Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Where Is the Truth?

I find that in our divisive situation today that many people are not interested in what is true. They are only interested in hearing and reading things that support what they believe. That is a bad and sad place to trap yourself. We have campuses of schools and universities in this country that do not want to allow any dissenting opinions to what the students and faculty believe. Let me state that a different way. Our universities that were created with the intent to improve knowledge are now at the forefront of stopping education. Do you see the irony here? There is no education in having your beliefs reinforced. Once that decision is made there is no longer a use for dialog.

I find that in political and social issues most people do not want to know the truth. They believe what they believe and no amount of truth will convince them to change their mind. Me, I am still interested in what actually is true. In order for me to continue to think I know the truth, I have to listen and understand opposing arguments. Most of the things people believe are because of the choices of what to hear during their lives.

I am sure most of you have heard the Mark Twain quotation about newspapers. “You can not read the paper and be uninformed or read the paper and be misinformed.” Well Mark has been gone for a while. Nowadays you can be misinformed by television, radio, magazines and the internet. A few newspapers still have some sway, but their loyal readers are among the most misinformed. The sad thing is that the readers do not understand they are being fed propaganda, not news.

Where do you look for the truth? Not in politics. We hear people in both parties denying they said things that we can watch them say in video and audio. We used to have politicians that made empty promises. Now we have politicians – our leadership that tell absolute lies. It is sad, but it is not going away until we demand it go away by our election choices.

Newspapers and TV news is mostly propaganda for a position they believe. They no longer investigate. Investigative journalism is all but dead. Reporters find quotations or statements that support their point of view and repeat them verbatim. Again, sad, but true. Belief in the news media is about 6% today.

How many of you believe the gas mileage numbers manufacturers put on new cars? Most of us learned about that lie 30 years ago. How about drug manufacturers? They have been lying about test results and hiding information from the government and the populace since they went into business. Do you suppose the people at the FDA do not know the truth? Of course they do.

I recently read an e-magazine article, “Scientific Regress” written by William A. Wilson and published in the news magazine at www.firstthings.com. It is worth reading. It discusses many areas in the scientific community falsifying data and making claims of results that cannot be duplicated. This is not science this is BS. It covers most sciences -- psychology, pharmaceuticals, medicine and physics.

Where do you find the truth? It is not for free. The first step is a willingness to look inside of yourself. If you are not willing to challenge everything you believe, your education period is over. You are stuck at the level of knowledge already achieved. Personally, I am not ready to claim perfection. I take strong positions and listen to dissenting opinions. I am always skeptical. I also do not mind being wrong, if you can prove it to me. I will change my mind if you can convince me. I do not mind doing some research, if data is actually available. For me, what I believe IS the truth -- until I know better.

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