As I travel around the Net and peruse the blogs and endless dialogues, I can’t help but wonder as to the real effectiveness of it all… I mean, there are tons of comments, arguments, statistics, chest-poundings and discussions ad nauseum…. and to what end?? It seems to me that this is a kind of distraction, a sort of mental masturbation, that enables the masses to avoid the real issues: How can we ALL live a happier, more fulfilling and meaningful life, here and NOW??
I think it is senseless to argue politics or religion (not a new thought, there) yet there is volumes of this blather all over the Net… does it really change anything?? Has it ever really made a difference?? (except for maybe the temporary feeling of smugness one feels while blasting some newbie who unwittingly posted an unsubstantiated “fact”). And, as for facts, there seems to be a tremendous misunderstanding of exactly what a “fact” is.
First, there is the confusion between facts and “strongly held beliefs”. For example, anytime, anyone takes a stand based on quotes from the Bible, they are obviously mistakenly confused about fact and fantasy. Any intelligent person has to admit that the Bible, at best, is an epic novel, and, at worst, a compilation of outright propaganda. Although it may have some inspirational value, it was never meant to be a defining treatise. I’m not going to belabor the point here, but anytime a story is passed in in an oral tradition over hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of years, and then is scribed in one language and translated (with many biases and prejudices) across several other languages, the best one can hope for is a muddied misrepresentation of the original event, if such an event even happened in the first place!!
Secondly, “facts” are often just theories that are put forth by someone who has resarched or studied a cerain subject and then quotes other “experts” as the defining “proof” that their assertion is indeed a “fact”…. anyone willing to be diligent enough to trace back through this self-validating process would eventually see the flimsiness of this particular assertion.
Thirdly, there is the “fact” that is presented as data or “reality”; you know, the kind of garbage we are inundated with by the press and media in an unending attempt to grab our ever-so-sought-after attention. There is so much untruth and mis-information spewed out by all these sources that, to me, it is impossible to draw any kind of informed conclusion based solely on their offerings. Yet, many stand unwaveringly firm on a position they have taken based on this gobbly-gook… indeed, it has become the basis for a great number of heated debates. As an example, let’s say one was able to somehow be an objective observer, intimately involved in the process of passing some important bill in Congress, and was able to have access to ALL the back room discussions and insider prodding (not to mention all the lobbying and special-interest groups involved), that person still wouldn’t be privy to what the actual thoughts and motivations of ALL the parties involved would be. The best that person could hope for is some kind of incomplete conclusion based on external, variable and biased perceptions. Hardly “factual truth”. Now, take that information, stir in a bit of sensationalization, a tad of self-righteousness, a smidgen of intended bias, dump the whole thing into some politically aligned media blender (word processor… lol) and serve up in humongous proportions to the mostly malleable public and you get todays “facts”… hardly anything “rock solid” yet it becomes the fodder of an interminable volume of “intelligent, informed discussion”… give me a break!!
This confabulation is certainly incomplete and imperfect but it does reflect a good share of my view on this subject. I hope to expand and clarify this further through dialogue and discussion and I hope you will contribute by posting your comments, thoughts and reflections. veiw