There are a couple of phrases that I hear quite regularly – Follow the science, and you just have to accept the facts/truth. I would submit that both phrases are patently false and potentially dangerous. Why would I say that? For with both truth and science, they need to be questioned and challenged or they have no validity, and no strength,.
Consider follow the science. It makes it sound as though science is a destination. And occasionally there is talk about settled science. By its very nature, science is not settled. For science is a process where a theory is put forth and tested so that the results can be observed and conclusions brought forth. However, in our society not scientific observations are treated equally. Some scientific observation have been ordained by main street media and big tech while other observations have been ignored and shut down.
Over the past year a number of doctors and researchers have witnessed to their experience to treating COVID patients and/or research they have worked on. If those conclusions have been different from Dr. Anthony Fauci, they have been labeled as disinformation, misinformation, or it has just been shut down. Main street and social media and even some politicians have been telling us to follow the science when they have ignored the science by not allowing the data to be evaluated. Dr. Fauci has made alterations to his advice over the past year and that is perfectly above board, but others have not been allowed to make their case.
If non-scientists, such as Twitter and Facebook’s fact checkers or media’s talking headsand editorial boards, have the final say on what is appropriate science and what is not, the result will be detrimental to the culture. For a society to follow the science it must allow all science observations and data to be examined to help determine its validity. Following science requires free speech and freedom to explore the possibilities. But in our culture, following the science means that free speech and exploration cannot be allowed unless it is done by those who are properly ordained.
But then we just have to accept the fact, the truth. And just determines what the truth is? Is truth the exclusive property of the majority or even the loudest, most powerful voices in the room. Are the observations and conclusions of one not allowed to be questioned and disputed by another? After all, we all see things differently. It does not mean that the thoughts of another are wrong, simply that they are seen in a different way. Those differences need to be discussed rather than dismissed. Otherwise we might as well think that the earth is flat and that the sun and planets revolve around us. Yes they are ridiculous ideas, but at one time it was the truth according to leaders in society.
Again, free speech has to be affirmed and allowed. But particularly on college campuses and now running rampant throughout society, certain speech, certain words, certain thoughts are not allowed to be uttered for fear of someone being offended. It is so foolish for purpose of free speech is license for someone to be offended. I used to hear, “I disagree with what you say, but I defend to death your right to say it.” Today that has become, “I disagree with what you say, and so you are no longer allowed to say it.” Free speech is not for those with whom we agree. It is specifically for those with whom we do not agree. And again, in discussing the differences we can come to understanding of what is truth.
No only do we try to censor thoughts and ideas that we dislike, we also often ascribe motives to the speaker in order to further demonize them in our eyes and in the eyes of others. What arrogance to assume that we know the thought process of someone we barely know at all.
It is time to reintroduce civility in conversation, and to allow the opportunity for true conversation to happen so that we might learn different visions and possibilities from one another. So that we might grow together rather than part.
Science and truth are not only in the hands of a few. They must be in the hands of all. Particularly in a time when a relatively determines what science and truth are suppose to be, where other thoughts voices can be silenced and censored so easily, it leads down a path where all the people can be corrupted and controlled. In a free society, we cannot allow that to happen.
Posted with permission : by Chuck Sprenkle