Features

Time to get real: both believers and unbelievers are crucial in winning the battle against 'post truth' Premium

18 May 2017 | by Matthew d'Ancona

A war is being waged on truth and only a new and unlikely alliance can defeat it

 

 

In the great culture war between atheists and the faithful, it is all too easy to miss issues of common interest. One such issue – of the greatest urgency – is the contemporary assault upon truth, and the rise of the “post-truth” era. What the faithful and what non-believers mean by “truth” diverges radically once the question of the metaphysical is reached. But there is (or should be) a shared commitment to the core concept itself: the notion of veracity and, correspondingly, of falsehood.

Post-truth is not, as is sometimes assumed, just a newly fashionable description of lies, spin or disinformation. It describes a more complex phenomenon, in which emotional resonance is becoming more important than facts and evidence, and verification is being replaced by social media algorithms that tell us what we want to hear.

When Kellyanne Conway, a senior aide to Donald Trump, spoke of “alternative facts”, she described a new epistemology in which you choose your own reality, as if from a buffet. Last December, an Ipsos poll of more than 3,000 Americans found that 75 per cent of those who saw fake news headlines believed them to be accurate.





Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Subscribe


Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

'I won’t forget what you said' President Trump tells Pope Francis at end of historic meeting in the Vatican24 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis continues process of strengthening his legacy with five new cardinal picks from the 'peripheries' 22 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

'I won’t forget what you said' President Trump tells Pope Francis at end of historic meeting in the Vatican24 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis continues process of strengthening his legacy with five new cardinal picks from the 'peripheries' 22 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

How cruel Christianity can be to its own most faithful servantsPremium24 May 2017 by Clifford Longley

The people’s cardinal: El Salvador's first cardinal embodies the Church of the Poor Premium24 May 2017 by Clare Dixon

Escape from a prison state: Cruelty, violence, intimidation and religious persecution are the norm in EritreaPremium18 May 2017 by John Pontifex

How cruel Christianity can be to its own most faithful servantsPremium24 May 2017 by Clifford Longley

The people’s cardinal: El Salvador's first cardinal embodies the Church of the Poor Premium24 May 2017 by Clare Dixon

Escape from a prison state: Cruelty, violence, intimidation and religious persecution are the norm in EritreaPremium18 May 2017 by John Pontifex

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top