Saturday, 8 September 2007

Gullibility Truth Opinion and the Mcann Family

This whole tragic affair is being played out before us...and is a current example of the different ways, and how far people feel they need to go to get to the truth.

Here we see examples of the whole range.

meta-physical - belief without emprical evidence
deducted - application of logic to create 'theories'
inducted - knowledge from empirical evidence
socially constructed - truth derived from consensus of meaning
critically assessed - skepticism prevails
truth of 'fact'- the evidence
truth of 'meaning' - sense-making of what is known

The McCann family's 'belief' in the return of their daughter - meta-physical

The McCann family's 'faith' - meta-physical

The Portugeuse crowd, who for some, the 'truth' is that Kate is a bad person - socially constructed

The public (me/you) who speculate on the cause/ effect, the rhyme and the reason - deducted

The Portuguese Police who claim 'evidence' supports their suspicions - inducted

Truth of Fact - Madeleine is Missing, there is blood in a hire car.

Truth of Meaning - Gerry and Kate are regarded as exemplary parents by those close to them, therefore they are victims not perpetrators

The public (me/you) lack clarity of the status of the term 'suspect' and what it really means. We are therefore susceptible to 'filling in the gaps' and could be wrong. In the UK for example, everyone is a suspect until they can be omitted from the enquiry, so why the 'fuss' over this notional change of status? - critically assessed

Our inner thoughts...what if! we and the family have been gulled? - critically assessed

Any social investigation of the truth confronts us with our implicit assumptions about what we think is a 'justified belief' western society we are trained to think that this is invariably based on 'evidence' or 'the facts'

However maybe we are being confronted with Neitzche's observation that:

"the thing about Facts is, that's exactly what they are not"

For me?...I believe the Mcann Family did not harm their daughter...and I believe this without any access to the evidence (meta-physical) here is a Cheer! from me in response to those utterly disgreceful boos. The truth in the end, however, may be stranger than we suspect.


  1. Interesting post, rr, and great to see some level-headed clarity applied to the fevered atmosphere.

    I've tried not to watch, believing that it is basically one family's tragedy, and appalled at the feeding frenzy of the media, the mindless trashing of people's characters before moving on to the next target and the blatant racism against the Portugese police.

    But it is addictive and I have found myself watching these last few days to see the next twist and, like everyone else, to try to decide for myself whether the parents could have possibly been capable of the crime. It's horrible and I hate myself for it because it is absolutely nothing to do with me. It occurred to me last night that for 90% of the audience it is like some reality whodunnit show, with the addictive qualities of both.

    And I, like you, have been fascinated to see how the different groups behave - the extended family using one kind of language, the idiots in the crowd who I am ashamed to call human, the media suddenly becoming careful (God help the McCanns if the press turn on them; they are merciless if they can turn on someone who has used them in the past.)

    For what it's worth, I don't know if they are innocent or not. What I do know is that it would have been better if all of this reporting was banned until a case came to trial and we let the police get on with their job.

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  3. Good level headed post, Gee, it's gotta be tough on the parents, they were just on CNN, they looked tired,and then to be under a cloud of suspicion.

  4. Thanks for the comment Bob, it must be an ordeal to be 'in the system' and lack any power over what happens to you. And that, added to the grief and stress...quite frightening I think...There, but for the grace of God...