Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: In search of true intellectual honesty... a chimerical quest? ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: In search of true intellectual honesty... a chimerical quest?
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: pcventures-ga
List Price: $5.67
Posted: 09 Oct 2003 18:26 PDT
Expires: 08 Nov 2003 17:26 PST
Question ID: 264767
I don't know how it started, but I've become obsessed with finding the
objective truth about things, particularly when it comes to political
leaders. In particular I like to compare what they've accomplished
versus what happened during their term in office.  Example: I think
people give too much credit for our nation's economic performance
between 1992 and 200 to Bill Clinton, and too much blame on Gray Davis
for the mess California is in.  I truly believe that there are
structural reasons for both of those outcomes that had little to do
with what those two men did while in their respecive offices.  And
it's not just a belief - it's a conclusion I have reached because I've
looked at economic performance charts, and also read many business and
economics publications that lead me to those conclusions.  I believe
Plato himself used the shadows on a cave metaphor to indicate that
absolute truth is an ideal that we can only shuffle toward in
semidarkness, but one worth striving for.
I'd like to know if there are groups out there (preferably with a Web
presence) that feel as I do, perhaps think tanks that lack a political
agenda, that value finding truth above anything else?
Subject: Re: In search of true intellectual honesty... a chimerical quest?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 09 Oct 2003 20:49 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars

Ahh...where to begin.

There are at least 3,391 registered internet sites on the internet
with the word "truth" in their URL, including:, and

along with some other seemingly serious (and perhaps not so serious)
sites such as:

and of course, (and .net and .org)

along with


just to name a few.  The link to all the "truth" sites can be found


"Honesty" is not quite as prevalent as truth, but still, it's presence
on the internet is certainly felt, with more than 281 "honesty" names
in tow, including:

the intriguingly named,

and the tellingly expired site,

Interestingly, is not currently registered,
and appears to be up for grabs...(hint...hint).

The link to all the "honesty" sites can be found here:


I don't mean any of this to be glib (except, I guess, the auto repair
dig), but just as a means of illustrating that, yes, there are many,
many sites on the internet with an interest in the themes you asked
about.  Of course, whether their versions of "truth" and "honesty"
jive with your own is the $64,000 question.

I've been surfing the internet ever since it was born (way back in
another century) and have been searching for truth for quite a bit
longer than that.  I can't say I've found more than bits and pieces of
"truth" writ large in my life, and certainly, not much of it came from
the world wide web.

But in my cyber-meanderings, I've come across a goodly number of sites
that pride themselves on their objective seeking after truth.  How
close they actually come...well that's another matter entirely.  But
here are some worth knowing about, at least:

James Randi, otherwise known as the Amazing Randi, is a magician of
some note who has made it his personal quest to debunk the
"paranormal, pseudoscientific and the supernatural".  Now I know that
this isn't quite what you had in mind in your search for objective
politicial truth but, geez, that's just so hard to come by, I thought
I'd start with one man's simpler quest for separating truth from the
not-quite-true.  Visit Amazin's site, and have a good look around.'s name and motto -- "All the junk that's fit to
debunk" -- may seem to tell it all.  The site has gained a good deal
of noteriety for "debunking" popular news stories about things that
scare people, unnecessarily as far as is concerned. 
Their current site has stories debunking the dangers to children of
certain chemical exposures, raising questions about whether passive
cigarette smoke is really dangerous, and so on.

I hate this site.  To me, it is nothing more than a thinly-veiled
industry front aimed at ridiculing public concerns about pollution and
related dangers.  It is political to the max, but politics wrapped in
"truth".  You'll have to be your own judge, I'm afraid, as to whether is the type of site you're after.  But you would do
well to be aware of it, because many people consider it to be just the
type of thing you're looking for -- a site devoted to objective truth
without any axe to grind (hah!).

The League of Women Voters, on the other hand, is an overtly political
group in one sense, but I think they do a great job in their
self-described mission:

"A fair election has to be based on good information and an informed
electorate. Every voter needs access to the truth to make a wise

"To be an active and informed voter, a citizen needs: 

--Contact with candidates, political parties, family or peers who
encourage participation;
--An understanding the impact that the election will have on daily
--Access to information about the candidates, the issues, and the
nuts-and-bolts of the voting process itself"

Spend some time on their site to learn if this is the type of
truth-seeking that you, yourself, are trying to find.

On the think-tank front, Resources for the Future bills itself as:  

Independent, Balanced, Objective. 

Well, hell, they almost all say that, I suppose.  But RFF has a pretty
decent reputation for rising above the day-to-day political fray, and
I'd suggest they're worth a look as well.  While you're looking,
though, don't forget that they're getting a lot of corporate funding,
and as hard as they try to remain objective, the almighty dollar can
be a compelling temptation to give a little twist here and there to
what one sees as the truth.

There aren't more sites that come to mind.  I'm sure there are many,
actually that are seeking some version of the real truth (whatever
that may be), but without knowing a bit more about where you're coming
from, and what, really, you are looking for in your own quest, I'm
hard pressed to suggest other sites yet.  I will mention just one more

I don't know how they do it, but they seem to know all, see all, tell
all.  Check in with them often.

Feel free to use the Request for Clarification feature to ask for any
additional information you feel has not yet been addressed by this
answer...the more you can tell me, the better (perhaps) I can direct
you to the most appropriate resources.

Good luck with your search...stay honorable.



search strategy: live an active life and stay curious and compile a
wildly out-of-control list of bookmarks
pcventures-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
interesting... thank you.

Subject: Re: In search of true intellectual honesty... a chimerical quest?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 09 Oct 2003 18:42 PDT
You might enjoy this book:

Regarding groups that value finding truth, I suggest that you seek out
a philosophy club in your area. Most colleges and universities have
such a group. The conversation (usually over coffee) can be quite
Subject: Re: In search of true intellectual honesty... a chimerical quest?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 10 Oct 2003 11:15 PDT
I thought this was a great answer. It was both thoughtful and playful
in tone, provided useful information, and greatly exceeded reasonable
expectations for an answer in this price range.

Bravo, pafalafa-ga. You're one of the best.

~pinkfreud-ga, Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re: In search of true intellectual honesty... a chimerical quest?
From: pafalafa-ga on 10 Oct 2003 11:24 PDT
Thanks Pink.

You're the best, too...and that's the Honest Truth!


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy