Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lies, all lies

One of the tenets of the Nazi party was: People will more readily believe a big lie than a small one. I'm curious to know firstly whether you think this claim is true or not, and if it is, then why we would be more inclined to believe that big lie. What then differentiates a big lie from a small one?

On a related note, can our percieved truths act like a spectrum, where something appears so inconceivable that we think that therefore it's true?


Vvyynn said...

I guess I must always be the one to get the first word in. Well, I think that we are told a massive lie, however we have no other information proving the contrary, then we will assume it to be true. I think the "spectrum" theory would work in this given situation. I'm tired, and I want to go to bed soon, so I won't rant on.

lasanya said...

Well, I think he has a good point, we are more likely to believe big lies than small ones. Yet, this is purely situational. I could say that I have a thousand dollars in my wallet, when really I have none, and people would be a lot more likely to believe me if I told them I had twenty dollars. On the other hand, this makes me think of the alien sightings we talked about in psychology class. Why did people so readily believe in the existence of aliens? This seems like an example in which people will convince themselves to believe in a big lie. Evidence is manipulated and people have extraordinary imaginations that let them believe in things like alien, even when we cannot really properly justify this belief as descriptive knowledge. I'm sorry Michael, this was a terribly long post that I feel deviated from your question.

Vvyynn said...

As long as we're deviating: Aliens do exist in all probability. We may never find them, but they exist. The thought that this pathetic little rock is the only one that holds such a "glorious" creature such as man, is quite frankly incredibly egotistical and big-headed. Anyhoo, I've already posted my views on the lie. If you want to debate the existants of extre-terrestrials (what Anya and I have meant by "Aliens"), then do so on another post.

Katherine said...

I think that people do tend to believe in big lies before small ones.
I think part of this is that big lies many times are harder to prove and thus easier to believe because it's not as if you can just go check and see if they are true, so you just resort to believing them on an act of faith-this is sort of related to the spectrum analogy brought up in the original question which i agree with.

Also, i think that when a big lie is perpetuated to a large extent it is because people are ready to believe the big lie; they are wanting/needing a big lie to excuse or justify themselves of something, or perhaps they are brainwashed to an extent.
If the big lie is going to justify the actions of the majority it will be readily excepted by most people (i.e. the ones needing the justification...)

As far as what differentiates a big lie from a small one...perhaps it is not the lie itself but the extent to which it spreads and causes harm. but i suppose this extent would depend on the nature of the original lie....ack, confusing.

So, my thoughts on lies of all types. :)