Let’s talk facts, truth, and “fake news”.
Without question, the idea of “agreeing on a basic set of facts” has become one of the pressing issues of our time. There’s been a ton of material written on these subjects since the 2016 US presidential election.
Durham University in England published a paper titled America and the Death of Facts: Politics and the War on Rationalism.
The New York Times published In Watergate, One Set of Facts. In Trump Era, Take Your Pick.
Vox has published some very good articles on this subject as well such as America is facing an epistemic crisis and Donald Trump and the rise of tribal epistemology.
In summary, the articles above all conclude that an increasingly large chunk of Americans believes a whole bunch of crazy things and it is warping our politics.
Here’s the issue I take with this phenomenon: The debate is extremely flawed.
Let’s be blunt. Religion is the original “fake news”!
Organized religion such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam have been around for hundreds of years, yet no one thinks of them as fake news. They have preached, sometimes with violence, very specific sets of facts to the masses all of which are in direct contradiction with each other, and more importantly, with the real world in general.
In other words, we have always lived with an arbitrary set of facts which conforms to our tribal ideology. These religious facts go against all of our modern institutions, such as journalism, science, and academia, which are devoted to gathering and disseminating knowledge to and for the people.
In other words, it’s the epitome of hypocrisy to all of a sudden worry about an epistemic crisis in American society when we have spent hundreds of years under an actual epistemic crisis and never cared to be bothered about it.
Think about it.
The talking heads in our television sets, phones, and Internet screens are all begging for a basic set of facts to agree on. The “liberal” wing is terrified of the eroding foundation of shared standards of evidence and accuracy that we’ve become so accustomed to. Yet, we live with religions which have created a world filled with division and unsupported facts all in the name of power.
Has anyone bothered to discuss this crisis? Has any “liberal” dared bring up the subject of religion when discussing this epistemic crisis? Has anyone made the connection religion=fake news?
I argue that if agreeing on a basic set of facts is so dire to the liberal establishment, then we should focus on some root causes. Organized religion is a good starting place.
Sadly, I think the cry for a basic set of facts is all a political lie. The “liberal” class is not actually interested in truth. If they were, they would at least mention the corrosive effect that religion has on on the masses that lean toward right-wing political views.
Their silence on this subject is all too revealing.
It must be said. You want to talk about fake news? Let’s start with our bibles!
Thanks for reading,
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