Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meaning of Life for Liar! Liar!

Panderbear - Publisher and Editor
The full title of this blog is 'Liar! Liar! Pandering Politicians and Rational Public Policy'. Panderbear attempts to keep posts within the parameters suggested by the blog's name. However, Panderbear's primary motive in creating this blog is not entirely captured by its title.

Panderbear thinks the human race is a work in progress. It is in some respects incomplete, as a child is not a fully-realized adult. Indeed, if maturity is defined as having one's emotions subservient to and always in the service of one's intellect, then few humans ever truly reach adulthood. Panderbear has certainly not reached that pinnacle, but considers it a worthy goal.

Human beings have the ability to perform fact-based logical reasoning and yet all too frequently fail to do so, often making decisions based on emotion and prior bias which makes them easy prey for pandering politicians. Panderbear is neither opposed to nor immune to human emotion, but it has its place, and that place is not in the making of important decisions regarding public policy. The making of public policies and their implementation must be the realm of our most rational thinking and best science or they will surely fail.

All of us are subject in some measure to the anachronistic evolutionary traits of xenophobia and confirmation bias. These traits served us well in a pre-civilized world, but now are the sources of much social and political strife and targets of much pandering. Xenophobia and confirmation bias are among the great enemies of modern civilization. They are worthy foes. Struggling against these stumbling blocks to a more peaceful and productive society and a more perfect union is part of Panderbear's ulterior motive in creating Liar! Liar!

If you read this blog and take the posts at face value then you are missing its underlying message. In order to judge or make sound arguments one must verify that the premises are true and that any conclusions follow from those premises. That's an ideal that we strive for here at Liar! Liar! even though constraints on post length work against it. Where incompletely supported conclusions appear in one post, hopefully they are more completely argued in another.

So Panderbear's message and the meaning of life for Liar! Liar! boils down to a process of discarding prior biases, checking the facts of any public policy issue from multiple sources, and applying logical, fallacy-free reasoning to reach sound conclusions and opinions free of panderers' machinations. That may sound like a tough challenge. It is. Panderbear never said it would be easy. Nevertheless, the world will be a better place for our having made the effort.

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