So, I'm re-reading Gaudy Night, by Sayers, and running into questions of 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...'.
In Gaudy Night, there is a long discussion among the members of Shrewsbury scholars about the morality of suppressing a fact, and of the person who sees the fact suppressed and lets it go.
"Well, that's true, of course. Nothing could possibly excuse deliberate falsification."
"There's no sense in deliberate falsification, anyhow," said the Bursar. "What could anybody gain by it?"
"It has been done," said Miss Hillyard, "frequently. To get the better of an argument. Or out of ambition."
"Ambition to be what?" cried Miss Lydgate. "What satisfaction could one possibly get out of a reputation one knew one didn't deserve? It would be horrible."
Of course, there are many things where depending on how one states the facts, and which facts one states, one can make totally opposing arguments. Some of them have been touched on lightly by certain discussions-- even among the sane people who do believe in the Holocaust, for instance, there are wildly varying constructions of what it was about and even the way things happened, and why, and what we need to do to keep it from ever happening again.
Right now, though, I'm looking at something less fraught. One of the blogs I read, a post-peak-oil one (and the peak oil movement puzzles me specifically because of the issues and indicators they choose to focus on), just posted something about the end of the economy, etc. as we know it. The writer cites two other sites for some facts to bolster her argument. But... following her references, I find that they don't say exactly what she has made them say. Using your 'economic incentive" to 'pay utility bills' is not the same as 'paying past-due utility bills'. It may indeed be true that 50% of 'recent' homebuyers now have no or negative equity in their homes-- if you define 'recent' as 'in the last 3 years'. Did the writer do this on purpose? Or is this just the way she reads the news? Should I say something? Should I stop reading her blog? I don't know.
The same is true of other questions. Even in my own writing. I've recently written about medieval hygiene. Trying to explode the 'dirty' stereotype, I may well have overstated my case, and possibly even my evidence. But if I don't lay out the evidence as I know it, I'm complicit in the surpression of facts. If I don't argue the thesis of John Riddle in Eve's Herbs
by saying "there's plenty of evidence that lots of this stuff isn't very effective, and that people really were obsessed with regular menstruation" I feel like I'm complicit in the misrepresentation of history. But am I actually supporting the suppression of truth? I don't know.