Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts. (Daniel Patrick Moynihan)
I’ve seen this quote thrown around frequently, in the recent “fake news” argument, and honestly, I always found it disturbing.
You see, the whole point of a discussion is that both sides have different perception of what the facts are. If you’re having a discussion between an egalitarian and a meritocrat, of course the egalitarian will think that it’s a fact that all men are equal, and the meritocrat will think it’s a fact that there are scientifically proven differences between races and genders, and in a liberal society those differences will significantly influence the outcomes of those statistical groups.
The same thing will happen when you have a discussion about the existence of God between an atheist and a religious person. A religious person will cite his personal relationship with God as evidence of God’s existence, while an atheist will consider this a non-fact and will cite absence of material evidence of God. They do indeed have a difference of opinion, but this is just a surface. Underneath, they also have a profound disagreement about the nature of reality itself, and they will selectively accept and deny certain pieces of evidence that attempts to establish what the facts are.
The difference between the “main stream” and “alternative” media is not about interpretation of facts. It’s a fundamental disagreement about what facts are established, what evidence is credible, and about the moral nature of the forces in the world – who is good, who is evil, and who is irrelevant.
That’s why the “fact checking” services are nonsense. Depending on their political and religious bias, they will cite as fact the things that agree with their worldview, and mark as false the things that put their worldview into question. The only truly unbiased fact-checker is God, because He knows what is actually true and real, and what reality is objective. Everybody else is an interested party, and not an unbiased, nonpartisan fact-checker. So, if there are discussions about what the facts are in science, where the scientists often vehemently argue about this, how can a politician state that facts are something that exists in some realm beyond dispute?
I still have problems with the second world war, because the facts were so obscured by propaganda, it interferes with my ability to pass moral judgment – if I don’t know what the actual facts were, and I don’t know in what situation someone made a certain decision, how can I judge him? That’s a serious problem. You can’t just say, a person X ordered the Y number of people to be killed, so he’s evil. Maybe the choice was such, that he had the option to kill those people, or the complete destruction of all civilization, at least in his mind. What would you do, if your options were to, for instance, either use a time machine to kill an innocent man, or wait for that man to grow into a serial killer who will kill 60 innocent people and do nothing good at all in his life? If your options are to either kill ten million people, or have the entire civilization descend into savagery, what would you do? The concepts like “violence is violence” and “love is love” are the pastime of idiots. You can’t judge someone for killing ten, hundred or ten thousands people until you know the reasons and circumstances. Maybe he’s a serial killer. Maybe he’s a war hero. Maybe he accidentally turned off the coolant circulation pump in a nuclear reactor. Maybe he’s a psychopath who seduced millions of people into evil and made them kill the other half of the country. Maybe he motivated the nation to kill an evil invading horde that would destroy everyone if left unchecked. Until you know the facts, your moral opinions are essentially worthless.
So, my problem here is that the “main stream” media basically tries to eliminate anyone who would dispute the kind of propaganda they are distributing, and which they peddle as “facts”. If I have so many questions about what the facts are, I seriously doubt some politician or a journalist is in a better intellectual position.