Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Relative Truth

Found an interesting comment on an article the state of Georgia observing the Confederate Memorial Day….

The truth of history means very little to those who are dead set against learning anything from it. No matter what the history books used in our public school system say, most will never believe anything other than their own opinion about the Civil War. History revisionist are the celebs of the day. As long as people like Rev. Wright, and David Duke exist, history’s truth will be filtered through lies and distortions. Few observe Confederate Memorial Day: UGA to display original constitution; state offices closed

Truth may very well be completely relative. Back during the US Presidential election, I ran across an interesting article in the Washington Post discussing research John Bullock did about the effects of misinformation and idealogical bias ties. I used to think it had to do with a handful of people stuck in their green, second ammendment, pro-life, pro-choice, capitalist, regulation views. My favorite pasttime in college was assuming positions contrary to others even when I agree with the others.

I doubt the effect solely affects conservatives as was proposed in the article. More likely everyone has some blindspots in determing truth from myth or fiction kind of like optical illusions. (Yes, even myself.) We have to choose which information to believe any time we interact with information. Much of the rules in philosophy and science are built around combatting the biases we have.

Rather than force ideas on others, I think we should be teaching children from an early age to recognize when others and most especially themselves are operating under a bias. Its the only way to find detachment.


4 responses to “Relative Truth”

  1. Andy Fore Avatar

    Truth is often relative. For instance, when arguing religion with a friend of mine he asserted that his particular belief was “the Truth” as opposed “a Truth.” Also, what we believe as being true often depends deeply on our environment during our formative years.

    I agree with you about teaching our children to recognize bias. It is also important that we teach the validity of differing opinions.

    1. Ez Avatar

      There’s a bunch of skills we ought to teach children in order to successfully operate in an information rich world. A non-comprehensive list….

      1. Bias recognition
      2. Valid different opinions
      3. Multiple independent sources
      4. Causality vs. correlation
      5. Formal logic, especially fallacy recognition
      6. How to recognize when attention is waning and keep other’s attention
      7. How memory works
      8. How stress works
      9. How the senses work
  2. jeff Avatar

    it is never to late to learn these skills,maybe a good time for me to start.

  3. Ez Avatar

    “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius

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