Data-giving and truth-seeking PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 April 2017 11:02

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

THEY need not, and in fact, should not be given equal footing. Seeking the truth definitely is much more than just giving data and other pieces of information.

Seeking the truth necessarily involves charity and the justice that should flow from charity and should tend toward it.

Merely giving data and other pieces of information may be motivated by something else, like simply wanting to justify oneself or to seek revenge, etc., and so it need not get to the truth as truth should be.

Truth without charity and justice is no truth. At least, it is not the complete truth. It would just be a truth that would not serve the common good and would cater only to some self-interest.

Without charity, the quest for truth and justice would consider mercy and compassion as unwelcome strangers, if not enemies.

And how can we get the truth in the context of charity and justice? To be blunt about it, the only way is to be with God who is the truth himself, and the very foundation of all reality, and who reveals himself to us through his Son who became man and declared himself as the light of the world (cfr. Jn 8,12).

To seek the truth necessarily involves seeking God and not just collecting data. We cannot overemphasize our need to be with God through Christ for us to know the truth and live it in charity and justice. Christ himself said so: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Mt 12,30)

In today’s highly information-driven world, we have to be most wary and prudent in assessing the data presented to us, especially in the media. Before we lap up these pieces of information, we need to ask ourselves many questions before forming our reactions, foremost of which is, what is the motive behind these data?

We all know that, especially in the media, the pieces of information given are usually yet in their raw and superficial state, still unrelated to a bigger picture, and whose motives hardly go any further than to generate sensationalism, more ratings, intrigues and controversies.

If we really want to know the truth, especially in the context of the media, we should practice a lot of restraint and discernment in forming our judgments. We have to exercise a healthy critical spirit, since there is great likelihood that the news items are biased or simply incomplete. This is not to mention that nowadays there is a surge of what is called fake news.

Very often, objective facts are clothed in opinion or interpretations and spins that give a distorted view of the reality.

We should always be conscious of this grim fact of life. We should always remember that seeking the truth, especially in the context of the media, should be a function of our pursuit to identify ourselves with Christ, and not just to satisfy our curiosity or meet some human need or worldly goal.

Let’s remember what St. Paul once said: “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Eph 4,15)