Bullshit, One of the Great Flaws of Mankind

Topics: Lie, Bullshit, On Bullshit Pages: 3 (1251 words) Published: August 26, 2013
In the debate over whether bullshit is worse than lying the opponents argue that bullshit is not worse lying because Frankfurt’s argument was not strong enough and thereby give numerous examples as to why bullshit is not worse than lies are. On the other side of the debate the supporters argue that bullshitting is worse than lying because the person committing the act of bullshitting does not have to have any ties or respect to what the truth is or is not as opposed to lying where the liar knows exactly what the truth is and therefore must pay respect to the truth. In this essay, I will argue that bullshitting is worse than lying and should therefore be a less tolerated than lying. In the article titled, “On Bullshit”, Harry G Frankfurt concludes that bullshitting is in numerous ways worse than lying. Frankfurt goes on to say that he believes that bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are. Frankfurt states that both in lying and telling the truth people are guided by their beliefs concerning the way things are. Frankfurt states that the bullshitter, on the other hand, makes assertions without paying attention to anything except what it suits them to say. Frankfurt states that the liar pays respects to the truth by knowing exactly what it is and telling the opposite but that the bullshitter ignores the truth altogether. This, Frankfurt states, is why bullshit is even worse than lies are. Frankfurt first starts by comparing the word bullshit to words similar in meaning such as balderdash, claptrap, hokum, and quackery however, Frankfurt makes a special reference to the word humbug citing its meaning as “deceptive misrepresentation short of lying, especially by a pretentious word or deed….” Frankfurt states that humbug has many similar characteristics to the word bullshit. Frankfurt states that humbug and bullshit are similar in that both intend to deceive. Frankfurt also states that both humbug and bullshit fall into the category of short of...
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