Discerning Truth from Falsehood

The human mind presumes that the commonality of a belief system is evidence of truth, and, of course, history is full of obvious examples to the contrary (e.g., Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Mackay). Some centuries ago, everyone believed that the sun rotated around the earth and that the earth was flat. These examples merely demonstrate that all information is presumptive and not absolute because even the ‘laws’ of science are constantly changing (e.g., there are now only eight planets instead of nine as of August 2006.)

…Historians have noted that democracies seldom last more than a few centuries for the same reasons that were initially pointed out by Socrates. He viewed that integrity would unlikely prevail as the voting masses would award themselves more and more benefits to the point of eventually losing their freedom.

…Modern man is profoundly influenced by the media whose presentations of ostensible truth include even extreme falsehood, which is then given publicity as thought it were of equal, integrous validity…Because the mind is intrinsically unable to discern perception from essence or truth from falsehood (as detailed in Truth vs. Falsehood, Section 1), a common presumption of the naïve mind is that truth is established by popularity and commonality of agreement. Thus, the mind looks for confirmation and searches for reliable information.

From Reality, Spirituality and Modern Man pg. 151, 155-6