It is quite rich that the venerable Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) would so pompously issue a list of Websites Carrying False or Verified Contents [sic]. This is coming from a clique of renowned Filipino “thought leaders” who endorse medieval ideas like creationism and, as a matter of policy, apply only circular logic in the manner with which they process information and disseminate it.
So here we go… circular logic versus the Scientific Method. Fasten your seatbelts…
The CBCP and the broader Roman Catholic mafia to which it belongs isn’t exactly renowned for bodies of work open to scrutiny and challenge. In fact, much of what it purports to be “true” about the world was the starting point for a vast “knowledgebase” of backward-engineered “theology”. The Catholic Church’s most revered “thought leader”, medieval philosopher and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (the father of “theology”), wrote out volumes of convoluted reasoning that he attempted to shoehorn through the narrow channel of orthodoxy that Christendom allows of the “thinkers” it endorses. Tragic. Countless Filipino parents likely took out second mortgages to have their kids educated on this so-called “theology” at chi-chi private Catholic schools like the Ateneo de Manila University.
Contrast the Catholic approach to “thinking” with that seminal breakthrough in human enlightenment, the scientific method. Working with the scientific method, theories are formulated from the bottom up (not from a top-down divinely-mandated belief framework). Scientific theories are crystallised from “first principles” that rely on zero human (or divine) bias. An example of such first principles are the building blocks of geometry — e.g., a line is formed by plotting the shortest distance between two points in space, a surface is a cross-section of space that traces the wake of a line moving through it, etc. Self-evident non-reducible axioms and postulates like these form the building blocks of every scientific and mathematical theory that we take for granted today. Without the scientific method, the very devices we use to publish lists of “fake news” sites today would not exist.
Indeed, in the scientific method, human beings finally found the intellectual tools to take on the Church’s “fake ideas” (creditto Mr. Oscar Franklin Tan for the term) head-on. The fake ideas peddled — and defended by the Church at the cost of millions of human lives — are things that even first grade kids would consider to be moronic today. Early scientists, for example, battled the idea that the sun (and, for that matter, the whole universe) revolved around the Earth. It took centuries to win that battle. Even today, 100 million Filipinos are held hostage by the Roman Catholic Church’s fake ideas — the idea that using contraceptives will lead to eternal damnation and the idea that a marriage can only be ended by an “annulment”. The battle rages on between the forces of enlightenment and Catholic dogma in the Philippines of the 21st Century, much the same way that it did in Europe in the 15th to 17th Centuries.
So the short of it is quite straightforward. The thing at work in the way Filipinos have turned the CBCP “fake news” list into a today’s pre-eminent talking point is the very same intellectual disease at work in the spread of “fake news”. We latch on to such lists and the propagator of such lists (in this case, the CBCP) for the very same reason people share “fake news” on their social media timelines. See the irony here? The CBCP said so, so Imma Gonna Retweet It or click on the “Share” button. Doing things that way, of course, is easier than applying the scientific method before you click on “Retweet” or “Share”.
What escapes many here is that the CBCP who they regard as an authority figure that legitimises this “fake news” list is, itself, a propagator of fake ideas that kept humanity in the Dark Ages for centuries (and continues that tradition of breeding ignoramuses in the Philippines today).
You wonder then, is “fake news” really that bad? When considering that question, think of how Yellowtard propaganda was baked into Filipino school kids’ textbooks by 30 years of “liberal” governments beholden to the Aquino-Cojuangco “Laban” narrative. I wrote about a particularly creepy case of this a while back. You’d think cases such as this and this recent “fake news” circus launched by the CBCP would by now motivate supposedly “freedom-loving” Filipinos to pause and reflect on how trustworthy their sources of information are.
At least “FilipiKnows” and “PinoyTrendingNews” content land on our social media feeds where each of us have the option to ignore them. The real outrage is around the way “trusted” organisations abuse supposedly sacred channels — Sunday masses and pastoral letters, kids’ schoolbooks, and mainstream news outlets — to peddle fake ideas that ordinary Filipinos cannot ignore.