208. We need to learn how to unmask the various ways that the truth is manipulated, distorted and concealed in public and private discourse. What we call “truth” is not only the reporting of facts and events, such as we find in the daily papers. It is primarily the search for the solid foundations sustaining our decisions and our laws. This calls for acknowledging that the human mind is capable of transcending immediate concerns and grasping certain truths that are unchanging, as true now as in the past. As it peers into human nature, reason discovers universal values derived from that same nature.
One early step, if not the first, is not to go looking for words that edify us. In this category, I would include bad news that inflames the passions we cultivate as a way of feeling ourselves alive. What do I mean by that? People who look for scandal, then rejoice in its finding. People who interpret scandal for those they dislike or disagree with. And naturally, the silly stuff like aliens, lasers, pedophile rings, etc.. Such disinformation is peddled to confuse and splinter society. It works because many people have become accustomed to “their” news.
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