Truth (was Re: far too many thoughts etc)

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at
Tue Feb 24 04:13:08 EST 2004

>>>  Any policeman who has to listen to evidence given in
court about any Road Traffic Incident knows that whilst most if not all of
the witnesses don't actively mean to tell *lies*, they may get such things
as the direction in which the vehicles were facing, their colours, the
number of vehicles on the scene, the distances from one place to another,
and who arrived first, simply wrong, demonstrably wrong, and yet be sure
that they are telling the truth about what they saw.

And any student of psychology will tell you that their memories can be
affected by how they are questioned. (I.E., if you are asked, "how fast was
the car driving when it smashed into the taxi" you are likely to give a
higher estimate than if you are asked "how fast was the car driving when it
bumped into the taxi", and in later retellings you are likely to alter your
version of what happened. Or if you are asked, "where was the stopsign", you
are likely to remember a stopsign, even if there wasn't one there. As
demonstrated in some very famous experiments.)

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