Fake-news is everywhere. It leads to fake knowledge and that is disconcerting to everyone. The fake-news usually presents one or the other side of the proverbial political aisle, but who decides what's fake and what's true? In this Information Age, is credibility crumbling around us? Or are we witnessing an awakening to healthy skepticism, a new awareness?
We came across the following discussion on power and knowledge, which deserves consideration (a brief synopsis below), from a posting by Harry T Dyer of The Conversation:
It has been suggested that knowledge is created and used by those in power to justify their legitimacy. In the course of doing so, they control what is considered to be correct and incorrect knowledge. Thus an intimate and interlinked relationship between power and knowledge. In previous eras, this was mainly the purview of religious institutions, but more recently scientific institutions, media monopolies, decadent governments, etc. have usurped the place of religious institutions.
Along the same line, we present the following from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and although it refers specifically to physical science, it can be applied to all human knowledge, including religious belief (emphasis added):
Physical science (so-called) is human knowledge,...
When this human belief lacks organ-
izations to support it, its foundations are gone.
Having neither moral might, spiritual basis,
nor holy Principle of its own, this belief mistakes effect
for cause and seeks to find life and intelligence in matter,
thus limiting Life and holding fast to discord and death.
In a word, human belief is a blind conclusion from material
reasoning. This is a mortal, finite sense of things, which
immortal Spirit silences forever.
"Human belief is a blind conclusion from material reasoning." Outrageous? Well, consider how often projections into the future based upon scientific models of the experts have proven to be entirely wrong, and how often scientific theories of the universe (including medicine) are being revised and argued, and how often history is being revised based upon newly discovered evidence... Material reasoning is based upon empirical evidence, which, by definition is finite and so prominent physicists acknowledge that no theory can be proven beyond a shadow of doubt.
"For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence."(S&H) Here we offer how this might be applied in practice:
Modify our approach in evaluating what we are reading/listening to - instead of trying to decide whether some news item is true or false, why not question the motive behind the news? If it carries with it a sense of hatred, or unrestrained adoration, if it is espoused to be irrefutable because the experts all agree or because the Bible says, etc. these should raise a red flag. We remember that "institutions work to maintain their claims to legitimacy by controlling knowledge." It is fallible because it is human. But spiritual existence is Love-based, expressed by the Golden Rule which cannot be institutionalized.
This is why a healthy dose of individualism is critical to a healthy society and the best protection against fake-news. Isn't it interesting that throughout the Bible God never spoke to mankind through an institution/organization, but only through the spiritualized individual?