Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro is perhaps best known for his signature tagline “fact’s don’t care about your feelings.” He recently appeared on “The Billy Hallowell Podcast” where he spoke about culture, free speech and his career. It is his thoughts on the so called crisis of truth being experienced in America today in particular that is worth looking at deeper.
According to Shapiro, it seems the cultural underpinnings of America have now shifted. Whereas “truth” used to be based solely on facts and had little to do with one’s emotions, today, it seems “truth” is purely emotions.
“I think that folks now treasure the subjective over the objective,” Shapiro told Billy Hallowell. “I think that there are a lot of folks who, the facts don’t make them feel good about themselves — they don’t make them feel good about the narrative that they tell about their own lives.”
He says the end result of this is people disowning facts they don’t want to believe or avoiding a debate about them altogether. This shift towards feelings and away from the truth has also caused a shift in the way people deal with each other online.
Social media provides the perfect platform for people to attack others over subjective truth. They believe they have the right because they “feel” convicted towards a certain cause. Whether or not facts back up their beliefs is of no consequence.
“Right now, people are getting a lot of pleasure, particularly in the social media era, from just smacking people, and it’s easy to do from behind the screen,” Shapiro continued. “It’s hard to do that when you’re actually in person, and this is one of the problems with having an online society — it’s easier to be mean and nasty when you don’t actually have to look in the face of the person you’re being mean and nasty too.”
When it comes to replacing facts with emotions, debate and civility seem to be the biggest losers.
“People are deciding that facts are significantly less important than self interpretation,” Shapiro went on. “People using phrases like ‘my truth’ as opposed to ‘the truth’ and me saying, ‘well, there’s no such thing as ‘your truth.’ There’s just facts and then there’s your opinion, and it’s fine, you’re allowed to have opinions, but let’s not pretend that your opinions are sacrosanct.”
Believers live in a world where objective truth is being replaced daily by individuals’ personal truths i.e. their opinions. Shapiro is exactly right. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion, but that’s not the same thing as truth. Thankfully, America is a nation of forward thinkers, innovators, rebels and dreamers. However, to move away from actual facts and truths is a dangerous game. Without factual guidelines, individuals can find themselves on a slippery slope. They can easily let their feelings guide them and find themselves confused when it comes to discerning truths.
Of course, the sanctity of truth is enshrined in Scripture. The Bible is God’s Word. As such, it is the go-to resource to discover absolute truth and to instruct believers on how to address another person with God’s truth.
In 1 John 3:18, the Bible says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.”
Believers would do well to remember this verse when interacting online. Social media and other anonymous platforms make it easy to lash out, especially when it’s obvious someone is spouting nonsense. However, to truly treat another individual as Jesus would, believers must display God’s truth through their actions. This means, they must hold their tongue in some cases where truth is not being received. In other instances, they must stand for God’s truth and proclaim it as fact, no matter what the current “feeling” on the matter happens to be.
~ 1776 Christian