Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

VALUES, FACTS,ACCURACY AND OPINIONS

The debate about foxhunting surfaced again on Boxing Day. It made me think about how one decides emotional issues. At the time of the ban I was against it, and took part in two ‘protests’ . I was not keen on animals being torn to pieces, but that was outweighed by anger at the aggression of the anti-hunting lobby, whose motives I suspected. This year I read some articles on the internet, one of them claiming that the only reason for the ban was to prevent certain forms of cruelty. It also said that at one time in the past foxes had been imported from other countries just so that they could be hunted.  Killing animals for sport is not an attractive idea. My value system rejects it.

But there is still a problem about the information that underpins a value system. In these days of mass media and everybody being able to post stuff on the internet, how can one be sure of knowing the facts? Even institutions are founded for a purpose and have an axe to grind. It is becoming harder and harder to feel confident about an issue. Who told me something? What is his state of knowledge? Did he have evidence? Did he interpret it correctly? Do I trust him? Was he just repeating what he had picked up uncritically? And as for politicians, the reasonable response is “YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS!”

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