Testing for Substance
We all do this…Put an idea (policy or theory) out to people around us to gage the response and then take a new action accordingly. Those new actions can have a variety of intentions affecting culture, race, politics, history or anything really. They can even affect an individual’s life.
When an idea isn’t well received this doesn’t necessarily mean that it fails. In fact, hubris can actually cause an unfettered attachment to it, especially if the idea hasn’t been thoroughly tested for positives and negatives. People in positions of power can often display this type of hubris, making them assert their rejected idea more forcefully. Also, they might even “leak” bogus information to media platforms in order to distract from their efforts or inject soft science in order to bolster agreement among under-educated advocates.
Positive and negative feedback can come in many forms: polls, surveys, votes, debates, public comments, letters to the editor, social media posts, etc. But what happens when an idea (policy or theory) is pushed without any thought to the feedback? What happens when an idea has been developed to the point of its implementation and its negative consequences are allowed to run amuck?
Enter the whistle blower. These people typically are those who have first hand knowledge of the people implementing the idea because they are either working with them or for them. Because of their insider knowledge and their job being on the line, many whistle blowers are not protected from retribution. Sometimes whistle blower information will reach the public too late and few people might believe the information to be true…An investigation, usually by trusted reporters, is then critical.
But whom do you trust with investigative power? There is no easy answer to this especially if you haven’t been practicing your own discernment skills. Discernment and intuition are God given attributes meant to offset an overzealous trust. Otherwise you can be easily lead down a path of harm physically, economically and/or psychologically. Vulnerable people are often the victims of a power hungry person or group and the ideas that they profess. This is why it’s important to have a logical test for the substance of an idea.
The following are a few current ideas that I believe needed testing for substance before being enacted…Spend trillions of taxpayer dollars to “end” inflation; Allow children to choose their gender; Curb fossil fuel production before green energy alternatives are fool proof and ready for mass use; Feed a war machine against Putin rather than encouraging diplomacy. Each of these ideas has the capability of harming thousands of people.
Here is my test for substance:
1) Remove personalities and name calling from the equation. This allows you to focus on the idea.
2) What are the sources of the idea’s information? Gathering the hard data and original source articles can be instrumental for getting to a logical conclusion.
3) Is there any history of past examples? If so, what were the outcomes? History often repeats itself.
4) Do the values of the idea align with the welfare of each individual involved with the outcome? “Inclusive” can sometimes be exclusive. Seldom does an idea that is designed for a group benefit all the individuals involved. If this is the case, can the idea be remedied to be more beneficial?
5) Is there sufficient debate and compromise happening in the process? Diversity of opinion is more important than tunnel vision.
6) Remove the politics and lobbying. The correct decision should not be heavily influenced by outside pressures.
7) Is there a way to correct any negative effects after the idea has been implemented? Make sure this corrective process is in writing and easily available.
8) Trust your intuition and stop the process if you believe that any of the above steps have been compromised. Ask relevant questions to draw out the deceptive practices of others.
These are your powers. Use them, hone them and teach them. Truth is available, but only if you test for substance. Don’t allow yourself to be told what to believe or that your testing has no merit. God has blessed you to do this work.