When I read about the new scientific method there was a part that really struck me.
The following is from the Novum Organum. Keep in mind that this was written over half a millenia ago. It’s crazy how this mentality is still present in our culture ( If not more than ever).
The idea of the idols is that we have different type of idols that cloud our judgement, learning. We put them before reason (scientific method). Idols of the Cave ( self), Market ( our face to face interactions), Tribe ( experiences of man, dogmas in society), Theater ( Drama, Media for us)
I am going to make the correlation between the problem with” idols of theater” and spoon-believing the media. The danger outlined in the Novum Organum against these idols of theater is when the people believe negligence and tradition that are presented for creative, scenic fashion and interpret it as a scientific truth that is applied to reality. In other words, people believe the world they see portrayed through art. ( Theater, film, music, photography, etc.) to be true.
Let me start by saying I’m an advocate for art, I think that many great truths and ideas can be set through the media, but the problem comes when people don’t think or test what is being portrayed. One must question what is watched in the news, on tv, online as truth or not. We cannot simply trust that things are correct realistically and learn from them.
The Novum Organum says that we should be like spiders making webs, connections in our minds. We must be skeptical and test truths for ourselves. Like mentioned in my other post, if people just saw Big Love and assumed that’s what the LDS church is like then we would be making judgements, actions and calls that are not founded on facts or thinkging, these webs of knowledge, but on the idols of theater we have in our minds.
I’ve had to deal with these Idols throughout my life as people have misjudged me and others around me. Let’s play a game about how the media portrays what we believe.
I’m going to post a word, then 2 images. One is what people believe to be the majority or true and the other is what is actually true. I’m going to use Mexico as an example. I’ll use real examples that have affected people’s reactions towards be because of their assumptions based on the media.
Nope, not a Taco. People in Mexico wouldn't know what this was if you gave it to them.
- This is a Taco that would be a real one from Mexico.
Mexican High School Student
This are a group of typical High School Students in Mexico. They were uniforms, are dedicated and overall excell in Math and Science. ( Higher percentage than in the U.S)
I had several families tell their children not to play with me because their theories of Mexicans were media based. For the record, cholos originated in CA, not MX.
Now, while these examples are ridiculous, you can see how believing the media blindly and following these idols without making our own connections, webs of truth and exploration we become disconnected from the world. We become disconnected from reality and we vote, interpret and believe false arguments for laws, actions that hurt real people.