(skip to “The Ninth Question” below if you read prior questions already)
Having broached the topic of masks, I want to encourage dialogue between the polarities of the debate. This is challenging given the political climate of uncivil discord rather than civil discourse. With a vision of communities coming together to collectively determine truth and decide on policy, I offer a series of questions. I don’t want to give answers, but questions that re-teach all of us to engage in discourse which will lead us to that vision. Somewhere between the polar extremes, we will find the truth that we all need.
Therefore, let’s unmask the truth whether it leads to “masks or no masks”, “mandates or no mandates”, and more.
The Ninth Question… Who is behind your source?
Imagine yourself confronted by someone who expresses an opinion contrary to yours. It could be on social media, in line at the grocery store, in a town hall meeting, a family gathering, or anywhere. Your first impulse is to blast away. Throw your best at them. Pound them into submission. This happens from both sides of the debate.
Now that we have actually read our sources (eighth question) and read our debater’s sources, a good starting point quickly examines who is behind the source. We all have biases. We all come out of both past connections and live out present connections.
Who does the author of the source work for? Who do they represent? Is there a potential for conflict of interests? We are all susceptible to blind spots. They have some… you just need to see them even if they don’t.
If the author of the quote or article works for the government, they have vested interests. If they are selling something, they have vested interests. If their career has been built on some idea or belief, they have vested interests. Everyone has vested interests somewhere.
If you have a chance to look at their history, especially if they are a public figure, do they have a record of integrity? Do they have a dark history of bending truth? Is there something that might make them biased?
While we don’t want to get caught up in ad hominem attacks on source authors, we do want to adjust the weight we give evidence from sources whose blindspots or conflicts of interest are larger than we would like.
Finding truth takes time, effort, diligence, patience, and open mindedness. Don’t give up though. We can do it.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.