How Do I Know to Be True That Which I Know to Be True?
Last updated: April 2023
“How do I know to be true that which I know to be true?”
Self-reflection in search of truth
This question is a very important to me. It helps me evaluate my own beliefs and input from others. When I find myself having to dig deep to defend something I believe in, I sometimes need to ask myself:
- How do I know it to be true?
- Can I find reinforcing proof?
- Can I prove it to be wrong?
- How did I learn this truth?
Evaluating new information
With the onset of RA, and later the pandemic, I began to ask myself about the information shared with me.
The phrases “common knowledge” and “everyone knows” set up red flags for me.
The same is true about the absolutes: “everyone knows”, “always”, “all the experts”, etc.
On the flip side, I know people who believe the best argument for something is “contrary to common knowledge.” They love to think they understand something on a level beyond others. Whether they do or not.
During Covid arguments (UGH!), I learned to red flag when someone was unwilling to share their sources or furnish studies to back up their statements.
Articles from non-scientists (aka journalists) aren’t enough for me. “Show me the study!”
My critieria for evaluating information
So now I ask myself a few questions:
- How do I know that?
- How does this person know that?
- Did I ask for advice from them?
- Are they wiling to share their educational and professional background with me?
- Are their sources reputable and do they share them? Is there more than one source with this information?
- Sometimes a study is straight forward and I am able to glean what I need from it. If not, who can I turn to that can help me? Preferably someone with a lot more initials behind their name than me!
- Did they stay at a Holiday Inn Express?
It helps ground me when I return to the question above. How about you?
Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I know to be true that which I know to be true?”
Did you know rheumatologist Dr. Donica Baker is answering community questions?
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