Much like the bodily function of defecation itself, bulls*** seems to be necessary for survival. In our instant messaging, real-time blogging, pseudo-information society, we are not comfortable with silence or ignorance and, consequently, feel urgently compelled to fill empty spaces with something…with anything. In addition to being the perfect dinner guest, BS is also useful to have around during conversations with your boss or when you run into an old high school classmate.
Harry G. Frankfurt, a retired professor of philosophy from Princeton, in his “New York Times” bestseller, “On Bulls***”, seeks to precisely distinguish BS from truth telling, lying and nonsense. He poses the notion that something can still be true but also BS. On the other hand, bulls*** is not a deliberate lie. He then explores why BS is less reprehensible than lying.
This week’s Café Society discussion will explore the reasons we engage in bulls***, why we tolerate it, not just in our personal interactions but also from those who represent us in our schools, cities and nation. Why do we sit idly while fed misleading advertisements, ad nauseum, for products, services, pills then turn around and buy what companies are pushing?
What does the pervasiveness of bulls*** in our culture say about us? Are we too lazy to determine fact from fiction? Are we satisfied with being mislead? Have we abandoned a concern for truth or have we ever had one?
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For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.