Trusting Our Source

How do we know what is true?  Can we believe everything that we read, or see on TV, or hear from other people?  How do we know what to accept as “true”  and when do we reject something as “false”.  

Our own senses can sometimes be mistaken, our own memories may be faulty, people whom we know and trust, and who even have the right information, may have difficulty communicating that information.  Some people intentionally lie or mislead.  Others may have good basic facts, but draw erroneous conclusions due to incomplete information, or faulty reasoning. They honestly and sincerely report these conclusions as true. 

Our facts may be accepted as true with different degrees of certainty.  For example, it rained this morning.  I am certain this is true because I heard the rain, saw the rain, and was out in the rain.  Unless I was dreaming, or somehow delusional, it rained this morning.

When we are relying on the testimony of others for our information we have to ask whether the source is trustworthy.  The tabloids at the checkout stand are not as reliable as the morning paper, but even the papers may use erroneous sources or present biased information.  Over time we will learn how much we can trust our sources.  If our sources give us information that proves to be incorrect then we know that in the future we cannot trust them fully.  On the other hand, as they establish a reputation for accuracy we can place more trust in the information they convey.

If our information is based on observation followed by drawing conclusions we have to again ask ourselves whether the person making the conclusions is trustworthy.  A friend of mine is an excellent mechanic.  If I tell him about symptoms that my car is having and he tells me what the problem most likely is, I know from previous experience that he is probably right.  ( I might add that he generally says that “it might be.. or it sounds like… ” because he has found that there may be various causes for certain symptoms. )  He has earned my trust by establishing a reputation for accuracy.

It is good to gather information from a variety of sources and it is good to learn that not all sources are equal.  How do we know what is true?  Do we trust our source?

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2 Responses to “Trusting Our Source”

  1. Gloria Says:

    It is so important to be a person who tells the truth. A person of integrity. People are recognized for being someone who: tells the truth, stretches the truth, slants the truth in their favor, or out right lies. I think everyone wants to be known for telling the truth, but not everyone does tell the truth.

    Oh, and yes it was raining this morning – otherwise I don’t think our dining room would have sprung a leak. ugh 😦

  2. cgirod Says:

    I wasn’t going to comment on the leak!

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