WHAT TO BELIEVE?

Authored by William Robert Barber

It is palpable that the great majority of the populous reads, writes, and comprehends voluminous quantities of information. After all, compared to yesteryear, today’s mediums of dissemination are diverse in source and variable in means. So why the abrupt discrepant of meaningfulness? How can the content of an identical issue result in dissimilar interpretation?

Predetermination! A belief does not require facts, the truth of the matter, or the consideration of evidence to the contrary. A belief only requires the stubborn determination of adherence. All of us homo sapiens, seemingly, secure emotional comfort from our underlying beliefs.

Challenging our tight-fist predetermination with conflicting information respective of the empirical veracity of evidence does not automate a change of one’s predetermination. As a consequence, persuasive discourse, void of deductive logic, regresses into the counter-intuitive dilemma of irrational persistence.

The reasoning of persuasion is to initiate consensus. The presumption of achieving consensus is that such an achievement prompts a willingness to change an opinion or edit a particular predetermination… Well, not necessarily.

Words seldom change opinions or predetermination; however, they do validate existing beliefs. It is events, particularly in our hyper-technological media environment that action enables. Words trail the event. Subsequently, the first words after the event, even if inaccurate, are the most powerful — because these words expose the tone, intent, and more often than not create the ongoing basis of understanding. In this hyper-partisan political environment, like sirens to Ulysses, the tone and intent beckon one to a particular, usually ideological, perspective.  

Facts are subject to analysis, clarification, and explanation, hence versions. Truth is elusive, tenuous, and often indefinable. Nonetheless, one needs to have core beliefs. When speaking of political beliefs, one believes in a limited government or not. In, at all risks therein, individual liberty and freedom — or not. The rule of law, a nation of laws or men, the literal interpretation of the constitution or a continuum of court opinions that counter the meaningfulness of the founders.

Well, I’ve had my say, so now we can all retire to our respective corners…

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