The contemporary proliferation of bullshit also has deeper sources, in various forms of skepticism which deny that we can have any reliable access to an objective reality and which therefore reject the possibility of knowing how things truly are. These "anti-realist" doctrines undermine confidence in the value of disinterested efforts to determine what is true and what is false, and even in the intelligibility of the notion of objective inquiry. One response to this loss of confidence has been a retreat from the discipline required by dedication to the ideal of correctness to a quite different sort of discipline, which is imposed by pursuit of an alternative ideal of sincerity. Rather than seeking primarily to arrive at accurate representations of a common world, the individual turns toward trying to provide honest representations of himself. Convinced that reality has no inherent nature, which he might hope to identify as the truth about things, he devotes himself to being true to his own nature. It is as though he decides that since it makes no sense to try to be true to the facts, he must therefore try instead to be true to himself. But it is preposterous to imagine that we ourselves are determinate, and hence susceptible both to correct and to incorrect descriptions, while supposing that the ascription of determinacy to anything else has been exposed as a mistake. As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things, and we cannot know ourselves at all without knowing them. Moreover, there is nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in experience, to support the extraordinary judgment that it is the truth about himself that is the easiest for a person to know. Facts about ourselves are not peculiarly solid and resistant to skeptical dissolution. Our natures are, indeed, elusively insubstantial -- notoriously less stable and less inherent than the natures of other things. And insofar as this is the case, sincerity itself is bullshit.
[Truth] [Honesty] [Reality] [Bullshit] [Sincerity] [Harry G. Frankfurt]
Outside, the ocean was crashing, waves hitting sand, then pulling back to sea. I thought of everything being washed away, again and again. We make such messes in this life, both accidentally and on purpose. But wiping the surface clean doesn't really make anything neater. It just masks what is below. It's only when you really dig down deep, go underground, that you can see who you really are.
[Sarah Dessen] [Reality] [Realization] [Self Discovery]
There?s no way that Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand droople billion dollars and then there?s people starving. There?s no way! There?s no way that these people should own planes and there people don?t have houses. Apartments. Shacks. Drawers. Pants! I know you?re rich. I know you got 40 billion dollars, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need ONE house. And if you only got two kids, can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there?s somebody with no room?! It just don?t make sense to me. It don?t.
[Money] [Reality] [Poverty] [Rich] [Tupac Shakur] [Hungry]
Harry Potter isn?t real? Oh no! Wait, wait, what do you mean by real? Is this video blog real? Am I real if you can see me and hear me, but only through the internet? Are you real if I can read your comment but I don?t know who you are or what your name is or where you?re from or what you look like or how old you are? I know all of those things about Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter?s real and you?re not.
[Funny] [John Green] [Reality]
...if something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn't there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That's why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.
[Fantasy] [Imagination] [Fiction] [Reality] [On Fiction] [Illusions] [Imaginary] [Children S] [Norton Juster]