Glenn, I can see we’re going to go several trips on the merry-go-round on this one. And at this point this is all simply for the sport of it.
By “practical,” I meant in a clinical sense.
Sincerity doesn’t make an untruth more palatable, or more valid, or less untrue. It stands to reason that a “lie” involves intent, yes. But intent does not negate veracity or the nature of an act (like malice). “I didn’t mean to steal it. It was there and I thought it was mine for the taking.” Intentions of acquiring do not negate theft. If a statement is untrue, in a very practical sense it’s “false.” And false statements in a technical sense are lies.
You “can’t allow yourself to think that most of any given population of tens of millions of people are evil or mean-spirited”? Say what now? LOL! You’re the same guy who just laid out a thesis and supporting evidence why racism by whites in America is more egregious than any other race in America and now you can’t allow yourself to think…
Come on now, Glenn. (I’m chuckling to myself at this point.)
Said people may not be “evil,” but there’s a definite tendency to embrace some behaviors that are very mean-spirited. Slavery, lynching, forty lashes, etc. Come on, now. Ignorance isn’t a license to ill. What you’re saying doesn’t make sense to me. At all. To use one of your examples, to donate used clothes to black families was charitable, but to demean those same black families when they were out of earshot wholly undermines if not negates or even eclipses that very act of charity.
Moreover, I’ve not advocated calling people names. I’m about educating people as to how their behavior and beliefs are unacceptable (racist). And that usually comes from people being exposed to other points of view or spending time in the company of “others” or having their behavior called out.
But let’s not forget there are hood-wearing people who truly are evil.
So … I still stand by my statement that a lie is the practical opposite of the truth, regardless of what the person thinks of their own actions. Otherwise, the Nazis’ belief that they were doing their country a favor with their ethnic cleansing removes the sheer hatred, horror, and vulgarity from those actions.