Post-Truth

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

Post-truth is defined as a situation “in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” In other words, objectivity, reality, or facts don’t matter. 

Bingo. That’s where we are today. But it’s not new, and we have been living in an era where propaganda and disinformation are constantly being used to sway public opinion.

Disinformation includes blocking contrary stories or ideas. Propaganda, long a tool of totalitarian regimes, means information (especially biased or misleading) which omits salient facts in order to promote a point of view. 

That’s where social media comes in where they have intentionally silenced conservative voices by shadow banning, blocking or even suspending accounts under the pretext that it is “misinformation”.  

The fourth largest newspaper in the United States ran a story about the Great Barrington Declaration, which was created by three outstanding epidemiologists. Its twitter account was then suspended for several weeks, and the story was shadow banned on Google. Shadow banning is a way that Google uses to bury in the search results where no one will ever see it. 

Studies have long shown that the next generation make decisions mostly based on emotions, not facts or circumstances. Add to that the fact that, by and large, they don’t read. If they see something on social media or media in general, they rarely get past the headline. 

The next generation also does “crowdsourcing” to help them make decisions. An “expert” has “shifted from someone with professional or academic credentials to potentially anyone with firsthand experience” according to Michael McAfee in It’s Not What You ThinkThey have shifted from objective sources of truth to a form of crowdsourcing of truth.

Crowdsourcing may be fine for consumer purchases, but it has its limits. How can they know that the consensus approach is actually true or helpful in areas such as life choices? What if the consensus goes against their opinion or is harmful?  Without a Christian worldview, how can they make sound decisions about God, morals, or life?

In the aftermath of the presidential elections, we see two narratives which are quite contradictory.  Both cannot be true. Earlier this week in the New York Times, the headline on the first page said there was “No Evidence of fraud” in the elections. It was based on “calls to offices of the top election officials”. 

Yet, other news sources have identified thousands of people that have somehow risen from the dead and voted in their resurrected bodies. I am not sure what fraud looks like, but having dead people vote seems suspicious to me. 

My friend, Steve Noble, suggested that we are now in a Tower of Babel world. There is a divide where there are two sides, and neither of them can understand the other. On the one side, there are people who want truth to prevail, even if it means losing an election. 

On the other side, there are those who hide their true motives (which is power at any cost) and are willing to repeat the same story narrative, hoping that if it is repeated often enough it will be accepted as correct, even if it is factually wrong.   That’s where we are.  

Reminds me of the school ground arguments where finger pointing and shouting “I am right!” to a youth who says “No, you’re not!”.  There’s no debate. No discussion. No facts. Just emotional outbursts. 

In a post truth-world, where the media, large corporations and tech companies are complicit, there is a real danger to our freedoms, particularly the freedom of speech “guaranteed” by the Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech and truth are now on the chopping block, or to use the French revolution model, headed for the guillotine. 

As Christians, we know that there is real truth. There is a God and Jesus was real. He was not a fiction.  The progressives would prefer you kept your religion to yourself.  If you dare speak out by asserting your rights in the workplace, you can end up in court, just as a Christian baker did for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. 

Twenty-five years ago, I predicted that the “price” of being a Christian in the 21st century was going up.  I don’t mean to say that I was prescient, but I could see trends where Christianity was being increasingly marginalized – both in government and the public square. 

Our next generation has been brought up in a post-modern, post-Christian and post-truth environment. That’s a lot of “posts” to overcome, for sure. In most cases, they are still willing to develop mentoring relationships – one on one – with people who have more life experiences than they do. 

Being a mentor is one way to combat the “posts”, and, at some level, introduce a reality based on truth, not emotional appeal or crowdsourcing.  I have been writing this blog for six years now, and I can honestly say that mentors are needed more than ever by a generation which is in search of truth but haven’t gotten it from their social media or friends. 

MENTOR TAKEAWAY: Your willingness to invest in the next generation as a mentor has never been more valuable in a post-truth world.

FURTHER READING:  It’s Not What You Think – McAfee

What Does It Mean to Live in a Post-Truth World – Peterson

Saving Truth: Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post Truth World – Murray

WORSHIP: Trust in Jesus – Third Day

MentorLink: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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