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Truth: Can You Handle It?
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Truth: Can You Handle It?

April 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Truth: Can You Handle It?
Better Yet: Do You Know It When You See It?
Washington Post
Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Internet has changed how we socialize and how we evaluate truth, evidently. This article is about how students no longer use books to find information for research reports but rather get their data from the Wikipedia, other user-collaborated sources, and pop culture icons like Jon Stewart. Again, snippets here:

“Inhabitants of the Wiki-world, consider these random but related events, most of which pertain to the under-25 set, all of which occurred in the past six months:

  • The launching of Cumul.us, a wiki-weather site in which users can collaboratively decide whether it is raining outside.
  • The release of “True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society,” Farhad Manjoo’s exploration of the “cultural ascendancy of belief over fact.”
  • The addition of “collateral misinformation” to UrbanDictionary.com. The entry: “When someone alters a Wikipedia article to win a specific argument, anyone who reads the false article before the ‘error’ is corrected suffers from collateral misinformation.”"

“For the Google generation, what happens to the concepts of truth and knowledge in a user-generated world of information saturation?”

“Corbin Lyday, the professor … looks horrified. “That’s the most profound change” he’s noticed in students since he taught his first class some 30 years ago. “The way they manage information. There’s a growing impatience and a real passivity.

But Johnson, Choudhry and Swaim do not seem lazy, nor do they seem in the least ignorant. They seem like busy teens who are treading water the best they can in a sea of information that gets increasingly deeper. “We can get information so fast, and pretty reliably . . . ” says Choudhry.”

“”We’re reading in niches,” says Manjoo, the author of “True Enough,” who discusses the smoking study in his book. “Since people have more choice, they can choose to read the things that reflect what they already believe.”"

This may be an obvious follow-up question on a Christian blog, but where do we obtain our sources of truth and authority? There are so many sources of information out there. We not only make decisions based on what we obtain externally but on what we generate internally. I can think of a few examples:

  • The Internet…
  • Popular culture
  • Past experiences
  • Personal rationality and arguments
  • Feelings
  • The traditions that we’ve been trained to follow (”That’s just how it is”)
  • Other people (parents, peers, Bible study leaders, etc.)

But what about the one source of real Truth - the Word of God?

Do you have a “growing impatience,” “real passivity,” and laziness when it comes to seeking Truth in the Word? Or is “pretty reliable” good enough?

Do you know the Bible well enough to check it against what you gather from other sources? Or are you choosing to believe what you want to believe?

What/who decides what Truth is in your life?

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