It’s Not A War On Truth

Many people are suggesting that there’s a war on “truth”, for whatever “truth” they happen to believe in.

I think that’s a gross over-simplification. I think the problem goes much deeper than that.

I believe there’s a war on thought; a war on critical thinking, to be more specific.

Blind disagreement has become more socially acceptable than applying critical thought.

The accepted practice today is to agree with the people you already agree with. Call it the echo chamber (surrounding yourself with people and sources with which you already agree) or confirmation bias (only paying attention to those people and sources with which you already agree) the bottom line is “get along”.

If you must disagree then just disagree. “Agree to disagree” as we sometimes call it. You can echo your co-believer’s standard lines and memes to support your position, but leave it at that. You acknowledge that those who think differently will not be swayed.

Asking someone to think about their position is not on the list. It has become socially unacceptable to ask others to think. Similarly, thinking about your own position – questioning it even – is on no one’s agenda.

The problem, of course, is that accepting the challenge to think about a position includes the implicit acknowledgement that you could be wrong. Everyone is so convinced they’re right that the response is simple: “I don’t have to think about it, because I know I’m right.”

“Agreeing to disagree” with me passively, yet tacitly acknowledges that one of us is right. Of course we each believe it’s us.

Asking me to think more explicitly challenges my being right.

How dare you?