Tag Archives: Personal responsibility

Fake News Goes Back to the Garden of Eden says Pope Francis I

On this day of “News and communication” we can’t escape to ponder on the last two years where we got bombarded with continuous streams of fake news and attacks on people and organisations.

All people who write on the internet should be aware of their social function and be conscious of their responsibility and impact on others. The last few months social media also showed its bad and dangerous side in being a weapon of opponents and misleader of the people. When you look at the fake news that could be spread  in one week it should really alarm us.

Today the Roman Catholic Church Father Francis I looked at what is going on in this world and said

Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are able to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. We are able to describe our own experiences and the world around us, and thus to create historical memory and the understanding of events.

He is also aware and tells about what happened very early in the history of man, what too many have forgotten. We should remember that there was the inner thought of the mannin or first woman who doubted the sincerity and honesty of her Creator. Pope Francis has denounced fake news as evil, comparing it to the snake in the Garden of Eden, and urged journalists to make it their mission to search for the truth.

In his annual social communications message, Francis said fake news played on stereotypes and prejudices, and praised efforts to make social media users aware of false reports. Question hereby can bye how we ourselves want to see the world around us and how we want to be honest to others. Lots of our way of reaction against others has to do with our background, attitude of life and our pride.

The pope opened his sermon today with a warning.

But when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can also distort the way we use our ability to communicate. This can be seen from the earliest times, in the biblical stories of Cain and Abel and the Tower of Babel (cf. Gen 4:4-16; 11:1-9). The capacity to twist the truth is symptomatic of our condition, both as individuals and communities. On the other hand, when we are faithful to God’s plan, communication becomes an effective expression of our responsible search for truth and our pursuit of goodness.

In 1972 Pope Paul VI already for the World Communications Day had its theme: “Social Communications at the Service of Truth”. The present pope want also to contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth. for this pope it is not the first time he has scolded those who spread false news reports. He called it a “very serious sin” that not only hurts those who have been slandered but also hurts journalism itself.

We have come into a time when it looks like a sport or competition to bring the most deceiving and manipulating messages to the reader. Clearly the spreading of fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests, and is as such used.

The effectiveness of fake news is primarily due to its ability to mimic real news, to seem plausible. Secondly, this false but believable news is “captious”, inasmuch as it grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices, and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration. The ability to spread such fake news often relies on a manipulative use of the social networks and the way they function. Untrue stories can spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage.

In Christendom we can see that lots of people are so caught by the arrangement between the clergy and the Roman emperor Constantine. Their agreement to equal the Roman gods with the Christian figures (or better the other way around) made that the Trinity was born and fostered.

The difficulty of unmasking and eliminating fake news is due also to the fact that many people interact in homogeneous digital environments impervious to differing perspectives and opinions. Disinformation thus thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information that could effectively challenge prejudices and generate constructive dialogue; instead, it risks turning people into unwilling accomplices in spreading biased and baseless ideas. The tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth.

In Facebook Groups lots of people go very hard against people who have an other opinion than they or than mainstream groups. Many want others to believe as them and when they do not do that they come to abuse them and call them names.

It is not an easy task to get people to see what really happened and to get rid of the false information Awful is it when such false news is to blacken people or organisations. Since disinformation is often based on deliberately evasive and subtly misleading rhetoric and at times the use of sophisticated psychological mechanisms, plus when it gets multiplied or shared via social media it starts running its own life and often turns up a few years later when people have forgotten about the matter and do not recollect that it was classified as fake news.

The Pope finds it good that

praiseworthy efforts are being made to create educational programmes aimed at helping people to interpret and assess information provided by the media, and teaching them to take an active part in unmasking falsehoods, rather than unwittingly contributing to the spread of disinformation. Praiseworthy too are those institutional and legal initiatives aimed at developing regulations for curbing the phenomenon, to say nothing of the work being done by tech and media companies in coming up with new criteria for verifying the personal identities concealed behind millions of digital profiles.

Yet preventing and identifying the way disinformation works also calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. We need to unmask what could be called the “snake-tactics” used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place. This was the strategy employed by the “crafty serpent” in the Book of Genesis, who, at the dawn of humanity, created the first fake news (cf. Gen 3:1-15), which began the tragic history of human sin, beginning with the first fratricide (cf. Gen 4) and issuing in the countless other evils committed against God, neighbour, society and creation. The strategy of this skilled “Father of Lies” (Jn 8:44) is precisely mimicry, that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with false and alluring arguments.

The world is taken by its greed. So many people do want it all for themselves. Politicians do whatever they can to degrade their opponents and to let themselves look the better one.

What is at stake is our greed. Fake news often goes viral, spreading so fast that it is hard to stop, not because of the sense of sharing that inspires the social media, but because it appeals to the insatiable greed so easily aroused in human beings. The economic and manipulative aims that feed disinformation are rooted in a thirst for power, a desire to possess and enjoy, which ultimately makes us victims of something much more tragic: the deceptive power of evil that moves from one lie to another in order to rob us of our interior freedom. That is why education for truth means teaching people how to discern, evaluate and understand our deepest desires and inclinations, lest we lose sight of what is good and yield to every temptation.

At Facebook Groups we often find people, claiming to be Christian, using words unworthy for a lover of God and for a follower of Christ, calling those who are not in line with their thinking all sorts of names. By bringing all sorts of false ‘news’ they also try to bring others in discredit. In many of those groups we can see a constant contamination by deceptive language which can end up darkening our interior life.

Dostoevsky’s observation is illuminating:

“People who lie to themselves and listen to their own lie come to such a pass that they cannot distinguish the truth within them, or around them, and so lose all respect for themselves and for others. And having no respect, they cease to love, and in order to occupy and distract themselves without love they give way to passions and to coarse pleasures, and sink to bestiality in their vices, all from continual lying to others and to themselves.” (The Brothers Karamazov, II, 2).

Many people are thrown form one side to the other and become so confused, not able to see what is true , half-true and what is false. Lots of false messages look so engrossing that one can not resit the excitement and love to share it on social media which makes the ball rolling.

So how do we defend ourselves?

The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth.

In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. The truth is not just bringing to light things that are concealed, “revealing reality”, as the ancient Greek term aletheia (from a-lethès, “not hidden”) might lead us to believe. Truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust, as implied by the root ‘aman, the source of our liturgical expression Amen.

Those who call themselves Christian should have the aim in them to purify their body and spirit and to share the love of Christ with others, not wanting to hurt them by false sayings or awful words. they should work on their character, trying to become like Christ. By their daily meditations and reading of the Word of God they should discover and rediscover the truth when they experience it within themselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves them.

every person should know that the truth will set them free (Jn 8:32).

Freedom from falsehood and the search for relationship: these two ingredients cannot be lacking if our words and gestures are to be true, authentic, and trustworthy. To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness from whatever instead tends to isolate, divide, and oppose. Truth, therefore, is not really grasped when it is imposed from without as something impersonal, but only when it flows from free relationships between persons, from listening to one another. Nor can we ever stop seeking the truth, because falsehood can always creep in, even when we state things that are true. An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another and to discredit that person in the eyes of others, however correct it may appear, it is not truthful. We can recognize the truth of statements from their fruits: whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or, on the other hand, they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results.

When looking at news channels, social media (tweets and Facebook messages) we always should use our common sense and examine the truth as well as the value of the message.

The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; people who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language. If responsibility is the answer to the spread of fake news, then a weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectorsof news. In today’s world, theirs is, in every sense, not just a job; it is a mission. Amid feeding frenzies and the mad rush for a scoop, they must remember that the heart of information is not the speed with which it is reported or its audience impact, but persons. Informing others means forming others; it means being in touch with people’s lives. That is why ensuring the accuracy of sources and protecting communication are real means of promoting goodness, generating trust, and opening the way to communion and peace.

The pontiff wants to invite everyone to promote a journalism of peace. He said

By that, I do not mean the saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism. On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice. A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes. A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.

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Preceding articles

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #3 Cyberwars and prophesy

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Additional reading

  1. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  2. The figure of Eve
  3. Bereshith 3 Fall of man
  4. Messianic prophesies 1 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  5. Messianic prophesies 2 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  6. Delph Radio – Spreading God’s Word to All Nations

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Related

  1. Opinion Journalism
  2. Why Journalism?
  3. So What Happened to the Journalism?
  4. Journalism: A Slow Death
  5. Dumb journalism makes for a dumb nation
  6. The problem with modern “journalism” summed up in one story
  7. Crossed Lines
  8. Sturgeon sets media and Tories straight after latest round of fake news
  9. JT Blog: Examiner analysis
  10. Content analysis of the Huddersfield Examiner
  11. What a ______ time it is to be a journalist
  12. Can you trust social media?
  13. Fake News and the Good News
  14. Politicians Intermix Cyberwar, Information Warfare, And Fake News
  15. Pope condemns ‘evil’ of fake news and its use for political gain
  16. Pope: ‘Fake news’ is evil, journalists must search for truth
  17. Be more responsible journalists, Pope Francis says…
  18. Pope Francis weighs in on fake-news – a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes pope decries unthinkable barbaric treatment of Yezidis audience cate
  19. Pope Francis Denounces Fake News
  20. Pope Warns Against ‘Fake News,’ Likens It To ‘Crafty Serpent’ In Genesis
  21. Pope Blames Eve for Listening to “Fake News” Serpent
  22. Pope condemns ‘evil’ of fake news and its use for political gain
  23. Be more responsible journalists, Pope Francis says…
  24. Edelman Trust Barometer 2018 – Redefines Media & Gives Journalism Hope
  25. BuzzFeed: This Is Facebook’s News Survey
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Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters

At Stepping Toes we got a reaction from kriztle34, a girl who has always seen herself as an oddball, though how older she gets, the more she came to find that she is just ordinary. She reacted to one of our postings about the position of Jesus and his God.

She is worried about our position before God concerning our writing “Application of old pagan concept of trinity“.

She reacts:

Be careful what you put up on the internet! God is taking record of everything we do including the things we say on the internet. If you put something on the internet you should ask yourself: am I prepared for the eternal consequences that will result from my actions; because your actions don’t just effect your eternity but it can effect the eternity of every person who reads your heretical doctrine and that’s something that God does not take lightly.

She has good reason to be worried about the souls of those who write on the internet. Those writing things the whole world can read, have a big responsibility, (to themselves, to others, to protect others, to God, and for their resurrection and ability to enter the Kingdom of God), and when they write about God their responsibility is even bigger than those who talk about worldly matters.

When talking about God we should first of all be aware that we are talking about the Most High Divine Creator, Who is the Highest Lord of Lord of lords and Host of hosts. His Name may not be defiled, so those talking about Him should be very careful how they use that Holy Name.

We are fully aware of the seriousness when preaching and know that often we may be put in very difficult positions, not coming to twist the Words of God. That Word of God is set apart or holy and should be kept precious.

Those who call themselves Christian should be followers of Christ Jesus and should keep to the doctrines of that Jewish rabbi. As a Jew and descendant form the tribe of King David Jesus only worshipped a singular God, the God of Israel Who is One. Jesus also asked his followers to worship and to pray to that God like he prayed to that God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Every person writing on the net about Jesus and God should be fully aware of the danger of telling the wrong things about those Biblical characters. They also should know the importance of the task the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) has given his followers.

We as followers of Christ Jesus have the task to preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God but also to show the people the Way to God. Jesus, the sent one from God is the one people should come to believe.

When writing about God, our heart should be close to Him and not close to the world. Jesus asks us to take distance from the world, though it might not always easy. So many people are caught up in the many false teachings and human doctrines so many churches present them.

It is so easy to be caught by those human doctrines and to step into the world with those many human or pagan rites and festivals. But we have to be stronger than many in the world and go for the Biblical Truth and  not human doctrines. We should not believe all those false human doctrines, but should keep to the Biblical doctrines and accept Jesus, the son of man and son of God, being the authorised one from God, who is our Messiah or the Kristos (Christ) and the only one by whom we received the grace of salvation and can find the way to the small gate to the Kingdom of God. In him people should come to believe. About him sincere lovers of God should preach and show the world that Jesus is the Way to God and that Jesus is not God himself, who faked his temptation and death and told lies when He as omniscient God would not have known who would be seated next to Christ or when Jesus would return to earth. That are all matters Jesus did not know but the Only One True God really did know and knows also today and tomorrow, Him always being the Eternal Omniscient Omnipresent Being.

Those writing about The Eternal God should not have any other gods besides Him. When writing on the internet about religious matters the writer should do his or her utmost best always to be determined to stick with the Biblical Truth.

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The article she reacted to: Application of old pagan concept of trinity

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Preceding articles

To find ways of Godly understanding

First man’s task still counting today

About a human being or not and life

Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Helping each other with prayer to start the new academic year

Witnessing because we love

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Additional reading

  1. A multifold of elements in creation and a bad choice made
  2. Mean voices on the Internet and free speech
  3. We are ourselves responsible
  4. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  5. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  6. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  7. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  10. No time like the present
  11. Teach children the Bible
  12. Being in isolation #7 Mission work
  13. Training for the kingdom
  14. Resurrectional Responsibility
  15. Rapture articles
  16. Denominationalism exists because?
  17. God’s wrath and sanctification
  18. God is One
  19. With the gift of Jesus comes an awesome responsibility
  20. Oratory Style
  21. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  22. 138) Cheap Grace
  23. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  24. Life is too precious

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Further reading

  1. Responsibility
  2. Courageous people…
  3. Our Choices are Lessons
  4. Taking Responsibility by Anne Beaulieu
  5. Awake! Part 1
  6. The God We Choose
  7. Faith that does not result in good deeds is useless
  8. Spiritual Weight Watchers
  9. Pococurante
  10. Carrying that Heavy Luggage Called Responsibility
  11. Assuming the responsibility
  12. Slogan 34: Don’t Pass the Buck
  13. Protect your players
  14. Responsibility Clause
  15. Authority laughs the last
  16. The Most Valuable Lesson I Ever Learned
  17. Freedom and responsibility
  18. You Are Who You Weren’t
  19. Why We Fail
  20. The scapegoat reply
  21. Blessings
  22. Domestic Factors which Impact a Lived Calling
  23. How to be ethical when Blogging

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Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

When the people of Israel got liberated from slavery in Egypt the parents took their saved children with them. God had asked them by way of Moses giving to them the Words of God, to lay up these Words of the Most High in their heart and in their soul.

18  “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 KJ21)

 

English: Sunday school class, Manzanar Relocat...

Sunday school class, Manzanar Relocation Center, California People in church service, standing, holding hymnals. MEDIUM: 1 negative : safety film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Parents are given the task to have that what they placed in their hearts, to share it with their children. It not only has to sit deep inside them, it also has to come out of them. It should be so strongly connected to their mind that it is as if their brains are tied with that knowledge of the Word of God. They should not only keep it as a reminder but also should teach them to their children. This is something what is often forgotten today.

Ideal moments to start picking up the thread again are such high holidays like the ones we had this weekend. The free days are ideal to take time to speak about what happened in the past to God’s people and how we should also be part of God’s people. All that we ourselves got to hear about the Most High divine Creator we should love to share with others and especially with our own children.

That what we got to hear from God we should share with the loved ones. At home but also outside of the house we should talk about those Words God has given us. Wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night.

Today we may find that not many parents are having time or wanting to spend time to educate their children concerning ethics, morals and faith matters. Today we have much more facilities than in the days of Moses where they could not take a bible or the scrolls at hand. In those times most of the upbringing and/or teaching was a personal responsibility. Centuries later the parents took time each day to read from Scriptures and to talk about the commandments of God. Many generations also got to Sunday School to have a religious formation. Today in not many countries are there still Sunday Schools or bible Schools for the religious people.

Today lots of people are avoiding that responsibility to teach the Word of God. Even speaking about good and bad is put aside in many cases. Today lots of children are also allowed to watch certain pictures on television which are not for their eyes at all. Many cruel or ugly words are allowed to enter the living room, via that screen what has become bigger and bigger.

Moses told the people that in case they diligently would keep all this commandment that Jehovah God commanded them to obey, sticking close to Him God on His part will drive out all these nations that stand in their way. so they should then not be afraid of those nations which are much bigger and stronger than them.

“22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you to do them—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him— 23 then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.” (Deuteronomy 11:22-23 KJ21)

Nothing has changed. Also for us today if we will be careful to do all this commandment that God commands us to do, loving the Most High divine Creator Jehovah as your God, walking in all His ways, and holding fast to him, then He will bless you so you inherit the promised land. We, ourselves must first teach ourselves from God’s words, messages such as this one – for ‘the promised land’ – the kingdom of God – is surely just over the horizon. Having taught ourselves we must teach any children we have – and others we can influence. The saying is that ‘actions speak louder than words’ – but words and actions together speak louder still. “A blessing” or “a curse” lie before us! Which have you chosen – or are on the point of choosing? There is no middle way.

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Preceding: Responsibilities of Parenthood fully discharged

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Filed under Educational affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs