Once before, I have written a text about what we consider to be true in the information we get from the mass media and any other sources we have access to. Although it was in another life, on another blog and in another language. Then again, what we consider to be true? And why?
Let us again employ Jack, a man who is someone doing something what any of us could have done in a given situation. Jack reads some news and he considers them to be true, because he trusts the author (the web page / the newspaper / etc). But does he really have any reason to believe them?
Does Jack have any evidence that the site or journalist he is reading, is writing the truth? Maybe what he gets is not the truth, but what he and most of the readers would wish to be true?
Now let us assume that Jack doesn’t believe so easily in what he reads and what he is told by the mass media. Does he have any real possibility to check it? He might do his own research, like a journalist, on an issue he is sceptic about. Although, let us make next assumption: Jack isn’t doing any research and his only sources of information are the Internet, media and people around him.
Jack might be comparing information from various sources to decide which of them is the most trustworthy and now on he would trust only this one. But still… he is just working with information that is passed on by the media or people.
How can Jack believe that he is not being deceived? How could he believe that, for example, the president of his country exists if he have never seen nor talked to him? Does he have to take for granted that media isn’t showing a paid actor and the other people aren’t deceived as he is? Of course, it is an extreme example.
But let us continue. Jack stops to trust any other source of information than his own perception. He doubts in every knowledge he achieves from anyone, because he stops to see any reason to believe anyone except himself. The effect is that he starts to doubt everything he has once learned and believed in. This way leads him to a point when he really knows nothing.
Jack may be also not believing anymore that people he hasn’t ever meet or seen by his own eyes exist. Slowly he stops believing that anyone except himself is true and simply is. His scepticism leads him to a conclusion that he is the only real person in the world. Then, if Jack is the only person in the world, he cannot confront himself with any other being, so he may be also inexistient. That could be the Jack’s truth.
What is the truth then? I think that we may answer what is perceived to be true. Which is what many people believe and say so. Although, when too many people consider something to be true and ‘proper’, without thinking about it nor being able say why is that, it is the first sign that we should reconsider that thing ourselves.