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what's the most dishonest word?

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:02 am
by mennonite
what is the most dishonest word in the english language?

(alternatively, what is the most nebulous concept in the english langauge? i'll tolerate oxymorons, but i'm hoping people won't participate in this one without either giving a word of their own or at least supporting a word that has already been given.)

my entry: Proof.

the concept of "proof" will not protect the truth or shellac it into place. once the "truth" (whatever that could be) has been proven it will still be debated. even truth is challenged in the future. using the word "proof" will never ultimately protect anything from future scrutiny.

on the other hand, saying a lie has been "proven" to be truth will slow down someone saying "wait a minute, but that's not true at all..." after all, there's proof. and there's an "end" to it.

while i believe (to a limited degree) in the more honest idea of "evidence..." at least it carries the idea that there's a chance it is imperfect or might even be nothing at all... the idea of proof strikes me as extremely dishonest, like a man standing in front of a building with flames and smoke issuing from the roof saying "alright folks, nothing to see here."

well of course there's smoke and fire, what he means is "please ignore what's right in front of you, and *pretend* there's nothing to see here." in the case of a building that could fall over and harm you, sometimes it might be best for people to ignore it. however, it's still dishonest (at least, untrue) to tell people it's "nothing," and that's the whole point.

so if "proof" is not the most dishonest word in the english language, what is?

would love your thoughts on it.

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:06 am
by MystikShadows
I would say truth is the most dishonest word. And that's the truth ;-).

Seriously though. When you think of it, what is truth? It's what we've been tought to believe is true. But what is it? Truth, depending on the context has many meanings. Today, Illusionists has shown is that what we believe we see, hear, feel, smell or touch, may or may not be truth. If it's not the must dishonest word in the dictionary, it's definitaly the most hypocritical. :-).

hmm :)

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:34 am
by mennonite
love your answer. i almost think the two are synonymous, at least here... but that's the whole thing isn't it?

using "proof" you can turn a lie (something that exists) into "truth"... which may or may not.

of course, i believe it's possible to be "truthful" as it's a matter of intention. "lie" also denotes intention. but "truth" indicates purity, information without flaw, perfection... and isn't really the opposite of "lie" at all... usually it's a bit of a lie in and of itself.

thanks for your post, it was cool.

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:22 am
by MystikShadows
LOL you're very welcome :-)....

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:31 am
by guest
i'll go with "polititian" the most corrupt profession
it assumes consensus amoung many other shades
of camoflauge but never is...

Re: hmm :)

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:32 am
by Guest
using "proof" you can turn a lie (something that exists) into "truth"... which may or may not.


you'll like the old quote then...

nothing is so absurd that if not repeated often enough
becomes fact...


Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:30 pm
by mennonite
i agree with you, but i'm not going to help this become a political thread after starting a religious one not long ago :) you're on your own there. although it did remind me of another smirking maxim: "if it's not working, do more of it."

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:32 pm
by Pete
There's no such thing as a dishonest word. Only people can be dishonest. Words are just tools used to communicate, whether or not the messages they send are legitimate.

thats a good point pete, you'd like my other thread

Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:17 pm
by mennonite
in the qbasic forum, where i'm better known at least, this thread is called "the most nebulous word"...

while i may have phrased it in a way that's less... accurate here (your point is valid) the idea is that these are words that lend themselves to dishonesty because they point to things that either do not exist, cannot exist, or are not likely to exist.

they may not be dishonest, in and of themselves, but they are certainly nebulous. imagine the conceptual equivilent of "return without gosub"... "return? wha? return from Where?"

althought i agree with you, your post does unfortunately (it's not your fault) remind me of the "guns don't kill people" argument. no one on this forum (and probably no one on the other forum) could guess my stance on gun rights, but i do like what eddie izzard said: "i think the gun helps... i just think just standing there going, 'Bang!' that's not going to kill too many people, is it? you'd have to be really dodgy on the heart to have that."

no, words are not dishonest, and i wouldn't strike any of them from the language, (i absolutely love how free your site is.) but if we are going to use and read words that are typically used in a dodgy fashion, it's best to know they are so we can parse them... after all, whether "people" are behind them or not, it's best not to ever look into the barrel of a gun. chances are it won't kill you on its own :) another version: "computers don't make mistakes," it requires human error. well, okay, but humans can make bigger errors with computers than they can without them. like the atom bomb that needed all the calculations to be built properly. but then atom bombs don't kill people... :D

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:28 am
by matt2jones
guns don't kill people
I like to look at it this way. Guns don't kill people, bullets do.

bullets don't MURDER people, humans do.

And killing isn't whats illegal or detrimental to society, murder is.

matt - likes the sound of the word murder. (19 today BTW)

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:50 am
by MystikShadows
lol....well happy birthday matt :-)...19 huh? wow...I remember when I was that

and many more

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:57 pm
by mennonite
hey, happy birthday matt...

of course, the best way to kill someone with a bullet is to put it in a gun, and then have a person shoot the gun, but monkeys work too.

the rest of the routine went something like: "guns dont kill people, people do, but sometimes monkeys do, if they've got a gun."

you could also throw the bullet, really, really hard. or you could stab someone with it, but i recommend a sword. but swords don't kill people! only long blades do. so if you have a sword with no blade on it, that won't hurt anyone... unless you beat them with it or something. wait, maybe swords are more dangerous than i thought... hey, this has nothing to do with the thread at all :( but it is fun though :)