In today’s age of infinite information, we are all looking for “truth”.
Nobody wants to be a victim of fake news. We also don’t want to be victims of deceptive reporting, false science, biased opinions, or hidden agendas. It seems the more information we have, the harder it is to discover the truth.
The information age is actually a brand new environment for us as human beings. Up until the last few decades, we were not continuously bombarded with such high volumes of information. I still remember the days when you couldn’t just “Google It” and get 5 million search results. We are constantly being blasted with conflicting news reports. And now with social media, we are experiencing a new type of connection that is not “normal” when compared to how people interrelated over the past few thousand years.
As we all grapple with the covid outbreak and try to figure out what it all means, there is clearly a lot of conflicting information circulating around. And since other people’s opinions cannot generally be relied upon, we instead look to science as a source of truth based on facts.
After all, “science” can’t be disputed right? If we make decisions based on facts and science, we can’t go wrong… right?
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Facts are often deceptive or just plain meaningless, depending on how they are presented and interpreted. One of the most common ways facts are twisted into lies is through the use of statistics. For example, the fact-seeking scientists will tell you something like “the covid-19 fatality rate is 1%” – something they believe to be a fact. But how do we know this is a fact? And even if it is, what does it mean?
To answer the first question, we don’t know if the reported fatality rate is a fact. We are relying on reports from people we have never met, in countries we have never been to, and we have to assume that those facts are being reported accurately by people we don’t know who are in positions of great power (eg. the television media), and who are often incentivized to paint a particular picture about the world.
Now, even if we were to accept this “fact” about the covid fatality rate, what does it mean? Does it mean, as one might suppose, that you or I or the average person has a survival rate of 99%? No, that’s not what it means. Why not? Because we know that older people or people with respiratory problems are at higher risk, while a younger healthy person has a lower risk. So the 1% rate is a statistical average, but it is not accurate if applied to any particular individual. The truth is the fatality rate will be different for everyone, but “different for everyone” is not the type of conclusion science is looking for.
The thing is, statistics are not facts, they are probabilities. Statistics paint a false picture of reality because they ignore outliers, they rely on a limited sample size, and they can’t account for random external factors.
And true reality is full of random external factors.
This is why so much of science is performed in a lab, because if they exposed their test to the real world, they would never get the same result twice. And yet, our entire base of scientific knowledge is based on these isolated studies that can not be replicated in the real world, and do not account for outliers or random external factors.
Now, even if we accept this so-called fact about the covid fatality rate, what does it mean?
Does it mean you should wear a mask?
Does it mean you should go to work?
Does it mean you should stock up on toilet paper?
These are all real, legitimate questions that no scientific fact will help you answer. I certainly won’t claim to have the answer for you, you have to make your own judgment based on your inner knowledge and awareness. But “inner knowledge and awareness” is basically ignored or laughed at by the scientific types looking for truth based on facts. And yet, facts are meaningless if you don’t have any of your own critical decision making ability to rely on.
And if you just want to do what the people on TV tell you to do, based on the facts (or more likely, statistics) they feed you, then that is your choice. But you have to recognize that those people in authority are making rules for everyone without considering your particular situation. They are making rules to protect their own political reputation, and they are being influenced by lobbyists and other “experts” who often have profit-seeking agendas.
I could go on and on about how scientists (or the companies that sponsor them) use “facts and evidence” to fool us into believing things they say are true. Unfortunately, many facts are, in fact, derived from scientific studies paid for by large, for-profit corporations with products to sell.
From a corporation’s perspective, scientific research is an investment that must have an expected return. Corporate sponsored science has nothing to do with discovering the truth. Scientists can only discover what they are paid to discover, except in rare situations of self-funded science. But self-funded science will never make it to your television screen. And in today’s age of censorship, your self-funded science might even be removed by YouTube and other “independent” information platforms.
There are plenty of examples of “science” being flat out wrong. Currently there are lawsuits pending against certain pharmaceutical companies because their products cause cancer, even though those same companies claimed for decades that “science” had proven their products were safe. Not too long ago, “science” claimed smoking cigarettes was not harmful to human health. It took decades of time and millions of people dying to finally realize science was wrong about tobacco’s health risks. So science is simply not an objective source of truth, and it is often used as a shield to push a profit seeking or control-seeking agenda.
As we move into the next phase of coronavirus responses it is critical that we question what the authorities are telling us to do.
Experience Is The Only Source Of Truth
Personal experiences are what really matters in our search for truth. Experiences are much different than facts. Experiences are 100% personal and first hand. If you have an experience, no one else can dispute it (of course they can dispute it, but you know the truth). Experiences are the only source of truth and knowledge we should trust. And while other people’s experiences can be interesting and valuable, they should never replace the value we place on our own experiences.
This is why the Gnostic philosophy is so interesting. Gnostics don’t expect you to believe anything you have not experienced. If you want to know God, you must experience God, say the Gnostics. There is no other way.
Ironically, science will outright reject personal experiences as a fact or reliable piece of evidence. What one person says based on their experience is practically worthless to science because it cannot be objectively measured. And yet, personal experience is the only thing that really matters to us as individuals. There is a clear disconnect between what science considers meaningful and useful, and what is actually meaningful and useful to us as individuals.
To make the most of our own experiences, we have to pay attention – to our Self – not to what the news says and not what science says. We have to improve our awareness. Experience is truth – not facts, not science, and not someone else’s inside information. Experience is what life is about and making the most of it requires thinking for yourself. Live your life through your own eyes, not somebody else’s.