COMMENTARY: Truth Matters. Trustworthiness Matters.

Truth matters and its your moral responsibility to find it. Trustworthiness matters and its your moral duty to insist on it.

Never in my lifetime has truth been more important or more illusive.

Though hard to find, within every mountain of careless claims, unsubstantiated assertions, fallacious reasoning and outright lies there are true facts and credible sources. It is your moral duty to find them.

It’s hard to argue with the observation that everyone is entitled to their own opinions but no one is entitled to their own facts, but there is ample evidence that this is not a standard applied by scores of politically motivated sources who discredit any information or person that undermines the beliefs they seek to instill or reinforce.

One group labels virtually every story, however well-researched or corroborated, as false and fake and large segments of the media continue to catalog and call attention to all statements they say are lies. In this highly charged partisan atmosphere, millions of people seem willing to suspend any responsibility to evaluate the credibility of information that does not support their previous beliefs. Academics call this confirmation bias but, in many cases, this phenomena is and more serious and sinister – it’s a form of prejudice that precludes fair and prudent decision-making. It results in willful blindness.

Keep your guard up. Keep your mind open.

BE HUMBLE.

It is difficult to tell the difference between what we know (based on objectively true facts) and opinions (what we believe to be true). Beware of the self-righteousness trap – thinking the intensity of a belief proves its correctness. In fact, there is no correlation between the passion of our convictions and the likelihood that we are right.

Some people see the word good; others evil. The goal is to see both.

View all new information with skepticism( not cynicism), integrity and objectivity. Base your beliefs on facts rather than interpreting facts based on your beliefs.

Sometimes people that disagree with you are right at least about some things. Sometimes people that agree with you are wrong. Beware of those who are misinformed, irrational or malicious. It takes courage and integrity to reject contentions that support your beliefs and adopt some that may require you to change them.

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