OpED

THE CRISIS OF TRUTH IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE: Can we know and know that we know?

John Kamurinde is the author of the slavery in modern education (PHOTO /Courtesy)

In an attempt to get a solution to this crisis, the following questions will be of paramount importance:

1. What is truth?

2. Is truth relative?

3. Is truth a product of perspective and cultural environment?

4. What influences truth?

5. What is the effect of relativism on truth and society today?

“…..I will agree with the relativists to the extent that most of what we see on social media and mainstream media is simply a product of perspective and class interests, it is a reflection of social dichotomy. it’s a product of class and sentimental ejaculation. Like I already warned in my book The Slavery in Modern Education, an education premised on slavery cannot produce a society of truth. The media, education, politics, etc. are all authored by the markets, humanity has been viciously displaced in all these disciplines thus truth was replaced by interests. It follows that the crisis of truth on social media street is one of the slaps of globalization on our society. It can’t be blamed only on the youth as some people want to take it. It is a reflex of the collective failure of society. In the circumstances, relative truth cannot be the truth”

This article is inspired by GREAT THINKERS ON GREAT QUESTIONS PART 1-One World Oxford. Edited by Roy Abraham Varghese.

To begin with, its commonly believed that “Truth” is simply a product of perspective or cultural environment. The relativists state that the human mind is incapable of knowing anything.

I will agree with other scholars against this defensive cultural relativism that it’s unbelievable to say that truth is relative. To say that is like to say that there is no such thing as truth. Further, to say that truth is a product of perspective or cultural environment is itself not true. We can generally say that morality is relative but truth cannot be.

However, we must say that relativism dominates what we see and hear today. And this can be attributed to a number of factors to include but are not limited to social economics. For example, if you listen to CNN and Fox News, you would say there are two worlds in the media. There is no common ground of truth in media today. This is because of something I already addressed in my book “THE SLAVERY IN MODERN EDUCATION” that the behavior of the media, religion, politics is authored by the markets. That there is a steady displacement of man from the table of education by the markets. Even what seems to be obviously true is disputed. For example, don’t get surprised when someone disputes the existence of America.

The relativists state that the human mind cannot know, we just perceive…yet they contradict themselves by stating that truth is relative. This is self-defeating on the whole concept of relativism on truth. To say that man is incapable of knowing that he knows is like to say that (A) who is walking cannot know the fact that he exists. This is an example of obvious truth.

I will agree with Hugo Anthony Meynell an English scholar that in accessing truth, Kant’s principles of reasoning must be invoked. Kant summarizes them into 4 transcendental precepts and they include:

Be attentive. Which imports attending to experiences including our feelings.

Be intelligent. This imports that one must be analytical.

Be reasonable. One must select a hypothesis that is relevant to the experience at the moment.

Be responsible. One must apply a judgment reasonably arrived at.

This is a very relevant hypothesis…thus for one to discover what is true, I find the above paramount.

 

Until a man is liberated from sentimentalism and jaws of social economics, I find that relativism will still have control over the media output and truth today. For example, when you look at what is happening today, it is a representation of a dual world. The government and anti-government bandits say different things. And they are all convinced that what they say is true.

The fact is that truth is slowly being replaced by class and emotional fulfillment. Look when engaging a member of NRM and a member of NUP, it’s as if they completely live in a different world. Truth has been suppressed by interests.  All this emerging from the social-economic situation but also the poor education system in the world sponsored by the markets, not man. The dominant class in society has a definition of truth in contradiction with that of the dominated class.

I must say that contradiction in truth puts society in fragility because for the dominated class, genuine truth may be suppressed in favor of sentimental consolation. And for the dominant class, any truth that is at variance with their interests cannot be taken as truth. Thus, the effect of this is that we shall have a garbage society. We shall have a society of no truth.

When the markets dominate education and society as a whole…truth becomes a product of class…and thus it seizes to be the truth but class interests. It simply becomes a defense of interests.

Genuine truth must be guided by the human basic structure. That is;

-love

-fairness and natural justice

-joy

-happiness. These should predominate man in his/her approach and definition of truth. A slavery education system cannot create a society of truth. For example, when you examine commentaries of government officials and those of opposition, you’re most likely to find limited water of truth in all of them…I don’t support the view that only government has the moral obligation to live and tell truth. I hold the view that society must live and tell truth.

Note: social media is simply a product of a rotten society. Whereas it has been used as an escape route to social and individual responsibility, using the simple mirror-image rule we must face the fact that social media has played a big role to express the two worlds in our society.

 

BY KAMURINDE JOHN

A lawyer and an author

[email protected]

Tel.+256 708157586

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