Stewart Clem
Aquinas Institute of Theology
Philosopher Harry Frankfurt has famously coined “bullshit” as a technical term— it refers not to outright lying but rather to a casual indifference to truth. Disregard for truth is accepted and even expected in many contexts, yet it creates conditions for gross injustice and dehumanization. I offer an account of widespread cultural indifference to truth as structural sin, a condition I call “truth indifference.” Draw- ing on Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of the virtue of truth (veracitas), I map out the conceptual framework that must be in place before Christian ethicists can provide an adequate moral analysis of structural truth indifference.
Keywords Aquinas  Lying  Post-Truth  Christian Ethics  Virtue Ethics  Bullshit  Harry Frankfurt
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DOI 10.1353/sce.2017.0035
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