Opiniones, factos, e Internet

(Languages of this post: Interlingua, English)

Un amico mie me diceva un vice que ille demandava a su granmatre lo que illa credeva sur le vita post le morte. “Io crede lo que le judeos crede”, respondeva illa. Secundo su granmatre, il habeva gente cuje profession esseva ponderar tal cosas. Illa mesme non esseva un tal persona, ma illa esseva completemente confidente que iste “professionales” sapeva lo que illes faceva e que illes scribeva lor conclusiones sur iste thema e altere themas simile in libros que on poteva consultar si on voleva apprender le veritate sur tal cosas.

In le Statos Unite, e anque in altere partes del mundo, augmentante numeros de personas sta a abandonar iste perspectiva pro un certe eclecticismo. Multe americanos nunc face lor proprie selection de practicas religiose, miscente elementos de, que nos dice, le christianiate con diverse conceptos como le reincarnation, le astrologia, e le presentia de energia spiritual in objectos physic. E un considerabile numero de personas dice que illes ha habite experientias con phenomenos supernatural como le communication con gente morte o con spectros de diverse tipos.

In questiones religiose o spiritual, tal eclecticismo es tolerabile proque il non ha ulle maniera de verificar o falsificar convictiones religiose. Ma iste tipo de eclecticismo nunc se expande a altere facetas de nostre cultura. Concernente isto io sta a pensar de un puero de septe annos que io cognosce. In su schola su classe ha un conilio como mascota. Pro multes il es difficile determinar le sexo de un conilio, e su classe decideva que illo determinarea le sexualitate de su conilio per un voto, e le majoritate decideva que le conilio esseva un conilia.

Ma mesmo adultos ha essayate a resolver questiones factual per iste methodo democratic. In 1897, pro exemplo, le legislatura del stato Indiana in “House Bill No. 246” essayava a establir legalmente que le ratio del circumferentia de un circulo a su diametro, o sia le valor de pi, esseva exactemente 3.

Iste eventos illustra le vitios de un postmodernismo extreme. Fundamentalistas christian, citante evidentia del Biblia, es convencite que le universo e le terra esseva create ante solmente 6.000 annos. Geologos e astronomos es convencite que le etate del universo es circa 15.000.000.000 annos. E il ha petras terrestre cuje etate, establite per methodos radiometric, indica fortemente que nostre planeta ha un etate de al minus 4.300.000.000 annos.

Pro le partisanos de un certe forma extreme del postmodernismo, le opinion del fundamentalistas christian e del scientistas ha un valor equal. Como on sovente dice in anglese “People have a right to their own opinions, but not to their own facts” (Le gente ha un derecto a lor proprie opiniones, ma non a lor proprie factos). Le problema contemporanee es que il non ha un accordo general sur lo que es un facto. Esque spectros, astrologia, calefaction global, evolution biologic, e communication con gente morte ha un existentia factual? Pro multes le responsas a tal questiones in se es solmente opiniones.

In le passato recente si vos habeva tal questiones, vos consultava un experto recognoscite. Ma hodie, si vos ha un interesse in questiones simile, vostre expertos tende a esser personas con simile opiniones qui ha sitos in Internet que vos pote trovar facilemente in millisecundos, e nostre cultura sta a divider se in insulas de illustration e superstition que nunquam communica inter se.

Opinions, facts, and the Internet

A friend of mine once told me that he asked his grandmother what she believed about life after death. “I believe what the Jews believe,” she answered. According to his grandmother, there were people whose profession was to ponder such things. She herself was not such a person, but she was completely confident that these “professionals” knew what they were doing and that they wrote their conclusions on this subject and other similar subjects in books that could be consulted if a person wanted to learn the truth about such things.

In the United States, and also in other parts of the world, increasing numbers of people are abandoning this perspective for a certain eclecticism. Many Americans now make their own selection of religious practices, mixing elements of, let’s say, Christianity with various concepts such as reincarnation, astrology, and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects. And a considerable number of people say that they have had experiences with supernatural phenomena such as communication with dead people or with ghosts of various kinds.

In religious or spiritual questions, such eclecticism is tolerable because there is no way of verifying or falsifying religious convictions. But this type of eclecticism is expanding to other facets of our culture. In this regard I am thinking about a seven-year-old boy that I know. In his school his class has a pet rabbit. For many people, it is hard to determine the sex of a rabbit, and his class decided that it would determine the sexuality of its rabbit by voting, and the majority decided that the rabbit was a female.

But even adults have tried to resolve factual questions by this democratic method. In 1897, for example, the legislature of the state of Indiana in “House Bill No. 246” tried to legally establish that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, in other words the value of pi, was exactly 3.

These events illustrate the vices of an extreme postmodernism. Christian fundamentalists, citing evidence from the Bible, are convinced that the universe and the earth were created only 6,000 years ago. Geologists and astronomers are convinced that the universe is about 15 billion years old. And there are terrestrial rocks whose age, established by radiometric methods, strongly indicates that our planet is at least 4.3 billion years old.

For the partisans of a certain extreme form of postmodernism, the opinions of Christian fundamentalists and scientists have an equal value. “People have a right to their own opinions,” as we often say “but not to their own facts.” The contemporary problem is that there is a lack of agreement about what is a fact. Do ghosts, astrology, global warming, biological evolution, and communication with the dead have a factual existence? For many, the answers to such questions are only opinions themselves.

In the recent past if you had such questions, you consulted a recognized expert. But today, if you have an interest in similar questions, your experts tend to be people with similar opinions who have Internet sites that you can easily find in milliseconds, and our culture is splitting up into islands of enlightenment and superstition that never communicate with one another.

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