The article below explains that the Sugar Industry paid Harvard researchers to skew the facts on sugar. What do you do when you’ve based years of life on facts, published research that turns out to be false? You adjust. Yet, it raises concerns around building a mental picture of the world on facts and reasoning that meets high standards until they don’t.
We all base our point of view, the positions we take based on our sources of information. We can never truly know if information is objectively true until we have tested it ourselves. Otherwise, trusting third-party information (books, researchers, renown speakers, and trusted persons) remains an arbitrary decision.
Most of us, myself included, do not have the resources and time to verify every word we’ve read or heard spoken. Think of every book or news article you’ve read, including the one below. Do you regularly ask yourself, “is it true?” The problem is systematic skepticism seems to cost more in the short-term than default acceptance.
It is my hypothesis that many rational statements and fact-based assertions are advanced forms of persuasion. Solid arguments in support (key word support) of a given position appeal to the conscious mind’s preference for statements of truth. Truth can be equated with trust and reliability. Does the absence of bias mean there is truth?
Anyway, humankind could benefit from advances in the areas of evaluating information, making better decisions, and issuing statements of a higher qualitative order. Otherwise, we will ceaselessly run into the brick wall of our own facts as well as biases.