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 Post subject: Levels of honesty?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:29 am 
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As an aside from Tommy’s discussion on subjective/objective views I would appreciate thoughts on the following:

Some time ago I read an article where there was a comment from a minor public figure on the lines of “ The acceptable level of honesty required depends on those to whom you are speaking.”

This shocked and disturbed me, as although politicians and many others certainly practise this concept is it something to be recognised and accepted in general ? My first reaction was that there are no “acceptable levels” of honesty. You are either honest in your dealings with others or you are not, any compromise beyond absolute is the thin end of an ever widening wedge.

That may be simplistic and in some circumstances you can be dishonest by omission for reasons of tact, for example, and the so-called white lies. But even such deviations from truth can be dangerous and become "tangled webs". As I understand the theory of relativism moral values are not absolute, depending on cultural values, but does this then allow for varying degrees of honesty?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:27 pm 
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I agree, one is honest or one is not. It takes a politician to try and make honesty a negotiable concept.

A further question would be, Why do the populace allow politicians to practice 'degrees of honesty'?

How can one tell when a politician is lying?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:24 pm 
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The general populace seems to prefer "Ignorance is bliss". I suspect they prefer not to question too closely. They believe what they want to believe when promises are made and reforms planned - the well off from ignorance and greed and the poor from hope for improvement.

For example, in this country there is a huge wedge of well heeled middle class who are generally kind, good, generous people, but they are so terribly and completely ignorant of the appalling social evils and their causes that they still assume everyone can shape their own ends. So they believe politicians when it is decided to be a good thing to cut certain benefits and to save money by penalising the poorer and more helpless members of our society.

I am not a "bleeding heart", but I am worldly wise and it defeats me that people can go through life with such a blinkered existence. Perhaps everyone should be made to serve at least two years of National Service time with the Salvos. That's a whole different issue, but this kind of ignorance contributes to self righteous and self seeking political cons.

Hopefully, modern communication is beginning to alter the amount that the politicians can get away with, far more questions are able to be asked and the nanny state, that only tells us what they decide is supposedly good for us to know. will not be able to continue indefinitely.

People are beginning to doubt everything a politician says, which is unfortunate as there are a few who at least start out honest and are probably smart enough to have some genuine and decent solutions. They seem to be coerced and moulded into the system by pressure from all the mediocre ones who are enjoying their power trips. Peter Garratt seems to be a case in point. He had far far more influence in Midnight Oil than he will ever have now as a politician, as the party pressure has overwhelmed his ideals.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:32 am 
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Garrat was the original, cynically using fame for his own ends. A true example of a politician.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Shatter one of my last illusions, why don't you? :evil:

Don't you think he may possibly have believed he could have made a difference at the beginning and then got completely out of his depth?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:48 pm 
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I think he exploited issues to sell records and gain profile. Then he used the same issues, with the profile, to get into politics as an independant.
Then he manouvered himself to party politics and a safe seat. Now he fulfils his primary ambition, nose firmly in trough.
Most of his decisions have been stupid to the point of criminality and display an utter lack of respect for the source (us) of the money he throws away.

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