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Did the New York Times just admit Covid deaths were overcounted? What matters is what works

Belief is now a private hobby, like football fandom (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Belief is now a private hobby, like football fandom (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)


July 25, 2023   6 mins

The idea of truth has fallen out of favour in recent years. For one thing, it’s less politically important than it used to be. In the era of the Cold War, what beliefs you held to be true counted for a lot, as one sovereign ideology clashed with another. Then, sometime in the Nineties, once the Cold War had faded, the word “ideology” fell out of use. This was partly because people don’t tend to regard their own beliefs as ideological, any more than people go around calling themselves Spotty or Fatso. Ideology is what the Other has, and one particular Other had now vanished.

Other people’s beliefs are ideological in the sense of being rigid, doctrinaire, immune to argument and detached from the practical world, whereas one’s own convictions are flexible, pragmatic and eminently reasonable. Capping child allowance so that more families are plunged into poverty is pretty much common sense in an economic crisis, while heavily taxing the oil companies springs from socialist dogma. There’s nothing ideological about revering the monarchy — like scratching your nose or gambling for eight hours a day, it’s a natural human inclination — but claiming that it provides circuses for the people to distract them from a shortage of bread is simply the talk of disaffected intellectuals.

To be post-truth, then, is to be post-ideological. Long ago, when the middle class were revolutionaries storming the strongholds of the aristocracy, ideas like God, liberty, progress, patriotism and equality mattered to them a lot. They were vital weapons in the struggle for hearts and minds. Once they settled down to the humdrum task of accumulating capital, however, these grandiose notions weren’t so essential. Besides, by secularising and rationalising the world, capitalism created a climate in which such high-minded stuff sounded increasingly implausible. In doing so, it undercut some of its own rationales.

It’s mostly American politicians these days who talk about God, freedom, “this great country of ours” and “our brave men and women in uniform”, the United States being on account of its Puritan heritage one of the most metaphysical nations in the world, as well as one of the most materialistic. One can’t imagine Jeremy Hunt waxing eloquent about the country’s eternal debt to the Almighty, as opposed to its debt to its international creditors. As capitalist society evolves, its everyday practice comes loose from its rhetorical self-justification, which is to say that the gap between what it does, and what it says it does, looms incongruously large. This is what philosophers know as a performative contradiction. Better, then, to ditch as much of its metaphysical baggage as you decently can — in which case truth, at least with a large T, becomes increasingly redundant.

Truth is what compels our belief, but belief isn’t what binds late capitalist societies together. According to the ruling ideology of liberalism, you can believe whatever you like as long as it doesn’t stymie other people’s freedom to do the same, or pose a serious threat to their wellbeing. The state doesn’t give a toss about what you believe, a situation which would have been unintelligible to John Calvin or Oliver Cromwell, and is still unintelligible to a host of contemporary autocrats. Besides, in a relativist world, the word “conviction” comes to have a dogmatic ring to it.

This is odd, given that having convictions of some sort is constitutive of being human. To be a person is to have a point of view on the world. The convictions in question don’t need to be obsessive. You can believe that childbirth should be abolished without standing with a megaphone outside maternity hospitals. The historian A.J.P. Taylor once told a committee interviewing him for an Oxford fellowship that he had extreme political opinions but held them moderately.

Rather as religious belief was privatised some centuries ago with the birth of Protestantism, as a transaction between you and God alone, so belief in general becomes a kind of private hobby, as harmlessly idiosyncratic as Morris dancing or pigeon-fancying. What holds such societies together — consumerism, material interests, the rule of law — doesn’t really have to pass through the human mind, as it most certainly does in Islamist set-ups. This is one way in which the West’s latest bogeyman — terrorism rather than Communism — puts it at a severe political disadvantage. Solidarity in such nations goes all the way down, whereas in Britain it is largely confined to football. The word “fan” is short for “fanatic”.

It was unfortunate for the West that just when Islamism began to blow up innocent civilians, its own culture was becoming increasingly sceptical and relativist. Conviction was falling in value at just the point when it was politically necessary. Truth became subservient to material interests. In the age of Plato, truth was thought to be independent of such mundane matters. It was an absolute affair, sublimely transcendent of the everyday world of ignorance and delusion. Later, however, thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche argued that what we held to be true was largely determined by our perspective on the world, which was merely one among many such standpoints, and which was shaped among other things by our struggle for material survival. This argument didn’t deny that truth existed, but it placed it within a social and historical framework.

In our own time, this case has been reduced to a cruder version of itself: truth is simply an instrument of power. You describe the world in whatever way best promotes your interests. And since there are many conflicting interests, there are many conflicting truths. Enter Donald Trump and the Big Lie, along with those postmodernists who maintain that truth is just what’s true for me. Truth had finally been either abolished or privatised. What matters is what works — and for that purpose a blatant falsehood may do just as well. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “to trump up” as “to invent a false accusation or excuse”.

All this suits a society which is continually in flux. Truth and facts seem to be static, and thus incapable of surviving in a world whose only permanent feature is changeability. In the world of postmodern capitalism, everything is fluid, unstable, groundless and provisional. Change is good, but staying the same isn’t. This may be true for the CEOs of Tesco and Google, but as a general proposition it’s clearly absurd: if permanence and consistency are uncool, why not abolish the ban on child labour and send children of five into workplaces? But there’s also something absolute about historical truth that sticks in the craw of the Trumps and Hannitys of this world. If it’s true that the emperor Tiberius died on the island of Capri in 37 CE, it was true in 37 CE, true today and will no doubt also be true in the year 3000. Of course, it may not be true at all. But that is another question.

There are other reasons why truth is being discredited. For Plato, truth was something deep, lurking beneath the surface appearances of everyday reality. Postmodernism is uneasy with this surface/depth model, for a number of reasons, one of them concerning what Lenin called the reality of appearances. In a culture of the image, star, brand, momentary sensation and instant gratification, everything seems on the surface; but if there are no depths, then there are no surfaces either, and the whole model collapses. The image is the reality, as in the term “Reality TV”. What you see is what you get. One is asked for one’s “take” on a topic, a verb borrowed from film and television. All this is convenient enough for the political Right, who also dislike the surface/depth model because it suggests that there are powerful but invisible forces which dominate our lives, not least those of the marketplace. “All the important processes,” Marx wrote, “go on behind the backs of individuals”. What we see and what we get aren’t at all the same thing. This belief lingers on in the post-truth era, but now it’s known as conspiracy theories.

Conspiracy theorists have got at least two things right: that the truth can differ dramatically from what we’re officially told, and that it is usually unpleasant. There aren’t many conspiracy fantasists who claim that the world is run by a benevolent secret society which will one day deposit a fortune in all our bank accounts. There is, however, a more attractive aspect to the concept of truth. The word itself comes from the Old English “triewth”, which means faith or constancy. There’s a related word, “troth”, which means trust or loyalty. So truth is originally a moral concept. Speaking in a way which is true to the way things are is closely bound up with being faithful to others. In fact, we couldn’t do the latter without the former. Without mutual trust there couldn’t be any social existence. It’s not surprising, then, that Donald Trump’s cavalier way with the facts is linked with a foul-mouthed contempt for most of his fellow human beings.


Terry Eagleton is a critic, literary theorist, and UnHerd columnist.


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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
8 months ago

Oh grow up Terry and get over your Trump obsession. Do I need to bring out the long list of supposed conspiracy theories that turned out to later be true? I also know plenty of people for whom terms like “God”, “liberty”, and “equality” mean tangible things. You are the postmodernist who believes less and less in things like truth or ideologies (except for socialism). If you care so much about truth, where were you when it came to things like Covid-19, the Russia Collusion Hoax, and claiming CRT was a myth? Then for some reason you play word salad with the concept of “truth”. Here let me help. Truth is stating the facts and ideas of the world as honestly and reasonably as you can. How do you think we got into this mess in the first place?

Last edited 8 months ago by Matt Hindman
John Dellingby
John Dellingby
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The worst thing we have done as a civilisation in modern times is put individual subjectivity on par with (if not above) objective reality. Not saying we shouldn’t consider people’s individual experiences, but we also need to point out that overall, this thing is happening even if it contradicts their argument. Sooner the pendulum swings back the better.

Terry M
TM
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Someone recently reminded me: Reality is still undefeated.

Tony Price
Tony Price
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

I’m confused (easily done). Surely ‘individual subjectivity’ is not the same as ‘individual experience’, which is the very definition of ‘objective reality’, if indeed there is such a thing as objective?

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Someone recently reminded me: Reality is still undefeated.

Tony Price
Tony Price
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

I’m confused (easily done). Surely ‘individual subjectivity’ is not the same as ‘individual experience’, which is the very definition of ‘objective reality’, if indeed there is such a thing as objective?

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

If “Truth is stating the facts and ideas of the world as honestly and reasonably as you can”, then Donald Trump is the highest profile example of the very opposite, and therefore an entirely valid example, not an obsession.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The worst thing we have done as a civilisation in modern times is put individual subjectivity on par with (if not above) objective reality. Not saying we shouldn’t consider people’s individual experiences, but we also need to point out that overall, this thing is happening even if it contradicts their argument. Sooner the pendulum swings back the better.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

If “Truth is stating the facts and ideas of the world as honestly and reasonably as you can”, then Donald Trump is the highest profile example of the very opposite, and therefore an entirely valid example, not an obsession.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
8 months ago

Oh grow up Terry and get over your Trump obsession. Do I need to bring out the long list of supposed conspiracy theories that turned out to later be true? I also know plenty of people for whom terms like “God”, “liberty”, and “equality” mean tangible things. You are the postmodernist who believes less and less in things like truth or ideologies (except for socialism). If you care so much about truth, where were you when it came to things like Covid-19, the Russia Collusion Hoax, and claiming CRT was a myth? Then for some reason you play word salad with the concept of “truth”. Here let me help. Truth is stating the facts and ideas of the world as honestly and reasonably as you can. How do you think we got into this mess in the first place?

Last edited 8 months ago by Matt Hindman
Fred Oakley
Fred Oakley
8 months ago

Load of drivel.

Fred Oakley
Fred Oakley
8 months ago

Load of drivel.

Gordon Black
GB
Gordon Black
8 months ago

‘The Oxford English Dictionary defines “to trump up” as “to invent a false accusation or excuse”.’ Yes, that is true, according to my copy which was published before Donald Trump was born. So what’s your point?

Suzanne C.
SC
Suzanne C.
8 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Is the writer implying that other politicians are more honest than Trump? Because that seems too idiotic a premise on which to base an article this long.

Last edited 8 months ago by Suzanne C.
Alan Hawkes
AH
Alan Hawkes
8 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

I assume that some are.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
8 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

I assume that some are.

Suzanne C.
SC
Suzanne C.
8 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Is the writer implying that other politicians are more honest than Trump? Because that seems too idiotic a premise on which to base an article this long.

Last edited 8 months ago by Suzanne C.
Gordon Black
Gordon Black
8 months ago

‘The Oxford English Dictionary defines “to trump up” as “to invent a false accusation or excuse”.’ Yes, that is true, according to my copy which was published before Donald Trump was born. So what’s your point?

AC Harper
AH
AC Harper
8 months ago

Terry Eagleton espouses half a philosophy presenting it as a complete story, again.
Yes, there are social truths which ebb and flow as fashionable beliefs come and go. The nature of these change with social attitudes. But there is a boundary where social truths do not hold up – they are social lies. Noble lies perhaps but still not truthful.
Some cases are clear cut. The value of pi cannot be 3. The world orbits around the Sun. Speed doesn’t kill but smashing into objects at great velocity can. And rather to the point, absolute moral social truths do not exist – there are too many societies with different moralities, too many different gods, and too many ‘exceptions’ granted for ‘moral’ purposes.

Last edited 8 months ago by AC Harper
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
8 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

And that is the truth.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

“absolute moral social truths do not exist”
Fascism, Nazism and Communism are absolutely evil.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
8 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

And that is the truth.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

“absolute moral social truths do not exist”
Fascism, Nazism and Communism are absolutely evil.

AC Harper
AC Harper
8 months ago

Terry Eagleton espouses half a philosophy presenting it as a complete story, again.
Yes, there are social truths which ebb and flow as fashionable beliefs come and go. The nature of these change with social attitudes. But there is a boundary where social truths do not hold up – they are social lies. Noble lies perhaps but still not truthful.
Some cases are clear cut. The value of pi cannot be 3. The world orbits around the Sun. Speed doesn’t kill but smashing into objects at great velocity can. And rather to the point, absolute moral social truths do not exist – there are too many societies with different moralities, too many different gods, and too many ‘exceptions’ granted for ‘moral’ purposes.

Last edited 8 months ago by AC Harper
Ben P
BP
Ben P
8 months ago

Instead of railing about Trump you might have offered up the post-modern version of sex and gender as distortions of truth.

Ben P
BP
Ben P
8 months ago

Instead of railing about Trump you might have offered up the post-modern version of sex and gender as distortions of truth.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

This article took a strange turn. Most people who are anti-Trump seem to believe that the great Unwashed were gullible fools ‘taken in’ by his ‘lies’. Trump certainly is no paragon of virtue but, unlike our current crop of politicians, never has he pretended to be.
C.S. Lewis summed this sentiment up very well in this oft-quoted passage of his essay on Theology:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” 

Richard Craven
RC
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Thanks for this. My 1st year Eng. Lit. tutor forty years ago set me an essay comparing 1984 and Brave New World, which I think turned on the very point being made by C.S.Lewis.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Thanks for this. My 1st year Eng. Lit. tutor forty years ago set me an essay comparing 1984 and Brave New World, which I think turned on the very point being made by C.S.Lewis.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

This article took a strange turn. Most people who are anti-Trump seem to believe that the great Unwashed were gullible fools ‘taken in’ by his ‘lies’. Trump certainly is no paragon of virtue but, unlike our current crop of politicians, never has he pretended to be.
C.S. Lewis summed this sentiment up very well in this oft-quoted passage of his essay on Theology:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” 

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
8 months ago

Even setting aside his Trump Derangement Syndrome, Terry Eagleton is a rambling, long-winded bore.

Pat Rowles
PR
Pat Rowles
8 months ago

Even setting aside his Trump Derangement Syndrome, Terry Eagleton is a rambling, long-winded bore.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
8 months ago

No one:

Babe, babe, wake up! New Terry Eagleton article just dropped.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Sure. But who’s ever heard that with “insert-name-here’s article just dropped!”?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Sure. But who’s ever heard that with “insert-name-here’s article just dropped!”?

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
8 months ago

No one:

Babe, babe, wake up! New Terry Eagleton article just dropped.

Saul D
Saul D
8 months ago

Some of the great modern truths overturned the dominant ‘truth’ of their day. Evolution. Relativitity. Non-Euclidean geometry. Germ-theory of disease. The nature of oxygen. Our immutable truths must be open to challenge. We have to ask the question, what, if it’s not true, what would that mean? Would it make sense or tell us something new?
And we have to judge most truths as likelihoods weighed by evidence and judgement. There is a chance you are wrong, or missing data, or biased by the observations you see, the articles you read, or the priors you have. You sometimes need to step into other people’s shoes to see a truth as they see it, to understand why both you and they are wrong.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
8 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

What a very sensible comment.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
8 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

What a very sensible comment.

Saul D
Saul D
8 months ago

Some of the great modern truths overturned the dominant ‘truth’ of their day. Evolution. Relativitity. Non-Euclidean geometry. Germ-theory of disease. The nature of oxygen. Our immutable truths must be open to challenge. We have to ask the question, what, if it’s not true, what would that mean? Would it make sense or tell us something new?
And we have to judge most truths as likelihoods weighed by evidence and judgement. There is a chance you are wrong, or missing data, or biased by the observations you see, the articles you read, or the priors you have. You sometimes need to step into other people’s shoes to see a truth as they see it, to understand why both you and they are wrong.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago

According to the ruling ideology of liberalism, you can believe [and do] whatever you like as long as it doesn’t stymie other people’s freedom to do the same, or pose a serious threat to their wellbeing. 
That is now called libertarianism.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

The woke scum call it fascism.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

The woke scum call it fascism.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago

According to the ruling ideology of liberalism, you can believe [and do] whatever you like as long as it doesn’t stymie other people’s freedom to do the same, or pose a serious threat to their wellbeing. 
That is now called libertarianism.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
8 months ago

Thank goodness we live in a world where “you can believe whatever you like as long as it doesn’t stymie other people’s freedom to do the same, or pose a serious threat to their wellbeing”. If the alternative is living in a world where we have to attach credibility to even so much as a sentence of this latest offering from Mr Eagleton, please count me out.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
8 months ago

Thank goodness we live in a world where “you can believe whatever you like as long as it doesn’t stymie other people’s freedom to do the same, or pose a serious threat to their wellbeing”. If the alternative is living in a world where we have to attach credibility to even so much as a sentence of this latest offering from Mr Eagleton, please count me out.

FacRecte NilTime
FacRecte NilTime
8 months ago

Clever clever Terry hopping around like a bird with his clever word games and cleverly juxtaposed quotes ripped from context. Too clever by half to do anything so mundane as draw a conclusion when there are so many shiny objects for his jackdaw mind to snaffle and arrange in pretty patterns. How tiresome it all becomes by the end. And that’s the truth.

FacRecte NilTime
FacRecte NilTime
8 months ago

Clever clever Terry hopping around like a bird with his clever word games and cleverly juxtaposed quotes ripped from context. Too clever by half to do anything so mundane as draw a conclusion when there are so many shiny objects for his jackdaw mind to snaffle and arrange in pretty patterns. How tiresome it all becomes by the end. And that’s the truth.

Steve White
SW
Steve White
8 months ago

I think you have raised some important truths. However, I don’t think an important truth is being left out of the discussion, and that is this. The old idiom that if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything is still a truism. So when you had a culture like America who formerly agreed on those protestant, puritanical (aka: attempting to take the bible seriously) beliefs which gave form to the commonly held universal ethics such as the so called “family values”, and then you detach them from that, hollowing them out, you can fill the void of that formal religion with something else, even something totally secular. Such as global warming, politics, social transformation, gender issues, race issues, etc.
Advancing those causes gives mankind a deeper purpose, a deeper meaning to their existence. Today if someone was to seek to control those hollowed out people with top-down information pressed down on them they could.
I think it’s true that weaker people, those who consider themselves vulnerable, often single women, or low-confidence men all parse information through a filter, not of “is this true?” but of “is this safe to believe and say?”.
Because fitting into the chosen tribe makes them safe, and if every screen they see, and every voice they hear is saying the same thing over and over again, well, that must be the right “safe” view, and so, anyone who expresses a different position is dangerous, radical, harmful, etc. So, the current state of things is something that I don’t think just happened, but it’s been promoted by those who want to control. Those who want to say what the truth is today, and censor, shut out, and silence those that aren’t useful.

Last edited 8 months ago by Steve White
Steve White
SW
Steve White
8 months ago

I think you have raised some important truths. However, I don’t think an important truth is being left out of the discussion, and that is this. The old idiom that if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything is still a truism. So when you had a culture like America who formerly agreed on those protestant, puritanical (aka: attempting to take the bible seriously) beliefs which gave form to the commonly held universal ethics such as the so called “family values”, and then you detach them from that, hollowing them out, you can fill the void of that formal religion with something else, even something totally secular. Such as global warming, politics, social transformation, gender issues, race issues, etc.
Advancing those causes gives mankind a deeper purpose, a deeper meaning to their existence. Today if someone was to seek to control those hollowed out people with top-down information pressed down on them they could.
I think it’s true that weaker people, those who consider themselves vulnerable, often single women, or low-confidence men all parse information through a filter, not of “is this true?” but of “is this safe to believe and say?”.
Because fitting into the chosen tribe makes them safe, and if every screen they see, and every voice they hear is saying the same thing over and over again, well, that must be the right “safe” view, and so, anyone who expresses a different position is dangerous, radical, harmful, etc. So, the current state of things is something that I don’t think just happened, but it’s been promoted by those who want to control. Those who want to say what the truth is today, and censor, shut out, and silence those that aren’t useful.

Last edited 8 months ago by Steve White
Philip Gerrans
Philip Gerrans
8 months ago

Terry is such a tedious windbag. Does he pay Unherd to publish his stuff. He’s 80 in the shade and hasn’t had a thought for twenty years. Please stop.

Philip Gerrans
Philip Gerrans
8 months ago

Terry is such a tedious windbag. Does he pay Unherd to publish his stuff. He’s 80 in the shade and hasn’t had a thought for twenty years. Please stop.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
8 months ago

I don’t know many people who think that a car bomb killing fellow citizens isn’t part of reality, so I fail to see how we’ve been weakened, at least in this respect, by becoming, “… increasingly sceptical and relativist.” A little less inclined to believe that Islam is “a religion of peace,” as some politicians assure us, perhaps, though that seems to reflect a healthy scepticism.

Alan Hawkes
AH
Alan Hawkes
8 months ago

I don’t know many people who think that a car bomb killing fellow citizens isn’t part of reality, so I fail to see how we’ve been weakened, at least in this respect, by becoming, “… increasingly sceptical and relativist.” A little less inclined to believe that Islam is “a religion of peace,” as some politicians assure us, perhaps, though that seems to reflect a healthy scepticism.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
8 months ago

Matt Hindman needs repeating
” Oh grow up Terry and get over your Trump obsession. Do I need to bring out the long list of supposed conspiracy theories that turned out to later be true? (nb In fact all of them re Trump) ….. If you care so much about truth, where were you when it came to things like Covid-19, the Russia Collusion Hoax, and claiming CRT was a myth? Then for some reason you play word salad with the concept of “truth”. Here let me help. Truth is stating the facts and ideas of the world as honestly and reasonably as you can. “

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
8 months ago

Matt Hindman needs repeating
” Oh grow up Terry and get over your Trump obsession. Do I need to bring out the long list of supposed conspiracy theories that turned out to later be true? (nb In fact all of them re Trump) ….. If you care so much about truth, where were you when it came to things like Covid-19, the Russia Collusion Hoax, and claiming CRT was a myth? Then for some reason you play word salad with the concept of “truth”. Here let me help. Truth is stating the facts and ideas of the world as honestly and reasonably as you can. “

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago

“Other people’s beliefs are ideological in the sense of being rigid, doctrinaire, immune to argument and detached from the practical world, whereas one’s own convictions are flexible, pragmatic and eminently reasonable. Capping child allowance so that more families are plunged into poverty is pretty much common sense in an economic crisis, while heavily taxing the oil companies springs from socialist dogma.”
Boringly blatant non-sequitur. Come on Terry. Do better.

Richard Craven
RC
Richard Craven
8 months ago

“Other people’s beliefs are ideological in the sense of being rigid, doctrinaire, immune to argument and detached from the practical world, whereas one’s own convictions are flexible, pragmatic and eminently reasonable. Capping child allowance so that more families are plunged into poverty is pretty much common sense in an economic crisis, while heavily taxing the oil companies springs from socialist dogma.”
Boringly blatant non-sequitur. Come on Terry. Do better.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
8 months ago
Reply to  laura m

Well chosen, thanks!

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
8 months ago
Reply to  laura m

Well chosen, thanks!