Why Bruce Bawer refuses to lie about Islam

From Bruce Bawer at PJ Media,

Quick answer: It’s a matter of living with the truth. For some of us, that’s important. People who have lived under totalitarian regimes but who now enjoy freedom understand this in a way that suburban American twenty-somethings may not. No, none of us can ever know the whole truth about any subject. But if we live in a free country, we are free to inquire, to study, to struggle for knowledge of the truth, and that is a freedom to be cherished.

Equally precious is our right to articulate the truth and act responsibly upon it. There are whole lives based on lies, whole marriages based on lies, and whole societies based on lies. To study Communist history is to see what kind of society takes shape when people feel compelled to assent to the truth of a proposition that they know to be false. I’ve just begun reading Orlando Figes’s 2007 book The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia, described on its back cover as “the story of ordinary people in Stalin’s Russia, a world where everyone was afraid to talk and a society spoke in whispers.” A society, in short, of necessary lies and forbidden truths. More.

Reality check: We are already far down the path if our politicians feel that they can inform us that a mass murderer does not really represent the religious tradition he claims he does. And we are supposed to just accept that and strew flowers and teddy bears at the scene of tragedies. And never, never to ask, what evidence is there that he doesn’t represent that tradition? Is he almost universally reviled among Muslims?

If you know people who find the “necessary lies and forbidden truths” acceptable, stop knowing them – or at best know them distantly. (I speak to people who, like me, hate confrontations with Virtuous (but deadly) Signallers, people who would sacrifice their own children for their public Correctness. And yet I want to live.

Make a point of not offering flowers and teddy bears, just short, sharp condolences. There will be plenty more victims, the way we are going.

See also: If you love your kid, don’t choose Katy Perry True love is inseparable from reality-based thinking. Paying any further attention to people like Katie Perry is bad for anyone’s longevity.

and

How can we defend the right to think for ourselves? You need true grit and a thick skin

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  • CodexCoder

    How can we defend the right to think for ourselves? The answer is hard and requires work.

    First, you have to reward truth and punish lies even if it costs you personally and it starts with children and politicians. That which is rewarded is repeated. If you allow either a child or a politician to lie to your face and you don’t punish them, then you get more of the same.

    Second, facts matter. Not just some facts, all of the facts. This used to be the job of journalists and schools, but now it falls to bloggers and individuals. The school system is not helping by allowing children (and future politicians) to skate through unscathed with little rewards for just being there. (Did I mention that “That which is rewarded is repeated” – just look at Justin in his interview with Kelly Ripa – how embarrassing!)

    Third, ignorance is not bliss. Oh, it might seem blissful for a while, but eventually, ignorance is self-destructive because your actions pass beyond your understanding and you rely on dumb luck to get you through the day. And when your luck fails, you get a punishment that only ignorance of reality can bring and it may cost you your life (used to be called thinning the herd). It is real work to become or remain informed – just ask the bloggers.