A Short Piece

“2 + 2” and Simplistic Points on Determining Truth in Our Bias/Funding/Partisan/Etc.-Obsessed Age

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1. If a person was funded by either the Koch Brothers, the Liberal Media, the Nazi Party, the Banks, etc., and the person said, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person would say something true. How a person received funding wouldn’t change if what a person said was true or false, though it might tempt the person to present falsities as truths and/or truths as falsities.

2. If the most idiotic, evil, wholesome, saintly, greedy, etc. person on the planet said, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person said something true. If a listener thought the person, because he was evil, said something false, that listener would be incorrect. Likewise, if someone thought the person was a saint and hence said something “truer” than an evil person who said the same thing, that person would also be incorrect.

3. If a person illogically concluded that 2 + 2 = 4, the person would still conclude something true. Though a lack of logic can lead to falsity, it doesn’t do so necessarily. Furthermore, someone who said something true wouldn’t necessarily be someone who was logical, though perhaps there would be a higher probability of such being the case (it could be possible the person decided to randomly blurt something out that happened to be correct).

4. If we called “2 + 2 = 5” propaganda, it wouldn’t become more or less true.

5. If a person were a liar, a Conservatives, a Liberal, a Southerner, a Northerner, had a history of immorality, etc. but said, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person would say something true. Who a person was, where a person came from, what labels a person fell under, etc., wouldn’t make something the person said that was true any less true, as it wouldn’t make something said that was false any less false.

6. If a person said a million things that were false and then said, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person would say something true. The number of false things a person has said doesn’t make something the person says that is true any less true. Likewise, if a person was a genius and said, “2 + 2 = 5,” the person has perhaps brilliantly said something false.

7. If a person were a Christian, Hindu, etc., and believed 2 + 2 = 4, it would indeed be the case, as it wouldn’t be the case that 2 + 2 = 5 even if a person religiously and genuinely believed it. Our beliefs, even if perhaps motivating a person to believe a certain thing, don’t make that thing any more or less true.

8. If someone we disliked, often disagreed with, etc., said “2 + 2 = 4,” we should agree with that person, as we should disagree if that person were to say, “2 + 2 = 5.”

9. If we were constantly surrounded by people who told us, “2 + 2 = 5,” then the time we encountered that “one idiot” who claimed, “2 + 2 = 4,” would be the one time we encountered someone who told us the truth. Likewise, if everyone around us assumed we thought 2 + 2 = 5 and talked to us accordingly, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4. Finally, if everyone joined us on our side of a debate in which we argued, “2 + 2 = 5,” it would still be the case that we were wrong.

10. If we were to say, “2 + 2 = 5,” we should hope that people would disagree with us and/or correct us; otherwise, people would be setting us up (perhaps out of niceness, not wanting to be rude, not wanting to hurt our feelings, etc.) to be wrong. If we had an opportunity for a wonderful job and during our interview said, “2 + 2 = 5” (as other people led us to believe) — the mistake might prove costly.

11. If a sexist who hated women said, “2 + 2 = 4,” that person would say something true (though this would not mean that the person was “good”). Furthermore, though it might be offensive to say that someone who hated women “said something true,” this offense would not render what was said any more or less true. Hence, a person’s morality isn’t related to the validity of what a person says, nor does the fact that someone might find it offensive to suggest “a person who hates woman said something true” make what is said any more or less true. (Of course, even though someone who hated women could say that which was true, someone who hated women would be accountable for hating women).

12. If we read a book and practically every sentence was a lie, clearly written to deceive, obviously misrepresented the facts, etc., and then we read “2 + 2 = 4,” the book would contain truth.

13. If either a sexist, a racist, a homophobe, a fundamentalist Christian, a radical terrorist, a white supremacist, etc., were to say, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person would say something true, though that wouldn’t mean we shouldn’t point out the person’s error(s).

14. If a person grew up being taught that “2 + 2 = 5,” the person believes something false, even though the person’s parents may not realize it. Likewise, if a person grew up being taught by closed-minded zealots that “2 + 2 = 4,” those closed-minded zealots taught something true.

15. If Superman were to say “2 + 2 = 5” and Lex Luther were to say “2 + 2 = 4,” Lex Luther would be right.

16. If we only took classes in college that taught “2 + 2 = 5,” then it would be the case that college only taught us that which wasn’t true. Likewise, if everything we read in college claimed 2 + 2 = 5, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4. Lastly, if we earned a degree in 2 + 2 = 5, we would have earned a degree in what wasn’t true. Hence, accreditation doesn’t change what is true, though those accredited might be better at identifying what is true — just not necessarily.

17. If someone were to shoot someone, kick a puppy, set off a bomb, etc., and then turn around and say, “2 + 2 = 4,” that person would say something true. Likewise, if someone else were to feed a homeless man, shelter a puppy, detonate a bomb, etc., and then turn around and say “2 + 2 = 4,” that person would something true. If either person said, “2 + 2 = 5,’ though, they would be wrong. Hence, a person’s actions do not make what a person says any more or less true (unless that is the statement is about whether an action will happen or the like).

18. If someone said “Only idiots believe 2 + 2 = 4,” 2 + 2 = 4 would still in fact be true. Likewise, if all the smartest, most powerful, most fashionable, etc. people in the world began saying, “2 + 2 = 5,” it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4. If those same people said “2 + 2 = 4,” they would speak the truth (not because they said it, but because it was true).

19. If a person thinks “2 + 2 = 4” and yet says, “2 + 2 = 5,” the person thinks what is true but says what is false. However, since we cannot know if someone who says, “2 + 2 = 5,” means to say, “2 + 2 = 4,” we cannot say for sure that the person is entirely wrong. There is always the possibility that the person says what he or she does not mean. Hence, we shouldn’t be quick to think that someone who says what we don’t agree with is someone who doesn’t think like us. A person may not be wrong even when that person says something false.

20. If a person says, “2 + 2 = 4” but thinks “2 + 2 = 5,” the person says that which gives us no reason to think that the person thinks that which isn’t true. Just because someone says something true, doesn’t mean what the person thinks is necessarily true. There is always the possibility that the person says a truth when the person means a falsity. Hence, we shouldn’t be quick to think that someone who says what we agree with is someone who thinks like us. A person could be wrong even when that person says something true.

21. If someone says, “0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 2 + 2 = 4,” and someone else says, “2 + 2 = 4,” the two people say the same thing and yet say something different.

22. If a person is motivated to say, “2 + 2 = 5,” but says, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person says something that is true despite having the wrong motivations. If the opposite were to occur, the person would say something that was false despite having the right motivations. Hence, truth and motivation aren’t identical, and confusing them and/or speaking about them as the same would be erroneous.

23. If someone said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and someone else said, “3 + 3 = 6,” the two would both say something true, and yet they would say something different. It would be false to say that “(2 + 2 = 4) = (3 + 3 = 6).”

24. If someone said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and someone else said, “2 + 3–1 = 4,” the two would both say something true, and though they would both arrive at the same end, they would say it (and/or “get there”) in different ways. Though 4 = 4 and though “(2 + 2 = 4) = (2 + 3–1 = 4),” it would not be the case that “2 + 2 = 4” was utterly the same as “2 + 3–1 = 4.” “Sameness” and “equalization” aren’t similes, even when they converge upon the same end.

25. If I shake President Obama’s hand, run to be a Republican candidate, stand on the Great Wall of China, etc., and say “2 + 2 = 4,” I say something true. Surroundings and/or action do not change the truth or falsity of a statement (though they may influence what is said, which could be either true or false).

26. If I said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and someone was offended, amused, delighted, motivated, etc., my statement would become neither more or less true.

27. If I said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and someone replied, “You’re a liar,” the person who replied would have lied. If I said, “2 + 2 = 5,” and win a Noble Prize as a result, I will still be in the wrong. “External occurrences” do not make what is true false or what is false true (though they may make truth and falsity more difficult to determine).

28. If our source from which we learn 2 + 2 = 4 is either a Nazi, a Liberal, a racist, a Conservative, a Communist, a Christian, etc., I still learned something true (and in a sense I even learned from a “good source.” insomuch as I learned from that source something true). If our source from which we learned 2 + 2 = 5 was The Harvard Review, Christianity Today, The Economist, etc., we still learned something false and, in a sense, we learned from a “bad source.” Hence, the source from which something is learned doesn’t make that something any more or less true, though “bad sources” may have a higher probability of containing falsities, and vice-versa.

29. If we know one thing and that is 2 + 2 = 4, everything we know is true.

30. If we know a million things and one of the things we know is 2 + 2 = 5, not everything we know is true.

31. If Hitler said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and Mother Teresa said, “2 + 2 = 5,” Hitler would be right and Mother Teresa would be wrong.

32. If someone said, “2 + 2 = 4” and “3 + 3 = 7,” the person would say something true and something false, but the fact the person said something false wouldn’t make the uttered truth any more or less true, nor would the fact the person said something true make the falsity any more or less false.

33. If a civilization debated for a century before deciding 2 + 2 = 4, it would be the case that 2 + 2 = 4 was such the whole time. If another civilization voted to teach that 2 + 2 = 4, it would be the case that 2 + 2 = 4 was such regardless the direction of the vote, and such would have been the case even if there had been no vote. The decision to acknowledge something as true wouldn’t make it any more or less true, though it may seem otherwise. Lastly, if the majority voted that 2 + 2 = 5, that would not mean that 2 + 2 = 5 was truer than 2 + 2 = 4, though it may seem as if such was the case.

34. If a society never learned about numbers or never thought in terms of math, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4, even though this truth may carry no meaning to that civilization. Considering this, “meaning” and “truth” may not be identical.

35. If a person learned through evil and manipulative propaganda that 2 + 2 = 4, the person learned something true from propaganda. If the person learned 2 + 2 = 5 from The Harvard Review, the person learned what could be called propaganda from a respectable source.

36. The person who told us, “2 + 2 = 5” maliciously would say the same thing as someone who told us “2 + 2 = 5” by accident. Hence, words and intentions are not necessarily the same.

37. If we said we wanted to say something that was true and then said, “2 + 2 = 5,” we’d say something false. If we said we wanted to say something true and then said, “2 + 2 = 4,” our proclaiming that we wanted to say something true wouldn’t make our true statement any more or less true.

38. If a person has a bias toward math because the person was a math major, and that person said, “2 + 2 = 4,” that person said something true, and the English major without the bias who said, “2 + 2 = 5,’ would be wrong. If a math major said (when he’s drank), “2 + 2 = 5,” the expert would say something false (and perhaps, in that act, it’s hard to tell the expert apart from someone with a different major and/or a kindergartener).

39. If we are a Ph.D. and say, “2 + 2 = 5,” and the person we are speaking to didn’t graduate from high school and replied, “2 + 2 = 4,” we would be wrong and the high school dropout would be right. Likewise, if a book claimed, “2 + 2 = 5,” and was full of citations, and another book without any citations claimed, “2 + 2 = 4,” the book with citations would be wrong, while the book without them would be right.

40. If it was impossible to express in any way “2 + 2 = 4,” but I could express “2 + 2 = 5,” what I could express wouldn’t be any more true than what I couldn’t. What is true and what can be expressed aren’t necessarily the same thing; likewise, “validity” and “practicability” could be different. Perhaps a “2 + 2 = 4” that couldn’t be expressed would be meaningless, but that wouldn’t mean it wasn’t true. “What is true” and “what is meaningful” aren’t necessarily the same.

41. If I said, “2 + 2 = 4,” a hundred times and then said, “2 + 2 = 5,” I would say a hundred true things and one false thing. Likewise, if I said, “2 + 2 = 4,” a hundred times, it wouldn’t necessarily mean I would say something true when I spoke again (to allude to the thought of David Hume).

42. If it were passed into law that 2 + 2 = 4, it wouldn’t become any more or less true. If it were passed into law that 2 + 2 = 5, it would still be true that 2 + 2 = 4, though we might be more uncertain such was the case (seeing as saying such would contradict what the police enforced and what the law proclaimed). Law teaches; law can add uncertainty, even error.

43. If there was a twenty-year campaign to fight for the right to say, “2 + 2 = 4,” by those who were forced by law to say, “2 + 2 = 5,” and the campaign won, it would be the case that 2 + 2 = 4 the whole time and regardless if the campaign even existed.

44. If there were a twenty-year campaign to fight for the right to say, “2 + 2 = 5” by those who were forced to say, “2 + 2 = 4,” and the campaign won, the campaign’s effort wouldn’t make “2 + 2 = 5” true, only make it seem as if such was the case.

45. If we wouldn’t believe that 2 + 2 = 4 until it was proven, it would still be the case before and after the proof, and regardless how well we were convinced.

46. If we were convinced that 2 + 2 = 5, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4.

47. If a person wanted to lie to me and told me that “2 + 2 = 4,” the person would have told me something that was true.

48. If I believed religiously, scientifically, spiritually, emotionally, empirically, abstractly, philosophically, concretely, etc., that 2 + 2 = 4, I would believe something that was true.

49. If I was a hundred percent certain that 2 + 2 = 5, I would be a hundred percent wrong.

50. I was one percent certain that 2 + 2 = 4, I would be a hundred percent right.

51. If I was holding a middle finger toward you and said, “2 + 2 = 4,” I would have told you something true.

52. If the President, the CEO of Google, Albert Einstein, etc. said, “2 + 2 = 4,” this utterance of a truth wouldn’t necessarily add any “credibility” to the person’s status, for this would have been true had it been said by the poorest, least educated, etc. person on earth. “Validity” and “credibility” are not similes, though they may follow one another.

53. If I said, “2 + 2 = 4,” though true, it would add no truth to the next thing I said, to the thing I said a week ago, etc.

54. If humans didn’t have brains, it would be true that 2 + 2 = 4 (though perhaps not in any meaningful sense).

55. If a child said, “2 + 2 = 4,” while the wisest elder said, “2 + 2 = 5,” the child would be right and the elder wrong. Hence, time, age, and/or experience don’t make a truth any more or less true (though it might be more probable that an elder would say something true than it would be for a child). “What is probable” and “what is definite” are different things.

56. If a person were to be reading a math textbook, or just finished studying math for eighty years, and said, “2 + 2 = 5,” the person would speak something that was false, and if he then said, “3 + 3 = 6,” the person would say something that was true (regardless if he would have read and/or studied anything at all). “Being well-read” and “saying something true” are not identical.

57. If a study backed by a billion dollars determined “2 + 2 = 5,” that study paid a high price for something false.

58. If we said, “2 + 2 = 4” and felt stupid, mean, inconsiderate, ignorant, etc., we would still say something true.

59. If we said, “2 + 2 = 5” and felt brilliant, considerate, insightful, etc., we would still say something false.

60. If we said, “2 + 2 = 4” and our timing was off, we would still say that which was true, and if we said, “2 + 2 = 5” when our timing was perfect, we would say that which was false.

61. If we said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and were crucified for saying it, we would be crucified for saying something true (though being crucified in no way whatsoever makes what we say truer).

62. If we said, “2 + 2 = 5,” and were made President for saying it, we would be elected for saying something false (though being elected in no way whatsoever makes what we say falser).

63. If someone told us, “2 + 2 = 4,” and it was hard to understand, beautiful, a stupid idea, a brilliant idea, only believed by Liberals, disproven by Einstein, signified nothing, was promoted by the Koch brothers — the person would have described a truth (and the following descriptions wouldn’t matter).

64. If someone said, “2 + 2 = 4,” in order to imply that all other numbers are inferior, to imply “2 + 2 = 4”-superiority, to disrespect, degrade, etc., the person would still say something true (though the motivation of the utterance might be immoral, wrong, etc. — hence making the truth difficult to discern).

65. If a fundamentalist extremist said, “2 + 2 = 4,” while a moderate claimed, “2 + 2 = 5,” the fundamentalist extremist would say something true while the moderate would say something false.

66. If the values of the country shifted from 2 + 2 = 4 to 2 + 2 = 5, true values would shift to false values (for whatever reason).

67. If the Supreme Court ruled that 2 + 2 = 4 was illegal, the Supreme Court would rule something true was illegal.

68. If a person was either abandoned as a small boy, studied under Albert Einstein, never went to school, suffered abuse, robed a bank, shot the Pope, became the Pope, etc., and the person said, “2 + 2 = 5,” the person would have said something false. If the same person said, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person would say something true.

69. If for a thousand years a society believed 2 + 2 = 4 and then one day started believing 2 + 2 = 5, the society, in becoming progressive, becomes falser. Conversely, if for a thousand years a society believed 2 + 2 = 5 and then one day started to believe 2 + 2 = 4, progressivism would have made the society truer. Also, if it is well known from history that 2 + 2 = 5, it would be the case that something well known from history was false. And lastly, if 2 + 2 = 4 was a new idea, it would still be true.

70. If a person said he hated America, loved Communism, hated women, wanted to murder, etc., and then said, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person’s prior statements wouldn’t make their statement any more or less true (though the person’s prior statements may make people want nothing to do with the person).

71. If these five equations were on a board — 1 + 1 = 3, 2 + 2 = 4, 3 + 3 = 7, 4 + 4 = 9, 5 + 5 = 11 — it would be erroneous to say, “Everything on the board is false,” though it would be the case that most of it was such. Furthermore, if someone said, “We should keep on the board what is true and throw out what is false,” the person wouldn’t be saying, “Everything on the board is true,” and the person shouldn’t be accused of saying such. Lastly, if the entire board was discarded, this would imply everything on it was false, and this wouldn’t be true (even though most of what was on the board was indeed false).

72. If a person claimed that we must appeal to a process to determine whether or not 2 + 2 = 4 was the case, the person would claim that we must appeal to a process to determine something that would be true regardless if there was such a process or not. However, if it was the case that it cannot be (justly, empirically, fairly, etc.) determined that 2 + 2 = 4 without this process, then this process would be necessary to determine — and get people to ascent to — the truth, even if others were against the process on grounds that “a truth was always a truth” (and that all such a process could do was delay the acknowledgment by society of the truth, potentially denying the society of that which it “had a right to know”). Lastly, a person could argue that carrying out such a process (to verify truth) would be immoral (given that the truth was true) versus just straight passing into law 2 + 2 = 4, but if it was the case that such a direct action would result in people not knowing the truth, resenting the truth, not fathoming the truth, etc., then the process would be necessary.

73. If forced by religion, peer pressure, totalitarianism, parents, etc. to believe 2 + 2 = 4, the person would be forced to believe that which was true.

74. Regardless if 2 + 2 = 4 was rational, irrational, proven, unproven, tested, untested, etc., it would be true that 2 + 2 = 4.

75. If we read 2 + 2 = 5 in a book and misread it as saying 2 + 2 = 4, because we misread, we would have learned something true (the same could be said about someone who misheard, misunderstand, etc.). Similarly, if we read a text that said 2 + 2 = 5, but because of the critical theory we read the text through we understand the text as saying 2 + 2 = 4, because of our theory (which could be false), we would have read from falsity an understanding that was true. The converse would also be possible.

76. If someone said, “If people read their math textbooks, they’d know 2 + 2 = 5,” the person would basically be claiming that if people read that which was supposed to inform them about what was true, they would believe that which was false. Furthermore, if someone read their math textbook and believed 2 + 2 = 5, they would believe that which was false, while someone who didn’t read textbooks but believed 2 + 2 = 4 would believe something that was true.

77. If it never crossed someone’s mind that 2 + 2 = 4, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4. Hence, what a person thinks doesn’t make what is true any more or less true.

78. Someone who lacked sources but believed 2 + 2 = 4 would be a person who believed something true, while someone with sources who believed 2 + 2 = 5 would believe something that was false. Hence, the presence of sources doesn’t necessitate the presence of truth.

79. Someone dedicated to knowing everything true about math and believed 2 + 2 = 4 would be a person who believed the same as someone who accidentally realized 2 + 2 = 4.

80. If a person said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and someone else said that the claim couldn’t be made, since the claim couldn’t be verified and/or falsified, seeing as numbers couldn’t be empirically observed, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4, even though perhaps it wasn’t “true” in the same way other things might be “true.”

81. If there was a global protest proclaiming, “2 + 2 = 5,” it would still be the case that 2 + 2= 4.

82. If we speak up in class and say, “2 + 2 = 5,” and our teacher treats us like an idiot, our teacher treating us poorly doesn’t make 2 + 2 = 4 any more or less true. Likewise, if we cannot say, “2 + 2 = 4” without getting killed or hated, it will still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4. Likewise, it would be the case that 2 + 2 = 5 was false even if we couldn’t say, “2 + 2 = 5,” without getting killed. Hence, the way someone treats someone who says something true or false doesn’t make what is said any more or less true.

83. If a man told a long, passionate, and beautiful story about why 2 + 2 = 5, crying off and on throughout, lamenting about how oppressed he was by those who said “2 + 2 = 4,” it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4.

84. If no one in human history ever said, “2 + 2 = 4,” it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4.

85. If a speaker said “2 + 2 = 4” and I interrupted them and was praised for impeding on their freedom of speech in the name of justice, freedom, etc., it would still be the case that the speaker said that which was true.

86. If a person sounded like a bigot, sexist, idiots, racist, etc. when the person said, “2 + 2 = 4,” the person would say a truth in a bigoted, sexist, idiotic, racist. etc., way.

87. If a person said, “I hate women and 2 + 2 = 4,” the person’s hateful statement wouldn’t make 2 + 2 = 4 any more or less true.

88. If we said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and someone replied that we’re obviously uneducated, insulting, misrepresenting the facts, misreading history, taking things out of context, etc., we would have still say something that was true.

89. If religious parents refused to let their child venture into society because the parents were afraid of what the society might teach the child, and those parents taught their child 2 + 2 = 4, those parents would teach their child something that was true.

90. If our father abused us, loved us, didn’t take us to baseball games, played catch with us, loved our mother, didn’t love our mother, etc., and taught us 2 + 2 = 4, our father taught you something that was true.

91. If we believed 2 + 2 = 4 for ideological reasons, we’d believe something that was true because of our ideology.

92. If there was such thing as “number fragility” and people feared talking about numbers, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4, and that, by extension, it wouldn’t be the case that 2 + 2 = 5.

93. If saying “2 + 2 = 4” was associated with oppressing people who didn’t like math, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4.

94. If I hated numbers and the reason I brought 2 + 2 = 4 before the Supreme Court was in order to outlaw numbers by making a case that they discriminated again those who disliked math, and the Supreme Court ruled in my favor, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4.

95. If I said we should let the States decide if 2 + 2 = 4, I would be not saying that 2 + 2 = 5, and it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4, even if the reason I appealed to the States was because I secretly hated numbers.

96. If someone who felt oppressed by 2 + 2 = 4 being taught in schools without democratic vote said, “I would have never expected for math teachers in American not to understand the need to give people the ability to choose for themselves that 2 + 2 = 4,” it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4.

97. If someone said, “I worked as hard as I could and the best I could do was 2 + 2 = 5,” all the person’s efforts were put toward something false. Likewise, if a person worked a hundred years to determine 2 + 2 = 5 and someone else worked five minutes to determine 2 + 2 = 4, it would be the case that the person who worked harder and longer was wrong.

98. If we argued that 2 + 2 = 5 and won the debate with 100% of the votes, we utterly won a debate by arguing for what was 100% false.

99. If a person went to write 2 + 2 = 4 and wrote 2 + 2 = 5, the person intended to write something true but wrote something false. Hence, “intention” and “validity” are not identical.

100. If math textbooks were rewritten to say “2 + 2 = 5,” it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4, though perhaps not in any definable or meaningful sense.

101. If a group were engaged in a “culture war” that they were destined to lose in defense of the claim that 2 + 2 = 5, that group would be destined to lose fighting over something false. If they defended 2 + 2 = 4, they would be destined to lose over something true. If the group was asked to “lay down their arms” and/or compromise and accept 2 + 2 = 4, the group would be asked to compromise their principles to accept something true.

102. If I believed 2 + 2 = 4 for no other reason than to offend others, then I would believe in something true for nefarious reasons.

103. If I said, “2 + 2 = 4,” and someone responded, “You don’t know what it’s like growing up thinking 2 + 2 = 5!” I would still say something true. If I said, “2 + 2 = 5,’ and someone replied “My father taught me the same,” I would still say something false.

104. If my goal in life was to spread lies about math and I said, “2 + 2 = 4,” I said something true.

105. If “2 + 2 = 4” was said by a public intellectual and “2 + 2 = 5” was said by an intellectual who worked tirelessly at a university, the public intellectual would be correct.

106. If I believed 2 + 2 = 4 but because I had a number of bad teachers I stopped believing it, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4.

107. If I shot someone because he wouldn’t believe 2 + 2 = 5, I murdered someone for not believing something false. Likewise, if I said, “2 + 2 = 5,” followed by something witty, it wouldn’t become the case that 2 + 2 = 5.

108. If it was because of privilege, biases, prejudices, etc. that I believed 2 + 2 = 4 — and if my motives were consequently questioned — it would not be the case that I was wrong for believing 2 + 2 = 4. Hence, my reasons for believing something don’t make that thing any more or less true.

109. If we were on the right or wrong side of history and believed 2 + 2 = 4, we’d be on a side of history that didn’t make what we believed any more or less true. Similarly, if we believed 2 + 2 = 5 and were on “the right side of history” for believing such, “the right side of history” would be “the wrong side of history.”

110. If one person, two people — everyone believed 2 + 2 = 5, it would still be the case that 2 + 2 = 4..

111. If the most loved person on the planet said, “2 + 2 = 5,” the most admired person in the world would say something false.

112. If it was hard to say, “2 + 2 = 5,” it would be hard to say something false. If it were easy to say, “2 + 2 = 4,” it would be easy to say something true.

113. If in the history of the world, everyone said, “2 + 2 = 5,” but once, somewhere, somehow, someone said, “2 + 2 = 4,” then in the history of the world, once, someone said something that was true.

114. Alas, what truth appears like 2 + 2 = 4?

115. Alas, what do we believe that doesn’t appear like 2 + 2 = 4?

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