Opinions Are Not Facts and Lies Are Not Opinions
We have so much lessons to learn during these past couple of months. So many things appear unprecedented yet bear chilling echoes from the past. We have seen insurrections before. We have witnessed fascism and racism. The reason why these evils prevail is our abandonment of truth. Critical thinking is not lacking because of a dearth in human knowledge. Critical thinking is lacking because of widespread deception. We already have inherent biases, choosing only what we like to believe. Combine this with lies and we have a toxic medium of misinformation. Last night, I gave my 11-year old daughter an opportunity to watch NEWSMAX. NEWSMAX is currently rated as unreliable with the following characteristics: "Selective or Incomplete Story, Unfair Persuasion, Propaganda". The topic that was being discussed was a tweet made by the National Rifle Association (NRA) stating that President-elect Biden was going to destroy the 2nd Amendment. My daughter, being young, is not familiar with this debate, yet she noticed right away that one side of the argument was not provided a fair chance. Only fifteen seconds were given to the side of "gun control" and these few seconds even came with interruptions.
|Above copied from Ad Fontes Media|
We cannot expect society to learn critical thinking if we keep spewing lies. The foundation of critical thinking is knowledge. Its main enemy is deception.
These past few years are rich with very important lessons. Sadly, it is also full of lies, such as, climate change is not man-made, wealth trickles down, and the COVID pandemic is a hoax. For the past months, we have been inundated by the lie that the election is rigged. With these enormous lies, it is difficult to practice critical thinking.
Critical thinking is not easily taught for it requires good knowledge to practice. However, I learned something from my daughter last night. A notion of fairness helps. It is indeed a Herculean task to expect society to behave as scientists do as we push the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding. Debunking lies and refraining from spreading deception are the least we could do for our children.