Doubly Mendacious Shepherds

It’s not just that our shepherds cry wolf when there is no wolf. They do so all the time, of course, and it is in them quite a wicked dereliction of their duty. But in these latter days we mostly ignore their specious turmoils. So inured are we now to their falsehoods that they must bark more and more loudly just to get our attention.

That they falsely howl wolf is bad enough. But it is not even the half of their treason. For, they also stubbornly insist that the wolves really present among us, ravaging the flock, are not there, or are not really wolves – or, worst of all, that we ourselves are the wolves.

How long before the sheep realize that the shepherds themselves are numbered among the wolves? Will we awaken to our danger before we reach the lip of the abyss toward which they now herd us?

9 thoughts on “Doubly Mendacious Shepherds

  1. Kristor, I think this post would be far more clear and incendiary if you were to include the context of the two recent rape cases. One being rape and the other being a slanderous lie.

    • I did just that in my first draft. But then so many other sorts of examples suggested themselves as equally important and worthy of notice that the post began to seem like a laundry list of conservative whines. E.g., anthropogenic global warming, “ISIS is not Islamic,” and so forth. Every word out of their mouths is somehow or other mendacious. Where to start? We can all supply instances ad nauseam.

      • Truly, it doesn’t even matter what the context is, does it? The wolves have taken over shepherding in pretty much every area, including many churches. And the stupid sheep beg them to do so!

      • “And the stupid sheep beg them to do so!”

        Then what’s the problem? Maybe I’ve just grown cynical but I am sick and tired of what H.L. Mencken referred to as Boobius Americanus. If these people allow themselves to be taken advantage of and swat away anyone who thinks that they should stop being such gutless invertebrates, then what’s the point?

        Btw, who exactly are “the wolves” according to you?

  2. Language is, by origin and nature, not merely a neutral instrument for making propositions; it is, by origin and nature, profoundly ethical. In the fable, as I recall, the wolf actually shows up one day, and when the boy cries wolf (for the nth time), no response follows. The wolf eats the boy. The modern version of the fable would have to be called “The Boy Who Cried Not-Wolf.” He too will be eaten. Modernity is a state of pathological inversion, denying the existence of all things that exist and insisting on the existence of that which does not. This is not a survival strategy.

    • Language is, by origin and nature, not merely a neutral instrument for making propositions; it is, by origin and nature, profoundly ethical.

      Yes. All acts – including all speech acts and other gestures – have moral character, and thus valence: they tend toward the production of certain sorts of facts, which express values. This is to say no more than that all events are finally caused. There is no such thing then as “mere” matter of fact, no such thing as meaninglessness, no actual zero of value or goodness. Things may be meaningless along some particular dimensions, but cannot be meaningless along all dimensions. So there is no way to do nothing by way of speech; nor even by silence.

      • So many cases where it’s simply acceptance through passivity… Fear of ridicule and isolation has stripped us of our gumption.

  3. Pingback: Doubly Mendacious Shepherds | Reaction Times

  4. The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed,
    But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
    Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
    Besides what the grim Woolf with privy paw
    Daily devours apace, and nothing sed…

    –Milton

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