‘Inspired by Steven Colbert, truthiness is “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true”,’ says Richard Smith at the University of Kentucky. ‘I would call it a sin because its consequences for others, for the community, and for the world are staggering, maybe even apocalyptic. Because of it, we may be going to hell in a hand basket. Consider rejecting the scientific evidence for global warming and its causes. However, it would be a curious addition to the seven deadly sins because, arguably, truthiness may be a pathway to the belief in god, depending on one’s perspective, of course. It is probably related to sloth, in the sense that one may not be bothered to collect and evaluate the evidence for the validity of one’s gut feelings.’
This post is part of the Research Digest’s Sin week. Each day for Seven days we’ll be posting a confession, a new sin and a way to be good. The festivities coincide with the publication of a feature-length article on the psychology behind the Seven Deadly Sins in this month’s Psychologist magazine.