My favorite segment from last night's debate was when Sharpton was asked whether Pres. Bush was a liar. The question was first asked to Kucinich, but I was hoping that Sharpton would get a crack at it, and he hit it out of the park.
"I think that if he did know he was lying and was lying, that's even worse," Mr. Sharpton said. "Clearly, he lied. Now if he is an unconscious liar, and doesn't realize when he's lying, then we're really in trouble. You know, I'm a minister. Why do people lie? Because they're liars."
This brought the question of what a liar is into the realm of epistemology. If you tell untruths, and are not aware of it, are you a liar? If this were true, we would all be seen as inveterate liars and I would cite myself as one of the top ones. And it opens up a whole line of questions: what if you knew you were lying, but later forgot that fact. And then you repeated the lie. Are you still a liar?
Where is the line between being constantly wrong, and being a liar?
I will only say that Sharpton is the only one on the stage that comes out with lines that are unpredictable. For this alone, he is to be savored.
[ epistemology: The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity. - ed]