Questions of the Day: Have you ever considered how much the information you believe is based on authority alone? What happens when that authoritative trust is broken? And who is the ultimate source of authority?
Lately, I’ve been reading passages from C.S. Lewis’ best-selling book, “Mere Christianity.” So today, I read his thoughts about why he has faith in Christianity and God and I thought it was perfect for today’s discussion:
I have explained why I have to believe that Jesus was (and is) God. And it seems plain as a matter of history that He taught His followers that the new life was communicated in this way. In other words, I believe it on His authority. Do not be scared by the word authority. Believing things on authority only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think is trustworthy. Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I have not seen it myself. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there must he such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so. The ordinary man believes in the Solar System, atoms, evolution, and the circulation of the blood on authority—because the scientists say so. Every historical statement in the world is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Armada. None of us could prove them by pure logic as you prove a thing in mathematics. We believe them simply because people who did see them have left writings that tell us about them: in fact, on authority. A man who jibbed at authority in other things as some people do in religion would have to be content to know nothing all his life.
That passage is powerful because it is true.
We all, of course, believe things mostly on authority. From the time we enter school, we’re taught certain subjects and believe what we’re learning to be true. We do it all the time as adults. Using an example from Lewis, many readers believe that Africa or Australia are real continents even if they’ve never been to them because they know people who have been there, read about them, or have seen pictures and evidence that they exist. You would never say, “I don’t believe Australia or Africa exists because I have never been there.”
So after I read that passage today, I logged onto Twitter and found it illuminating that a doctor was saying he took the COVID jab on the basis of the FDA’s authority. He submitted his body to the jab based on trust in the FDA. Yet, with the passage of time, he has deep regret for relying on the FDA to make his decision. In fact, it seems many doctors are saying similar things, and even people in academia are now questioning their decision.
Academics tend to believe everything they read in a book or a peer-reviewed paper must be true. They believe the “experts” even if what they are being told goes against their own experience or perspective.
In a sense, public education in America works that way also. Education works by establishing trust. We’re taught to trust the government from a young age, we repeat what we’re told, and we believe we’re getting smarter as we go from grade to grade.
And it’s true, we are taught some basic truths in school. Yet after we graduate, the government is able to tell us really big lies — based on the trust built up throughout our lives.
Yet it seems something is starting to change in American culture. More and more people are questioning the government and outright distrusting it. More than that, people are questioning the elites in every industry — media, medicine, education, and more.
Why? That’s what I was examining this morning, thanks to “Mere Christianity.”
Perhaps there’s a shift because the people who are supposed to be experts have stopped giving us that ‘little bit of truth’ in the beginning. They’re now giving us ‘a few lies’ at all times, all designed to advance the leftist agenda.
It’s not just the government doing it either, but every area of society is spewing woke propaganda.
For example, the Oxford Dictionary, something I’m sure we’ve all used to look up the meaning of words, has now lost its authority.
The Oxford Dictionary has changed the definition of “woman.” So, Oxford Dictionary has relinquished its official role as a trusted source for definitions, because it is such a huge lie that men can give birth or you can change your gender.
Again, this sort of malignancy is everywhere.
Because of that, many have had a great awakening of sorts. Individuals are recognizing that there is no manmade institution of authority. If there is a definitive authoritative figure — at least if you are Christian — then you know it is God.
Through prayer, reading Scripture, and other texts, we get to know God. In turn, we are able to recognize what is true and what is real.
More than that, prayer enables you to recognize the lies we’re fighting today, because it connects you with the ultimate authority — God.