Why The Truth Isn't Always Interesting -- The Bored Man's Fallacy
Updated: Sep 13
Technically, everything that is a fact is true. Moreover, everything that is likely to be a fact is also likely to be true. An incorrect fact is therefore an oxymoron. Being able to distinguish between truth, falsehood, and everything in between is the key to being a good philosopher. It is incorrect to rely on possibility and see it as fact just because it is possible. After all, possibilities might be revealed to be false.
Reality can surprise as well as disappoint. Choosing falsehood because it is fun is one of the reasons why the truth is uninteresting at times. This includes fantasies, for every fantasy is false.
The funny thing about philosophy is that it can bore a lot of people.
Therefore, there is a good reason why philosophy has not been as popular as other fields in our lives. People have their own priorities, and that is okay, as they are entitled to have those. They may claim that philosophy is far too impractical compared to earning your keep, finding true love, and so on. Some may even argue that philosophy is unoriginal because philosophers have been thinking about the same subjects for thousands of years.
The bored man's fallacy occurs when we discard facts and/or insights due to boredom. This fallacy can make a lot of sense because many of us seek pleasure as a higher priority than wanting to understand reality. It makes sense because of what leads to it, not because it is logical. All fallacies are illogical by default.
I find the usage of certain adjectives to be misleading. When something is, for example, fun, we may forget the possibility that it is fun specifically to someone and not generally. I don't even know if fun, boring, and so on are universal traits.
And yet, in common speech, we may use them as if they were universal. As a result, we might believe that these values are intrinsic (an essential part of something), which they're not. Even the size of planets comes in relation to something else. For example, it is believed that Russia is bigger than Pluto.
To completely ignore a piece of truth because it is boring is like living in delusion on purpose. It does not mean that the person is completely delusional. I mean that the truth is not the top ambition of everyone, making philosophy less relevant as a niche. For example, if we watch a movie and claim that it is a "bad" movie because it bores us, this presents a fallacy. Even decent movies can bore, and vice versa.
(Philosophy may also be disregarded because it can be more abstract than concrete sciences, even though philosophy's purpose stands still.)
Obviously, entertainment is there to entertain us. However, to confidently say that a movie is boring does not necessarily reveal things about said movie beyond our experience. After all, that movie might as well have brought joy to millions of people. Can a movie be both loved and hated? Of course. It depends on the reviews.
There are also other reasons why the truth is uninteresting at times. It is considered offensive to tell obese people that they are obese. As a person who once weighed around 130kg, I don't really see a reason to deny that fact. And yet, some people may choose to deny this subject in favor of other pursuits. I assume the truth might also be uncomfortable and embarrassing.
I once asked someone, "What do you expect me to say? That you're thin like a stick? Here: You're so thin, you're like a stick." Obviously, that's not the truth, and they seemed to know it. I don't recall receiving an answer or agreement on that. This can be regarded as a variation of the "bored man's fallacy" -- they are not interested in being aware of their obesity. Boredom in this context is synonymous with disinterest.
(I also told another person that the answer to losing weight is to lose fat. I don't know why they were offended. It was helpful advice that helped me, too.)
(Some truths offend, for some reason. They wanted to lose weight.)
The solution to this fallacy is one we cannot control. We can only try to influence. To convince people to see beyond the significance of their emotions. Some alternatives to this fallacy also include other emotions that we do not want to feel: anger, sadness, and so on. They're alternatives because we are not interested, necessarily, in feeling them.
I've also detected something funny regarding this fallacy. Pictures really help people get engaged with your content. It's as if the content itself becomes more interesting due to having pictures attached to it. Maybe it really is.
It's quite petty to see how easily people are manipulated with graphics. You can attach a pretty photo of a flower to a social media post and find more people engaging with your content. Why is it petty, in my eyes? Because such tactics are used for children's books. The flower in question, by the way, might as well have nothing to do with the post. That flower can also be a supermodel instead.
(Don't worry, I do seek images for my articles with some relevant connection.)
I assume this fallacy exists because it's easier to communicate with some people through the heart than the mind. Music is such an example. You might take the same content less mindfully if it's just written and not sung to the sound of instruments. You might feel more attached to the identical meaning of a song than to the same meaning in a philosophy article.
A public philosopher isn't necessarily an entertainer (nor a private person). I didn't really bother learning SEO (search engine optimization) because I care more about the meaning of my writings than making this site more attractive. I don't give my articles pompous clickbait titles because I'm not desperate for attention, and don't like to mislead my readers. I might write about clickbait (attention-grabbing titles/pictures) another time.
In conclusion, we might not be interested in understanding reality better because our minds can be too lazy to endure without fun/curiosity. Fun can help us concentrate on things and keep ourselves engaged in something. Fun, in fact, can greatly reduce the struggle of an activity.
Relying too much on fun and boredom, however, means that we may discard things that might deserve more importance. Compare it to the sugar you might add to your coffee. It makes the drinking easier, but it also masks the flavor of the coffee.
By the way, let me tell you this: Since I accepted exhaustion as part of my reality, I care less if I'm exhausted or not. My mind has been overwhelmed for years. I suspect that I became very immune to the effects of mental intensity. I care less if something bores me, for anything could be used for greater benefit in my line of work. Even not by itself, but by some logic it could represent, or have another symbolic meaning, as an analogy.
Wouldn't you agree that our dependency on fun and boredom could be a liability when it comes to getting closer to the truth? Please mind that I include myself in the question as well.
As a joke, philosophy is not that fun when there's a talking horse on T.V! And don't worry, ladies. I know you're capable of boredom, too.