Loss Of Faith

Via Chris Snowdon:

Health advice too often follows the principle of the noble lie. Rather than being told the plain truth, we are told what the authorities believe will lead us to behave properly, when “properly” means not just in the way that is most prudent for ourselves, but what is seen to be morally appropriate. This means that whatever the truth about healthy drinking or drug-taking is, we can’t trust government health advice to provide it. When the best current scientific evidence meets moralising paternalism, it is truth that starts to bend.

The trouble with noble lies is that, in the end, they are just exactly that: lies. And once people realise they are being lied to, they cease to trust whoever it is who’s lying to them.

And once this rot has set in, the end result can only be distrust of all authorities. So if you don’t trust Tobacco Control, you’ll pretty soon distrust Public Health, and the World Health Organisation, and the medical profession, and the mainstream media, and political parties (all of them, without exception), and the entire political class.

It’s perhaps the central characteristic of our time: a loss of faith in institutions of every kind.

Brexit was the consequence of a British loss of faith in the largest institution in Europe: the EU. The election of Donald Trump was a consequence of a loss of faith by Americans in both the Democrat and Republican political class: they elected a non-politician. The rise of UKIP in the UK was a consequence of a loss of faith by Britons in the established British mainstream political parties. And the same loss of faith is increasingly evident throughout the whole of Europe, with the rise of anti-politicians of various different shades and flavours, all of whom set themselves apart from the mainstream political parties of their various countries.

I don’t watch TV or read newspapers: that’s loss of faith in the mainstream media. I don’t believe in climate change/global warming: that’s loss of faith in science. I don’t care what either the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury say: that’s loss of faith in the churches. I don’t have a doctor: that’s loss of faith in the medical profession.

It seems that when this sort of loss of faith sets in, people turn away from institutions and organisations, and towards individuals. When institutions decompose, they decompose into their atomic individual components. And so Donald Trump is a highly individualistic individual. And so is Nigel Farage. And so is Beppe Grillo. And Marine Le Pen.

It’s also why strange people suddenly rise to prominence: for example, Jordan Peterson (who also happens to be highly individualistic) or Alex Jones or Rush Limbaugh.

Last night I watched an interview of William Binney. Binney worked for the NSA for 32 years, until he became thoroughly disillusioned. As is appropriate to this era of disillusionment, Binney wasn’t being interviewed by the BBC or CNN or MSNBC: he was being interviewed by a complete outsider armed with a computer and a couple of webcams. And for good measure, and extra added authenticity, he was interviewed in what seemed to be a noisy cafeteria.

And here’s another multiplying loss of faith, this time in intelligence agencies like the FBI and CIA and NSA. They’re all seen as liars, even if they’ve been telling noble lies. And it’s why people like ex-CIA director John Brennan and ex-FBI director James Comey are now appearing on TV and writing books: they’re trying to stem the rising tide of distrust in them and people like them. And it’s probably a lost cause, because neither Brennan nor Comey are authentic individuals: they’re both colourless empty suits.

What’s touted as a new American ‘civil war’ is perhaps simply the conflict between the dwindling numbers of true believers in mainstream media/science/politics and the multiplying numbers of newly disillusioned disbelievers. It’s not a reversible process. It’s not possible to regain faith once it has been lost. Once you’ve stopped believing Tobacco Control or Public Health or the BBC or the WHO, you can never regain your faith in them again. You can only gain faith in something new, something different. Hence Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Jordan Peterson. If so, then the growing disillusionment that we’re seeing will only deepen.

It seems I can no longer publicise WordPress posts on my Facebook page. Not sure what to do about that.

About Frank Davis

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10 Responses to Loss Of Faith

  1. Dmitry Kosyrev says:

    Facebook is definitely a part of Evil Empire, it has censorship Stalin would envy.
    And look at this – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/08/04/the-u-s-anti-smoking-campaign-is-a-great-model-for-fighting-disinformation/?utm_term=.355d741b4516 , some clever people are advising somebody to propagate the “Russian hacking” and “Trump’s collusion with Russia”, using technology of the anti-smoking campaign. Blatant lies and total censorship, that is. Well, well…

  2. Rose says:

    Health advice too often follows the principle of the noble lie. Rather than being told the plain truth, we are told what the authorities believe will lead us to behave properly, when “properly” means not just in the way that is most prudent for ourselves, but what is seen to be morally appropriate

    And there is a reason for that.

    A new concept of Public Health from 1974 that spread round the World.

    The Lalonde Report

    A New Perspective On The Health Of Canadians
    A working document
    Marc Lalonde
    Minister of National Health and Welfare

    The Health Field Concept

    “The ultimate philosophical issue raised by the Concept is whether, and to what extent, government can get into the business of modifying human behaviour, even if it does so to improve health. The marketing of social change is a new field which applies the marketing techniques of the business world to getting people to change their behaviour, i.e. eating habits, exercise habits, smoking habits, driving habits, etc.

    It is argued by some that proficiency in social marketing would inevitably lead government into all kinds of undesirable thought control and propaganda.

    The dangers of governmental proficiency in social marketing are recognized but so are the evident abuses resulting from all other kinds of marketing. If the siren song of coloured television, for example,is creating an indolent and passive use of leisure time, has the government not the duty to counteract its effects by marketing programs aimed at promoting physical recreation?”

    Chapter 9. Science Versus Health Promotion

    “The spirit of enquiry and skepticism, and particularly the Scientific Method,so essential to research, are, however, a problem in health promotion.

    The reason for this is that science is full of “ifs”, “buts”, and “maybes” while messages designed to influence the public must be loud, clear and unequivocal.

    To quote I Corinthians, Chapter XIV, Verse 8:
    “If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

    The scientific proof underlying cause-and-effect relationships between, on the one hand, environment and lifestyle and, on the other, sickness and death, is fraught with disagreement.

    Without looking too hard we can find scientists on both sides of the following questions:

    (a) does exercise lessen the likelihood, or abate the severity, of coronary artery disease?
    (b) is obesity an important contributory factor to sickness and death?
    (c) does marijuana have any serious long-term effects?
    (d) does the ingestion of high levels of fatty foods and cholesterol increase the likelihood of coronary-artery disease?
    (e) is frequent self-medication, particularly with over-the-counter drugs,bad?

    Even such a simple question as whether one should severely limit his consumption of butter and eggs can be a subject of endless scientific debate.

    Faced with conflicting scientific opinions of this kind, it would be easy for health educators and promoters to sit on their hands; it certainly makes it easy for those who abuse their health to find a ready “scientific” excuse.
    But many of Canada’s health problems are sufficiently pressing that action has to be taken on them even if all the scientific evidence on them is not in.

    ” The scientific “yes, but” is essential to research but for modifying the behaviour of the population it sometimes produces the “uncertain sound” that is all the excuse needed by many to cultivate and tolerate an environment and lifestyle that is hazardous”
    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/pdf/perspect-eng.pdf

    So from then on it didn’t matter if the science behind lifestyle pronouncements was speculative at best, as long as it spoke in a very loud voice, silencing all reasoned criticism.

  3. Emily says:

    Were you set up to share your posts automatically on Facebook? There also seems to be a distinction between a page and a profile. I found this:
    https://techau.com.au/facebook-kills-automatic-wordpress-publishing-to-profiles

    • Frank Davis says:

      Yes, I was sharing my posts automatically. But I’m not a big Facebook user. I just drop in from time to time.. I don’t spend much time there. Facebook isn’t the centre of my universe: it’s on the fringe. So is Twitter, even though I have a Twitter account too.

  4. Clicky says:

  5. Lepercolonist says:

    Thanks for that link, waltc. I finished reading Victor Davis Hansen’s new book on World War 2 and would highly recommend it to any one interested in that period of history. Hansen is clear, cogent and brilliant.

  6. Peter C says:

    Thanks Frank,

    I do not know how you spend your day, but you seem to spend it well, at least on the internet.
    I am suffering a loss of Faith, because I thought Science was a Noble calling and that Scientists would always tell the Truth, but that is all ashes in my mouth because of Climate Change.

    I am not a smoker myself, but I don’t think that smokers should be ostracised nor excluded in the way that they are now. I am a doctor. At my hospital the smokers cannot even be on the premises. They have to walk 100m to the road, where there is no shelter. I talk to them there when I go for a short walk at lunchtime.

    Some one mentioned your blog on the Jonova site. That was a few months ago. I drop in quite often,

    This blog on loss of Faith made an impression on me.

  7. Pingback: Dead and Dying Computers | Frank Davis

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