Thursday, January 28, 2021

Democracy and Falsehood

In the Peace Weekly the Peace Column  gives us some ways to distinguish between Lies and Truth.

How do we know a politician lies? It is a question that comes to mind whenever righteous words are shouted out that are later revealed as lies. The writer doesn't know it's a lie right away, and feels deceived. We can see this to be the case by looking at political debates on 'prosecution reform' and 'denuclearization'. At least one of the two is clearly false as conflicting claims are in opposition to each other. Are those in the right those who speak the loudest?

Wouldn't a false politician look like a spy? In his childhood, he was raised with a strong anti-communist education, spies were considered to be horny monsters. But those who lie look the same as we do. Even false politician are hard to notice. "Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7,15).
Politics are not the only place where lies are encountered. False religious people lure believers into giving of their wealth with smooth words, false civic activists who grasp power, and even false adoptive parents. In particular, false politicians should be identified as they drive out sincere politicians and have a negative impact on society as a whole.

These days, false politicians pass themselves off as knowledgeable in science. They may comment on long-standing research results or present statistics. Intentional manipulation of research results is a falsehood under the mask of science. The falsehood of these politicians and their abuse of science and statistics, destroys the trust of those who believe in science.
False politicians also often pass themselves as angels. They hug the poor, show their tears and emotion.   False politicians come even with the flag of justice. Shout out confidently to intimidate their opponents and join the power groups of society. It makes a mockery of justice as a tool of the strong.

The media can restrain and check the lies of politicians. If we have concern about politicians' lies, it is time to examine whether freedom of speech works properly.
The media is necessary for a transparent society. However, some irresponsible and extreme YouTube-like media deserve to be criticized and ignored. Falsehood needs to be filtered out from the information that is open to everyone.

Only when you defeat lies can society be transparent. Everything must be transparent to protect a democratic society. Journalists should have courage, and the public should look at it with their eyes wide open. "False Christs and false prophets will arise and produce great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the chosen" (Matthew 24, 24).

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