How do you determine who is telling the truth?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by 777, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. 777

    777 Member

    Jun 29, 2004
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    Please note that my thread is not about matters of faith or what one should believe in or how one should go about acquiring information. This is my view, nothing more.

    In my first post here I pointed out that I am an observer more than anything else and not associated with any political party. I’ve been following the arguments that go back and forth about the issues of the day. Any opposing view / an idea that threatens one’s ideology is often dead on arrival, or labeled as anti-american. I suspect the truth often gets lost in all the bickering, blaming and name calling.

    How do you decide which piece of news has more validity versus another piece of news about the same subject but written from a different angle? Do you determine the validity based on what aligns with your beliefs? Alternately, can you put your biases and beliefs aside and determine the validity based on who has a better argument?

    It is easy to stay within the perimeters of a belief system defined since childhood. We are so stuck to our view of the world that anything beyond those perimeters is completely ignored or “dissed”. What is much harder is to open our minds, to entertain other possibilities where the core beliefs held dear and true all our lives may no longer maintain their validity. To give you an extreme sample (sorry, I could not come up with anything better): There is absolute proof that there is more than one God or there is absolute proof that there is no such thing as God. Would you rather ignore either concept even if there was absolute proof or actually consider the possibility of either and change your view accordingly? (Obviously in matters of faith there need be no absolute proof. I mean for everyone to think of any “concrete issue” of the day that has created a great divide.)

    I think it is important to pay attention where we get our information from. The information flow is controlled and manipulated by a particular medium based on the agenda it wants to promote. There are versions promoted by extreme right wing Republicans, version promoted by extreme left wing Democrats and all the versions in between. If you only get your news from, say, extreme liberal or conservative media I suspect you’ll likely get a biased piece of information (agenda to promote). Therefore, it seems naïve to just take everything at face value and never question validity of anything, whatever the biased media throws at us. It is important to question the motives of the ones who provide us the information, be it from any source, and to be able to critically analyze it to make an informative decision. For that to be possible one should keep an open mind, to change an opinion if it comes to that even if the new concepts do not conform to one’s beliefs and perspectives. Otherwise we may end up getting stuck in a blissful ignorance, void of any intellectual development.

    However, there is a dilemma of sorts when we try to get a balanced view by reading all sources, from conservative to liberal. Too many views conflict with each other within those perimeters. Who really speaks the truth when it comes to Iraq war, Ken Lay issue, and on and on it goes …. If only everything could be presented with mathematical accuracy. What would that do to most arguments? Maybe we just like to argue. Call that a human nature.

    So, back to the original question; how do you determine who is telling the truth / what source is more reliable than another and why? Please, let’s try to keep this civil and abstain from name calling and same old arguments such as “If the argument comes from a liberal media, then by default, it is false” or “Anything Bush says is a lie”.

    Thank you very much
  2. Bullypulpit

    Bullypulpit Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2004
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    Columbus, OH
    ...It will be history that reveals the truth, and that depends upon who the winners are.

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