Blue Heron in flight

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Big lies and belief

“To say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true.” Aristotle

When I was a hippie kid I used to wear a button that said question authority. It was a motto for many of us and I still think that it is important.

But there is a difference between questioning authority and questioning reality and truth. 

As the wise man said, "The truth shall set you free."

An interesting article today at the Washington Post, Why do republicans disproportionally believe health misinformation

The firm KFF has some interesting new polling out. The study is titled Most Americans encounter health misinformation and most aren't sure if it is true or false.

And the results show that their is definitely a partisan divide to our belief in what is real.

Respondents to new polling from KFF were presented with a number of statements and asked to evaluate whether they thought the claims were definitely or probably true. Asked about false claims that have been made about covid and other vaccines, Republicans were on average 20 percent more likely to state that they believed the false claims were accurate. Foremost among them: the regularly debunked idea that the coronavirus vaccine has caused thousands of deaths in otherwise healthy people. Nearly half of Republicans think that’s true.

I know that many of you can't broach the paywall and am going to share some of the poll questions and results with you. They are worth pondering.

Once again we see evidence that what we believe has much to do with which of the competing news silos we tend to frequent. Marshall McLuhan would have a field day. Truth has been stood on its ear and rationality thrown out the window. Force fed a steady diet of lies and conspiracies, often by people that knew they were peddling bullshit, we have lost the ability to discriminate the difference between truth and falsehood.

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