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originally posted by: babybunnies
The internet should be making people MORE educated, ...
“By clever and persevering use of propaganda even heaven can be represented as hell to the people, and conversely the most wretched life as paradise.”—ADOLF HITLER, MEIN KAMPF.
AS MEANS of communicating have expanded—from printing to the telephone, radio, television, and the Internet—the flow of persuasive messages has dramatically accelerated. This communications revolution has led to information overload, as people are inundated by countless messages from every quarter. Many respond to this pressure by absorbing messages more quickly and accepting them without questioning or analyzing them.
The cunning propagandist loves such shortcuts—especially those that short-circuit rational thought. Propaganda encourages this by agitating the emotions, by exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending rules of logic. As history bears out, such tactics can prove all too effective.
[from the follow-up article linked in my signature, i.e. the next page]
They sift the facts, exploiting the useful ones and concealing the others. They also distort and twist facts, specializing in lies and half-truths. Your emotions, not your logical thinking abilities, are their target.
The propagandist makes sure that his message appears to be the right and moral one and that it gives you a sense of importance and belonging if you follow it. You are one of the smart ones, you are not alone, you are comfortable and secure—so they say.
How can you protect yourself from the types of people that the Bible calls “profitless talkers” and “deceivers of the mind”? (Titus 1:10) Once you are familiar with some of their tricks, you are in a better position to evaluate any message or information that comes your way. Here are some ways to do this.
Be selective: A completely open mind could be likened to a pipe that lets just anything flow through it—even sewage. No one wants a mind contaminated with poison. Solomon, a king and educator in ancient times, warned: “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15) So we need to be selective. We need to scrutinize whatever is presented to us, deciding what to accept and what to reject.
Use discernment: Discernment is “acuteness of judgment.” It is “the power or faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes one thing from another.” A person with discernment perceives subtleties of ideas or things and has good judgment.
Using discernment, we will be able to recognize those who are merely using “smooth talk and complimentary speech” in order to “seduce the hearts of guileless ones.” (Romans 16:18) Discernment enables you to discard irrelevant information or misleading facts and distinguish the substance of a matter. But how can you discern when something is misleading?
Put information to the test: “Beloved ones,” said John, a first-century Christian teacher, “do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions.” (1 John 4:1) Some people today are like sponges; they soak up whatever they come across. It is all too easy to absorb whatever is around us.
But it is far better for each individual personally to choose what he will feed his mind. It is said that we are what we eat, and this can apply to food for both the body and the mind. No matter what you are reading or watching or listening to, test to see whether it has propagandistic overtones or is truthful.
Moreover, if we want to be fair-minded, we must be willing to subject our own opinions to continual testing as we take in new information. We must realize that they are, after all, opinions. Their trustworthiness depends on the validity of our facts, on the quality of our reasoning, and on the standards or values that we choose to apply.
Do not just follow the crowd: ...
originally posted by: Dudemo5
Those are soft atheists. Agnostic atheists. They recognize that there is no empirical proof of God and therefore do not believe in one, but acknowledge that they do not truly know whether God exists.
Try to be an atheist and be [into] Flat Earth. It cannot be done. I have yet to find an atheist that believes in any version of this [flat] model.