furious with me, the idealist.

this was a subsidiary of a major company and in today's climate the incident might have attracted the attention of a lawyer and become a major lawsuit. however, we are not litigious, anyway. my son forgave me, he got another job and moved on, but, unfortunately, he learned the lesson of reality, lying sometimes pays off better than truth telling. only in the fantasy of one's youth in the warmth of hearth and home, will truth set you free. it may be morally and ethically on the high ground, but it doesn't always work out as you think it will because truth works differently for different people in different circumstances.

i find that my upbringing has made it most difficult for me to lie and so, often, i resort to using the lie of omission. i try to say nothing rather than be offensive. i don't always succeed. and so, i have to wonder, whose purpose does telling the truth really serve??? does it serve me or does it free/serve you, armed with new information, to use it against me and do exactly as you please?

twj

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe: Back to Buchanan



i was referring to the events taking place between russia and georgia. i guess i thought it was pertinent. sorry.

twj 

The Epic group is discussing Tolstoy and War and Peace.  Not sure about the events in Georgia.  


 

Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe - On public spectacles and propaganda


thewanderingjew wrote:

i am not sure this is the proper place to post this because i haven't read all of the posts that have gone before but there is an interesting thing about the concept of "truth setting you free". the more adult and sophisticated we become, the less important truth seems to be to the "powers that be".

when we are young, we are taught or come to believe that telling the truth will solve all of our problems and we won't be punished if we only own up to our mistakes. in reality, it sometimes causes more problems. a white lie would have served your needs better.

when my son was a senior in high school, he had to go to a college interview. i asked him not to call in sick to his job because i didn't want him to lie. i thought surely, telling the truth would be better. (how naive i was!) so he told the truth which was a huge mistake. he was told if he went to the interview, he would be fired because although he had sick days, he was not allowed personal days or some such foolish answer.of course, he went to his interview, was accepted into the university of his choice and was fired from his job. of course, he was furious with me, the idealist.

this was a subsidiary of a major company and in today's climate the incident might have attracted the attention of a lawyer and become a major lawsuit. however, we are not litigious, anyway. my son forgave me, he got another job and moved on, but, unfortunately, he learned the lesson of reality, lying sometimes pays off better than truth telling. only in the fantasy of one's youth in the warmth of hearth and home, will truth set you free. it may be morally and ethically on the high ground, but it doesn't always work out as you think it will because truth works differently for different people in different circumstances.

i find that my upbringing has made it most difficult for me to lie and so, often, i resort to using the lie of omission. i try to say nothing rather than be offensive. i don't always succeed. and so, i have to wonder, whose purpose does telling the truth really serve??? does it serve me or does it free/serve you, armed with new information, to use it against me and do exactly as you please?

twj


Bentley responded:
You are posting in one of two Off-Topic Cafes which are the proper places to post on topics that have nothing to do with either a) My Early Life by Winston Churchill or b) The Histories by Herodotus.  The other Off Topic Cafe can be found with the Greek Characters in front and it also has in the thread's title Off Topic Cafe.  
We have a syllabus posted which outlines the reading schedule for The Histories by Herodotus which starts on September 2nd.  
There is an introduction thread as well for Herodotus and we have one more week to go on Churchill's My Early Life.  
I agree with you about truth.  There seems to be varying versions of truth around and none of them seem to be reality. Your son's story is a sad one; and it is a shame that the place he worked for could not see how much better it was to have an honest employee.  
I think truth is important and sometimes truth may be a difficult thing to face but I think you gave your son the correct advice.    I do not think that if you disagree that you cannot post your disagreement; but it doesn't mean that another person isn't entitled to their diametrically opposed point of view either.  I have found that most people on the board do not change their minds or back down from their viewpoints so what purpose is served from each repeating their own views over and over again.
I don't think that most ethical people would use the truth against someone; but in this day and age how do you know you are actually interacting with ethical people all of the time: you really don't know.
Bentley 
 
 
 

 

Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe: Regarding Georgia versus Russia


thewanderingjew wrote:


i was referring to the events taking place between russia and georgia. i guess i thought it was pertinent. sorry.

twj 

The Epic group is discussing Tolstoy and War and Peace.  Not sure about the events in Georgia.  


 


No, not to say that it isn't pertinent.  It just is that I guess I do not have an opinion except that I believe that Russia is using an overwhelming force of power which is unnecessary.    

 

Frequent Contributor
Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe- Importance of Education


Choisya wrote:

Great points Timbukto!

 

J platzer wrote this earlier in the thread

Choisya: Thanks for all of your valuable insight. You provide a lot of great background material. I'm looking forward to your thoughts when we get to Herodotus next month.

 

I perhaps provide more background material than most and this is because of my education and my working background.  I was encouraged from an early age to back up what I said with facts, quotes etc and with as much 'truth' as I could find. So when I worked as a political researcher and speech writer it became my habit to provide background material, usually in the form of footnotes. This meant haunting bookshops and libraries until the internet came along and now I use internet links as footnotes - much easier!   But of course not everything is on the internet and these days I do not have easy access to a library and many of my books are in my loft so sometimes I fail in a quest:smileysad:.

 

So, to take up the points made below, is nothing that we read or reference the truth?  Are the wartime documentary films taken on the spot not showing truth? The Bosnian leader now being tried in the Hague will be shown films of the Bosnian atrocities and there will be accounts from eye-witnesses to back them up. Will these not portray the 'truth'?  Was the evidence submitted to the Nuremberg Trials which ended in the conviction of Nazi war criminals not the truth?  Are all criminal trials which convict murderers not based on truth?  Are all those in our jails innocent because they have been convicted upon untruths?  Of course mistakes are made because we are human and sometimes juries convict the wrong person but in general is all we do based on lies?   These are not philosophical questions, they are questions which affect the lives and deaths of others.  Taking a relativist position is all very well if it does not impact upon the lives of others, otherwise it can just be a 'cop out', a way of running away from unpalatable facts.  Perhaps we should not even arrrest criminals because we cannot possibly know the truth about what they are being accused of?  Or (to get back to our Churchillian theme) perhaps Churchill should have taken a relativist position about Hitler and not have cared that he had invaded Poland and was persecuting the Jews because it was all relative?  

 

There are those here who will say 'God' is truth and that the bible is true on far far less evidence than, say, a wartime documentary about Belsen.  Why is the bible 'true' and a book/film/website documenting Nazi atrocities not 'true'?   Why not take a relativist position about God and the bible too?    

 

Timbukto is right (can anyone be 'right'???):  'It says something about human nature, that reason is not enough.  That truth is not all-powerful.  That injustice will always be with us.'

 

 


bentley wrote:

Timbuktu1 wrote:

I too went back to school, in my 30's for a master's.  Yes, I appreciated every moment.  Then, of course, I started the program I'm in now, two years ago.  I attended a lecture last Friday and the prof mentioned how differently the classes go with adults compared to undergrads.  He said that in reading King Lear, for instance, the undergrads all side with the daughters and think Lear is a pain.  The adults have sympathy for Lear.  It's a totally different play.

 

I have to say, however, in reading this discussion about WWII, I do not feel as optimistic about the power of education.  Socrates/Plato (as Churchill said they're the same person) had the wonderful idea that education can create good people and a good state.  That the problems of the world can be solved with knowledge.  That no one would willingly reject the good if they knew it because it would be self-defeating.  That truth would set people free and allow everyone to live a good life.  I don't want to open up a very painful and discouraging discussion that should die a natural death.  But I have to say that the splitting of hairs, the twists and turns taken with the truth, a truth that is so well documented that it needs no further support and yet inspires denial is horrifying to me. It says something about human nature, that reason is not enough.  That truth is not all-powerful.  That injustice will always be with us.

 


The truth can be the truth; it can be a fact or a belief; but the key is to accept it as being the fact or the truth and that is dependent upon human intervention.  What people can say is that it may be the truth for you; but I have decided that is not the truth for me.  I can say that I believe it or not.   Reason is not enough and truth is not always enough either.   Sometimes you have to depend upon good will and a kind understanding heart.  Sometimes things have nothing to do with truth at all.  It has to do with the past. Look at the quote that Herodotus made about the fact that nobody would be foolish enough to choose war over peace; well they have done that exact thing many times. Think about the time period when he made that statement.
" No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace - in peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons." 

 


 

 
Choisya, I can't find your post on "who won the war" so I'm replying here.  Thank you so much!  While reading it a chill went down my spine, tears came to my eyes and a lump to my throat.  A little bit of knowledge can be very misleading.  I so appreciate your educating me.  Seems to me this is the problem with history, in general.  It's re-written continually in light of later conditions.  I won't forget this.  Thank you again, for all of your help, it's very much appreciated.  You've been right about so much.

 

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe : The 9thC Translation Movement

People reading Herodotus might like to listen to this BBC Radio 4 programme on the importance of the 9C Translation Movement which saw the translation of Greek literature into Arabic. It was this great Islamic movement which brought Greek (and eventually Roman) literature and thought to the West.   
Frequent Contributor
Prunesquallor
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎07-11-2008
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe : The 9thC Translation Movement


Choisya wrote:
People reading Herodotus might like to listen to this BBC Radio 4 programme on the importance of the 9C Translation Movement which saw the translation of Greek literature into Arabic. It was this great Islamic movement which brought Greek (and eventually Roman) literature and thought to the West.   

Thanks for the URL, Choisya! I found the program VERY interesting, greatly informative!

Frequent Contributor
Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe : The 9thC Translation Movement

This month's Biblical Archaelogy magazine has an interesting article on the earliest painting of a biblical scene (the judgment of Solomon) in which there are two figures thought to be Socrates and Aristotle.  The year was 79 AD, at Pompeii.   The article explores some interesting ideas about the connections between Israel and Greece.
Frequent Contributor
Prunesquallor
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎07-11-2008
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe : The 9thC Translation Movement

Hi, Timbuktu1

 

I think our local library has a subscription to BA, I'll check it out! Thanks! 

Frequent Contributor
Timbuktu2
Posts: 528
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe - On public spectacles and propaganda


thewanderingjew wrote:

i am not sure this is the proper place to post this because i haven't read all of the posts that have gone before but there is an interesting thing about the concept of "truth setting you free". the more adult and sophisticated we become, the less important truth seems to be to the "powers that be".

when we are young, we are taught or come to believe that telling the truth will solve all of our problems and we won't be punished if we only own up to our mistakes. in reality, it sometimes causes more problems. a white lie would have served your needs better.

when my son was a senior in high school, he had to go to a college interview. i asked him not to call in sick to his job because i didn't want him to lie. i thought surely, telling the truth would be better. (how naive i was!) so he told the truth which was a huge mistake. he was told if he went to the interview, he would be fired because although he had sick days, he was not allowed personal days or some such foolish answer.of course, he went to his interview, was accepted into the university of his choice and was fired from his job. of course, he was furious with me, the idealist.

this was a subsidiary of a major company and in today's climate the incident might have attracted the attention of a lawyer and become a major lawsuit. however, we are not litigious, anyway. my son forgave me, he got another job and moved on, but, unfortunately, he learned the lesson of reality, lying sometimes pays off better than truth telling. only in the fantasy of one's youth in the warmth of hearth and home, will truth set you free. it may be morally and ethically on the high ground, but it doesn't always work out as you think it will because truth works differently for different people in different circumstances.

i find that my upbringing has made it most difficult for me to lie and so, often, i resort to using the lie of omission. i try to say nothing rather than be offensive. i don't always succeed. and so, i have to wonder, whose purpose does telling the truth really serve??? does it serve me or does it free/serve you, armed with new information, to use it against me and do exactly as you please?

twj



I just found this post of yours on the old My Early Life thread.  I love it and all it says about you, before I knew who you were.  How ironic, that of all the people who post, Monty said that you were dishonest.  

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe

May be of interest to someone browsing this club:

 

"Dr. David Starkey has been busy with many King Henry VIII-related events this month: the exhibition he has curated at the British Library, a series on Channel Four and a new edition of his Henry biography. But he still found time to chat to Nigel Richardson about Henry’s retreats and pieds-à-terre – and how visiting them can shed light on his reign."

 

 

Henry VIII's Palaces

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe

Fascinating link.  Thanks for posting it, Pepper. 

 

And if anybody is thinking of skipping it, don't!


Peppermill wrote:

May be of interest to someone browsing this club:

 

"Dr. David Starkey has been busy with many King Henry VIII-related events this month: the exhibition he has curated at the British Library, a series on Channel Four and a new edition of his Henry biography. But he still found time to chat to Nigel Richardson about Henry’s retreats and pieds-à-terre – and how visiting them can shed light on his reign."

 

 

Henry VIII's Palaces


 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Off-Topic Cafe

[ Edited ]

Yes, we are getting a lot of Henry VIII stuff on our media this month because it is his 500th anniversary.  However, Starkey tends to veer towards a catholic interpretations, therefore against the establishment of the Church of England.  Others, like myself, see Henry VIII, marriages apart, as the king who set the UK on its road to greatness because separating us from Rome meant that we had to find pastures new to trade with, hence our great maritime Empire and the source of our wealth and influence in the world.  The sacking of the monasteries/Reformation also redistributed wealth from Rome to England. (C's potted history:smileyhappy:. ) 

 

Here are some images of his palaces - he built them for his royal Progresses because he did not like sleeping in other people's homes.   I know the feeling! 

And some of the tapestries he commissioned.

 

 


Peppermill wrote:

May be of interest to someone browsing this club:

 

"Dr. David Starkey has been busy with many King Henry VIII-related events this month: the exhibition he has curated at the British Library, a series on Channel Four and a new edition of his Henry biography. But he still found time to chat to Nigel Richardson about Henry’s retreats and pieds-à-terre – and how visiting them can shed light on his reign."

 

 

Henry VIII's Palaces


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 04-20-2009 07:17 PM