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noble lie

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    Posted: 26 May 2017 at 22:30
Plato, in his 10 'book' dialogue on Justice, the Republic, advocated the noble lie.  In other words, something that is necessary for us to believe is true, because of its needed effect on society, but not because it is true.  In fact, one might say that a noble lie is so necessary, that we have problems even admitting it to ourselves. Do we believe in such things as justice, because they are true, or because they are so necessary, and what is the difference.  So the question I ask is, are there noble lies?  Lies that are necessary for "society" and are noble to believe, but when you get to the bottom, that is a problem do we ever truly get to the bottom?  Are there noble lies, and can we even admit them if there are?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2017 at 10:51
The film Casablanca illustrates a noble lie in terms of romance and drama. Perfectly feasible. But then politicians use this ploy all the time. It becomes a little less noble when the truth is exposed.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2017 at 22:13
I don't remember Casablanca very well, I would appreciate if you elaborated on it, Caldrail.

One thing about Plato's noble lie is that we can barely, ever, even admit it to ourselves.  Like Heinlein says in his sayings of Lazarus Long, "Some delusions are functional, a mother's belief that her child is cute keeps her from strangling it at birth."  We can admit the mother's "delusion," and a mother can even joke about it.  But a mother cannot truly grapple with it, and still be motherly.  

The ancient Athenians had a myth that they were autochthonous, or born from the soil.  In America, we sometimes call ourselves a nation of immigrants.  Franklin Deleno Roosevelt addressed the Daughters of the American Revolution, and started out, "my fellow immigrants...."  How many societies have myths that they were autochthonous, and how necessary in that society is that belief?

In Rome, from what I understand, people were called autochthonous when they had no family history.  They were the "rabble" (my word) that had always been around, and always would be.  Autochthonous sounds much neater than rabble, or hoi polloi ('the many' in Greek)




Edited by franciscosan - 12 Jun 2017 at 23:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2017 at 13:21
In the closing scenes of Casablanca, Rick tells the husband that his wife was subject to his attentions but did not submit, allowing her to escape the Germans on a flight to Portugal along with her partner, even though the separation is killing them both inside. Classic moment - I'm surprised you're not familiar with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 2017 at 22:10
I'll have to watch it again, check it out of the library.  Is it a lie?  Is it meant to fool?  Or is it a polite fiction, that everybody will believe in for convenience sake?  I sometimes think that is how noble lies work, everybody accepts something, I mean, not so much for "convenience," but it is a tacit agreement of society that, for example, mother's always love their children, and so forth.  Rick gives the husband an out, which the husband probably gladly accepts.  Of course, it also gives Rick an out and also Bacall's character an out, in that their lives each come to a resolution too.  Everybody is making sacrifices for "the greater good."

I believe that France passed a law around the time of the revolution, that a woman's husband is the father of her child.  I don't know if that is practical or convenient or what?

I don't remember the numbers, but there was a poll sometime that asked people how they would rate their neighborhood, something like 80% of the people thought that their neighborhood was above average.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2017 at 17:06
It seems we have always had noble lies, Socrates is looking for a state "brand" I think.
Every city, village hamlet etc has an origin story that ties people to a place, right?

If the second part of the lie is considered then it's about power and the devotion of 'auxiliary' forces. The state can't enlighten the mind of every man and make him a philosopher. The state can rule by force.  

Did Socrates just come out and say what everyone already knew? 

Wasn't the practice of lying to the rabble as old as any city?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2017 at 01:46
American exceptionalism is a noble lie.  Note, that even while saying it is a lie, I believe in American exceptionalism.  One might conclude that from the statement it is a lie, that it is not true, but that is not what happens.  It is a myth, but myths are more powerful than "logic," as the Muse in Hesiod acknowledges.  Facts may be true seeming, but they are inferior to myth, as long as one accepts myth, _as_Myth_.  The most powerful of which is probably the paradox of the noble lie.  American exceptionalism is the myth that Reagan liked to refer to, the city on the hill.  We (US) are probably better when we try to follow that in the world, rather than isolationism.

Barack Obama as President told businessmen that they didn't do it alone, essentially that "they didn't deserve their success."  Which goes against another noble lie, that the businessman is a self-made man, and did it all himself, finding out something he could do or make, and figuring out what he could do in return.  The market, pursuing enlightened self-interest, and others pursuing it as well.  Barack Obama wanted to substitute one kind of noble lie for another, namely one owes everything to the state and society (the state is all, and the individual nothing, except le etat cest moi.), versus the can-do initiative, of the self-made man working in the free marketplace.  Look at Obama's father, a communist who believed that people could be taxed at 100%, as long as the government gave it back in services.  

Of course, in such a situation, we know who is being served, and who is getting "serviced?"  In the United States, those who are being served, those getting the most money from the Federal Government, having been paid in everybody (else), is New York, the City of New York.  New York, where Donald Trump was from, and where Hillary Clinton moved to as a carpet-bagger.  NYC, the big tick sucking on the Federal jugular.  Maybe that is another noble myth, that we have two parties, which are "really" two sides of the same coin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 2017 at 15:28
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

American exceptionalism is a noble lie.  Note, that even while saying it is a lie, I believe in American exceptionalism.  One might conclude that from the statement it is a lie, that it is not true, but that is not what happens.  It is a myth, but myths are more powerful than "logic," as the Muse in Hesiod acknowledges.  Facts may be true seeming, but they are inferior to myth, as long as one accepts myth, _as_Myth_.  The most powerful of which is probably the paradox of the noble lie.  American exceptionalism is the myth that Reagan liked to refer to, the city on the hill.  We (US) are probably better when we try to follow that in the world, rather than isolationism.

You and I can believe in American exceptionalism bc there is evidence of a better quality of life. Of course 'quality' is subjective.
Facts are inferior bc a larger narrative, created on the fly will appeal to the virtues in humanity while serving a perverse, darker objective. The Code of Chivalry as represented in the Song of Roland details the expectations for Medieval knights. 
  • To fear God and maintain His Church
  • To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succour to widows and orphans
  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward
  • To fight for the welfare of all
  • To obey those placed in authority
  • To guard the honour of fellow knights
  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
  • To keep faith
  • At all times to speak the truth
  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
  • To respect the honour of women
  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
  • Never to turn the back upon a foe
If you consider that the definitions of honor, valor, authority, faith and God were strictly defined in the Medieval period; evidently those terms and ideals manipulated the behavior of auxiliary loyalists to the state.
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


Barack Obama as President told businessmen that they didn't do it alone, essentially that "they didn't deserve their success."  Which goes against another noble lie, that the businessman is a self-made man, and did it all himself, finding out something he could do or make, and figuring out what he could do in return.  The market, pursuing enlightened self-interest, and others pursuing it as well.  Barack Obama wanted to substitute one kind of noble lie for another, namely one owes everything to the state and society (the state is all, and the individual nothing, except le etat cest moi.), versus the can-do initiative, of the self-made man working in the free marketplace.  Look at Obama's father, a communist who believed that people could be taxed at 100%, as long as the government gave it back in services.
There is a level of independence as a small business owner, you have some lateral mobility if you need to accommodate your personal life. 

Barry the Sun King, couldn't agree more.


Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Of course, in such a situation, we know who is being served, and who is getting "serviced?"  In the United States, those who are being served, those getting the most money from the Federal Government, having been paid in everybody (else), is New York, the City of New York.  New York, where Donald Trump was from, and where Hillary Clinton moved to as a carpet-bagger.  NYC, the big tick sucking on the Federal jugular.  Maybe that is another noble myth, that we have two parties, which are "really" two sides of the same coin.

People are not accepting these literary constructions from politicians. It's too easy to fact check and debunk misrepresentations.  The two parties are co dependent.


Edited by Vanuatu - 31 Jul 2017 at 15:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 00:02
I am not sure what you mean by 'quality' being subjective.  I have a friend who has been buying up German tools, and they are, hands down, ergonomically more efficient, and safer.  If you want the right tool for the job, these are what you get, if you financially want to cut corners, but maybe also cut fingers, buy others.  The German tools are superior, other brands are merely "good enough" which is not what you want for fine work, or to preserve fingers.  Some people would believe it is a matter of choice, I don't do woodwork, but I would consider it a matter of getting the right tool for the job, and a matter of keeping fingers.

I said, "maybe that is another noble myth," I meant noble lie.  We have to believe it, but it is probably not as true as we would like.  I am not sure that it breaking down is a good thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 03:26
By quality I mean how does it rate? A young, disengaged criminal isn't going to think that America is full of opportunity. 

He's going to say that the quality of life is not good for him.
He's going to go out and burn things with his friends bc he doesn't believe that noble lie about America.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 23:07
No, he is not going to think it is full of opportunity, not with the media and the liberals constantly harping on how the system is stacked against him and it is so unfair.  Not while he is preoccupied with crony capitalists seeming to get ahead because of who they know not what they know.  myths for liberals are meant to be dispelled, even if they serve important functions are roles, liberals feel like they are serving an important function or role by tearing down the noble lies of civilization.  It is really just the philosopher for Plato that should know it is a noble *lie*, everybody else should know that it is noble to believe and stop at that.  Some illusions are functional, and the philosopher knows to leave them in their functionality alone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 01:17
Quote "Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Having never had something, is to not miss what you have never known and get on with life. Having had it, and lost it, is to pine for it's return forever.

So, is the first part a noble line in literature?
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2017 at 22:41
The criteria for poetry is beauty.  Tennyson is poetry.  Plato, who is talking about the noble lie, (not noble line) is very much against poetry, albeit the poetry of his time because poetry stirs up all kinds of sentiment and feeling, that are not useful to "clear" thinking or for that matter, for the group-think of the city-state.

Tennyson's view is that it is better to feel some emotions, some sentiments, and have a fuller experience of life, than it is to have a more truncated emotional life of never having loved.  That at least is my interpretation.  But he is saying that in a poetic way, which is meant to sweep up the listener/reader in the saying, and tug on the heartstrings.  Plato wouldn't like that it is poetic, emotional, and that it "manipulates" by tugging on the heartstrings, but I would consider it as a noble sentiment, whether or not it is lie, is above my pay grade.

Of course, the best thing is to have loved and won.  Although, even then eventually there will come a parting of ways, through death if nothing else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2017 at 12:40
I wanted this and I wanted that
So my bank manager and I sat down for a chat
He said my balance wasn't big enough to pay
and if I had more money I could buy today
So where does one achieve such wealth?
By careful saving or criminal stealth?
The truth is that I knew some friends
and thought that they might serve my ends
Sorry, one told me in a tearful state
Marital breakdown would mean that I must wait
So hence I concocted my master plan
To get them together hand in hand
I told the other they wanted to renew
the life they led and love for two.
Thus they were happy, no longer alone
And afforded me a very big loan
So I kept my lovely three bedroom home
And drove that Ferrari of my very own
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2017 at 19:47
A friend of mine is self taught on the piano.
Years ago, he decided he wanted to learn a piece from Chopin.
He expressed his frustration to a friend (who knew piano),
this friend said, "you can do it."
So he went back and eventually learned the piece.
Coming back to his friend, his friend said,
'you know, I didn't know you could do it, I
just wanted to encourage you.'
So was this a noble lie?  A self fulfilling prophecy?
what?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2017 at 13:29
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

A friend of mine is self taught on the piano.
Years ago, he decided he wanted to learn a piece from Chopin.
He expressed his frustration to a friend (who knew piano),
this friend said, "you can do it."
So he went back and eventually learned the piece.
Coming back to his friend, his friend said,
'you know, I didn't know you could do it, I
just wanted to encourage you.'
So was this a noble lie?  A self fulfilling prophecy?
what?

It is belief. A friend who knew said it could be done and that statement was believed. Do you know who Napoleon Hill was? He wrote "Think and Grow Rich" and most of his work is about the mental attitude required to accomplish a goal. His method for acquiring wealth was developed from the habits of successful people. 
Telling someone "you can do it" doesn't seem like any kind of lie unless you are 100% sure that they can't do it.


Edited by Vanuatu - 14 Aug 2017 at 15:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2017 at 22:19
I am intrigued by the idea of whether one can discover something new, or original, based on a lie.
For example, what kind of headspace does believing in Atlantis put someone?  From that headspace and nowhere else could they discover something, not discoverable otherwise?  
Or if you believe that Jesus as the messiah and savior is a lie, what kind of headspace can belief in the virgin birth, the resurrection, etc, place someone in, and from there what can they discover?

I am not sure the friend was "believed," I kinda figure that my friend was encouraged to go further, and that turned out to be enough.  But I doubt that my friend after his friend encouraged him, that my friend was totally confident that he could do it.  Rather he was confident enough to drive to the top of the next hill, and it turned out to be all downhill from there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2017 at 08:24
So, I could say, "I really like you Franciscosan," which would be a noble lie, so as not to hurt your feelings?  Wink
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2017 at 01:25
I don't think you are supposed to tell someone that you are telling a noble lie, and even if you do, what you say should be something that they cannot help but believe.  Of course, I believe that everybody loves me, it just sometimes because they are ashamed at the depth of their love, that they react poorly towards me. HeartHeartHeart Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 10:17
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I don't think you are supposed to tell someone that you are telling a noble lie, and even if you do, what you say should be something that they cannot help but believe.  Of course, I believe that everybody loves me, it just sometimes because they are ashamed at the depth of their love, that they react poorly towards me. HeartHeartHeart Wink

Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 20:55
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I am intrigued by the idea of whether one can discover something new, or original, based on a lie.
For example, what kind of headspace does believing in Atlantis put someone?  From that headspace and nowhere else could they discover something, not discoverable otherwise?  
Or if you believe that Jesus as the messiah and savior is a lie, what kind of headspace can belief in the virgin birth, the resurrection, etc, place someone in, and from there what can they discover?

Kind of illuminates the limitations of medieval science. If you are restricted and bound by a particular head space you would keep getting shut down when you hit those limits. You wouldn't even grow as person emotionally and that would reflect in the attitudes of the society at large. 

There is an account of punishment for adultery in Florence, 12th century. It describes the woman involved being stripped naked and forced to walk the 'walk of shame' through town. The whole way people freely abuse her in the most disgusting ways. And this was prescribed by the perceived authority at the time, the Church of Rome. How much could an individual break out of that psychic confinement?


Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I am not sure the friend was "believed," I kinda figure that my friend was encouraged to go further, and that turned out to be enough.  But I doubt that my friend after his friend encouraged him, that my friend was totally confident that he could do it.  Rather he was confident enough to drive to the top of the next hill, and it turned out to be all downhill from there.

It's probably instinctive for an optimist to be encouraging. 
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 23:41
Vanuatu,
I don't really know why you placed it in the context of medieval science.  Although virgin birth, etc,
come up in medieval theology, but don't start from there but from late antiquity.  Theology is a science in the medieval scheme of things, the queen of the sciences, but in the Anglo-American world it isn't so much.
But think in terms of UFOs or Loch Ness, or Bermuda triangle.  Can being open to unknown 'wonders' open up a new and enlightening perspective on on life, the universe and everything?  Or, to put it another way, can it get you a hot date??? ;) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 hours 38 minutes ago at 03:58
I went to Catholic school, could they handle it?

Yes being open to wonders does change the world that one lives in. Einstein walking out into traffic- the world doesn't even exist for him! 

Anyone who did LSD, DMT , Ayahuasca or those with so called disorders like ADHD would have expanded consciousness in some respects. Think of Pink Floyd and so many other psychedelic bands. 

Belief in contact with extraterrestrials may be the modern version of the biblical visits from Angels. Certainly people touched by those visions stood out in a crowd, like alien and Bigfoot enthusiasts. 


The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 hours 17 minutes ago at 04:19
Franciscosan

Quote Theology is a science in the medieval scheme of things, the queen of the sciences, but in the Anglo-American world it isn't so much.

To many, Theology is still a form of science. But in modern day when the basis of Christian theology, the Bible, has been called into question so many times on so many issues is it any wonder that is now falling out of favour?

To claim that there is a supernatural (?) being looking over all of us, loving us and caring for us, is simply codswallop, but the noble lie in the preaching of churches is that it provides millons with some form of comfort throughout their lives.

So mote it be!
I often wonder why I try.
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