Here is the problem with determining truth.
If you adopt a flag or an ideology or a favorite color, you can easily get locked into adopting whatever you hear from your party–your favorite source.
Jacques Ellul wrote a very instructive book Propaganda which I recommend to those who are confused about how truth is “decided.”
Myself, I find epistemology fascinating to think about, because sometimes it takes quite a bit of effort mentally to determine truth and knowledge, as opposed to just believing what the “media” says.
When I was younger, I was absorbed in propaganda. My favorite websites were a particular strain of libertarianism at one point–and it had a lot of truth I believe, but it wasn’t entirely the “truth” in retrospect. And I didn’t even have to read a new article to agree with it. I got a rush just looking at the title and that was good enough for me. Before that, it was a particular religion.
Truth is always mixed with error when someone is lying and scamming someone–or when they’re just wrong about something.
I was involved in ideologies, and it’s hard to help, but you get sucked in to your current obsessive interest–because people love to learn, so it can be very natural, but there is nothing all that natural about the ideologies themselves in my opinion. Ideologies become like traps for the mind.
In recent times, people have taken sides between those who “support Trump” and those who “oppose Trump” and it leads to a dead-end in many conversations. And I think that situation is actually designed that way to create division. I find it very frustrating, because I used to be more of a Ron Paul supporter in the past and I don’t really want to take sides between those who hate Trump and those who love Trump and think that whatever Trump believes or doesn’t is some kind of discussion about ideas.
People are living in a world full of deception. In war time, as they say, truth is the first casualty. Maybe that explains what is happening now. There is a type of war and someone has decided that lying is OK.
The first lie is that a central authority A determines truth:
A has decided that story X is true. But A’s obedient employees aren’t really checking anything about it. They just follow orders–or oaths of some kind. That’s another issue of compromise. Speaking of being compromised, that’s where values come in too–as in, not letting yourself be compromised. This is where old-fashioned people talk about morality, which may not have been taught properly or at all in public education for a long time.
A has decided that X is the most important thing in everyone’s life. But some people will disagree because they have some huge problem in their personal lives to worry about. But A is more powerful and therefore X is true and its overarching importance is also the truth now too? Really? No, not really.
A repeats its message a lot and through many mouthpieces. A is a very insistent and wealthy group of people who want more power. Therefore A speaks the truth? Is that truth? No, none of that makes something true.
A has decided that people have to give up their rights and freedoms and income and property and well-being for story X. But some people will disagree. That’s quite a new “truth” in itself, that people have to give up all that, but A persuades so many people of this apparently, at least it seems that way. Maybe we’ll never know how many disagreed because nobody’s talking. Actually in that case, truth is determined by peer pressure, drowning out disagreement and intimidation. No, I don’t think so.
A has decided that people must believe story X. But some people (not many by this point apparently) don’t and want to disagree. But that’s another truth, that somehow “they must believe X.” Who determined that truth? A of course. And A flashes a lot of numbers and tells a lot of stories that aren’t closely examined, but even if they are and found wanting with full of holes, the questioners are shouted down (or they were never heard in the first place). Emotion also has been stirred up and emotion prevails. And movies and television programs are used to back up the stories and emotions. Hence we have “truth,” right? No.
A will use people like gullible younger people especially (but older people too)–ideologically motivated people and also career-oriented, ambitious, naive people who weren’t warned or taught about right and wrong, corruption and power–to push story X and its resultant policies on everyone using propaganda and dictatorial measures.
You get paid–the “truth” is paid for. The dissenters don’t get paid. That’s how the winners decide truth. The strong decide truth. Those who disagree with the alleged “truth” are locked up or dumped on the side of the road. Might makes truth. Right? In your view? Hopefully not.
That’s where values should have come in–early on–when you started lying for money.
Try changing that before it’s too late.