Readers comments: January 21, 2022
Facts vs. reality
Do we now live in a world where a fact is dependent on perception? Does objective reality exist?
The other day I was discussing with a friend the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration ceremony versus President Obama’s, or what I think of as the original lie. I stated that President Obama had a much larger crowd on the National Mall. My friend said that Trump’s inauguration was the better attended. I said there are pictures that show the size of the two crowds and that anyone can clearly see that more people were at President Obama’s ceremony. My friend stated that the pictures were taken at different times and the ones from Trump’s ceremony were taken earlier in the day. I said the photographs are time stamped and can therefore be used to compare accurately the size of the crowds. My friend said the photos have been altered so that Trump’s crowd only appeared to be smaller. I said there are several sources that show the same images and not all of them could have been Photoshopped. At which point my friend said, “I have a right to my opinion,” and ended the discussion. This is now the world I believe we find ourselves in.
When someone believes they can simply choose their own reality, where does that leave fact?
Some people believe that critical race theory is being taught in high schools; that the U.S. is being invaded by illegal immigrants bent on infecting us with COVID; that inoculation shots come with a tracking device. Some people who have attended public schools, drive on interstates, drink clean water, receive Medicare, and have their lives safeguarded by the military believe they have never received any help from the government. There are still people that say they believe Trump won the 2020 election.
You may choose to believe these and other fables but that won’t make any of them facts.