How Do I Know to Be True That Which I Know to Be True?

“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?”

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