I, like many others, wrestle with what to believe from news outlets, the corporate elite, and politicians. Of course, I first turn to research, but this isn’t always conclusive. Here are three of my firm guiding principles when two parties claim the other is lying.
- 1) Know that ALL humans are fallen, and the desire to get/keep positions of political or economic power corrupts most everyone. So, “trust” that what you hear from “big name people” is likely a self-serving manipulative half-truth, dis-information, or an out-right lie.
- 2) Everyone lives out an ideology of life that provides Truths that motivate some things and inhibit others. Atheists and secularists have few Truths to guide the morality of their statements and actions, while Christianity places the highest priority on loving God and others in word and deed. While remembering #1, what ideology does the source in question claim? Atheism (the source of secularism) provides the least sanction against lying, religions in general support truthfulness, and Christianity has the strongest alignment with truth.
- 3) Since people can lie (#1) about their ideology (#2), look to their track-record. Does both their personal and public life provide evidence of their adherence to virtuous ideals?