Love, Truth, and Conversation:
The Way Forward
C. Christopher Smith
The following is an editorial that will appear in the
Advent 2017 issue of our quarterly magazine.
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“The US is experiencing a deep epistemic breach, a split not just in what we value or want, but in who we trust, how we come to know things, and what we believe we know — what we believe exists, is true, has happened and is happening.”
– David Roberts, America is Facing An Epistemic Crisis, Vox.com
One of the most unsettling realities of Donald Trump’s presidency is his apparent assault on the institutions by which American society has traditionally measured and assessed truthfulness – particularly the institutions of science and freedom of the press. A cynic might posit that these institutions, and the truths that they uncover in the course of their work, might be taken as a threat to the interests of global corporations. Climate change, for instance, poses a threat to the coal and petroleum industries, and perhaps to a lesser extent the automotive industry and all its ancillaries. Undermine a society’s tools for discerning truth, the logic goes, and darkness prevails, along with all those who profit from darkness.