If you are trying to win an argument a bad truth is one that is in opposition to your cause. It is especially true with lawyering an politics (lots of lawyers). It is also true on social media which includes the Medium platform where people are concerned with their cause being the truth, and sadly, the only truth.
People want to win in the battle of being right. This often means that they will ignore or disingenuously claim to debunk truths that don’t support them winning. It makes a honest search for the whole truth difficult if not impossible. It is also destroying personal relationships.
Can you hold two opposing views to be true? If you can’t you might be more interested in winning than in truth. Bad truths are truths, parts of the whole truth. Having an opinion while acknowledging a bad truth causes me no cognitive dissonance. I can still have a point of view (an opinion) based upon the relevance of all the facts to my values.
One driver in dismissing facts that you don’t like is values. We don’t all have the same sets of values. Values are opinions about good and bad. In your opinion, one side’s truth is more relevant than the other, but under their value system, they think the same with a different result. We look at data and based upon our values we conclude that our facts are based upon the data, but opposing opinions about the facts drawn from the same data are frequent.
As fate would have it I posted a link to Bonnie Raitt’s “Runaway” with a happy birthday on Facebook this morning. A friend, huge Trump supporter, who sent me constant messages about the election that I had no time to read yesterday, sent me a few dozen messages about how she is a leftist, the evils of leftist doing political music, etc. today. OK, I get that he has a Vietnamese wife and he got the same warm welcome home from Vietnam that I got. It just so happens that I like the music of many artists who are to my political left. I love Ry Cooder’s political album Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down. Not to toot my own horn but I see my ability to acknowledge the elements of truth from people with different political views as a positive attribute. Conservative friends beat me down for that less often than by progressive friends who seem even less tolerant of bad facts, but dismissing bad facts as bullshit is a path to believing the lies of half truths that is all too common.
Back in the days of, “Let’s get stoned and watch Saturday Night Live” I enjoyed the show. Now that we’ve voted to legalize recreational pot in Arizona I might be able to enjoy it again ;0)
If you fear bad truths you may be less confident in your truth than what you project. And yes, I have to work at this too in a world where demonization and ad hominem of the opposition is the norm because the world will never be a better place when it’s a binary all or nothing. We’ll just hate each other.