The truth is almost dead in a modern world
In general people say that they value the truth. However, when a would-be truth is unpalatable or does not fit with their individual values or knowledge-base, it is not allowed. I’m speaking in general of course, so unable to cater for obvious exceptions.
This exploration does not include scientific truths such as the speed of light etc. It may be of interest to some, to keep in mind that some still believe that the earth is flat – and unrelated, is that a man was almost killed for asserting that the earth was not the centre of the universe (a few hundred years ago).
The phenomenon of post-truth (a very large concept) is about how people come to ‘truths’. Lies and fake news repeated often enough, tend to become what people hold as truths. It is not uncommon that an authoritative figure starts the ball rolling. Once the ‘untruth’ is repeated by people who think ‘it sounds good’, then eventually it becomes accepted. The effect of this is that naysayers tend to be labelled away, or actually shut down.
Post-truths in a modern social media era survive and propagate mainly because:
They are highly unrewarding for naysayers to make challenges due to limits of effort, time and ability to withstand social media discomforts (i.e. abuse that goes below the radar of many moderated forums).
‘Topic’ and post-truth silos, attract droves of people who ‘believe in a thing or issue’ and naturally do not attract as many who do not.
The effect of the above is that silos tend to grow and develop force – among the unknowing, not being exposed to realities beyond their belief systems.
In effect what prevails are values underpinned by attitudes (or vice versa). So, the truth may not even be what people believe – but rather what people ‘feel’ is correct. The differentiation is important. Truth is a cognitive concept, primarily. Whereas attitudes are often below the level of cognition and often orchestrate what one might eventually come to believe.
The truth can never really be killed. Why? Because reality survives regardless of what we ‘feel’ or believe. History has shown repeatedly that the truth sometimes behaves like a vicious immortal monster. When it bites eventually, there is much pain caused. Then follows large paradigm shifts. All that was fake tends to fade away in a deafening silence.
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