Acclimating to the Worlds of Post-Truth

Kamis, 04 Juli 2024 - 00:16 | 23.74k
 Andre Anugrah, Dosen Susatera, Peneliti Bahasa, dan Mahasiswa Doktoral UPI Bandung.
Andre Anugrah, Dosen Susatera, Peneliti Bahasa, dan Mahasiswa Doktoral UPI Bandung.

TIMESINDONESIA, BANDUNG – “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth”. It is a world-renowned quote uttered by a German Nazy, Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), by which the Post-Truth term as well as a phenomenon, in a nutshell, is best described. Even if this phrase might sound obsolete for its age, it has appeared to be a gradually revealing discourse on the horizon. 

The Post-Truth is gnawing into each life of ours as a chronic disease in disguise. Are we aware of the typical life we live in? Do we ever realize that we have been being fooled?  Should we trust the so-called truth for the time being? Or, do we still really have the truth itself after the advent of Post-Truth? In this piece of writing, the writer will be in an attempt to shed light on the post-truth emergence and dominance, its jeopardy, and shields to put on against it. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Post-Truth is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. With full regard to that definition, Post-Truth is when institutions report false or incorrect claims to persuade public opinion and increase support. The writer tends to disagree with how it is so narrowly defined by that dictionary since The Post-Truth is not solely dealt with public opinion, media, and so on. The Post-Truth is a rather wider term concerned with any act of twisting facts. 

Structurally speaking, the phrase is composed of a pair of words “Post” and “Truth” comparable to Structuralism and its Post Structuralism, Modernism and its Post-Modernism. “Post” in these phrases is best to refer to as a counter content of what follows it, thus Post in the Post Truth utterly means the opposite of truth which is “untruth”, “lie” spoken by liars. Post-Truth practitioners are only interested in making things make-believe to be believed, so there is no wonder if this Post-Truth is tremendously into misinforming, disinforming, and misinforming their targets for their mission(s) and interests. 

The Post-Truth makes its steps in the academic and scientific world. It comes with its hand in various activities such as manipulating data in research, assisting in brutally plagiarizing in so many cunning ways as possible, making a pseudoscience taste like real science, and so forth. Those are hard to refute, aren’t they? Nowadays, on account of the Post-Truth, we have difficulty and trouble recognizing real sciences as a matter of fact. We may sometimes question the unquestionable and unquestion the questionable. How could it ever be? Simply it is because of the Post-Truth, by the time it kicks in, things will sound right.

The Post-Truth reigns over the world of social media. Without a doubt, we have been living in a typical digital world where social media are becoming the most dominant in conveying any information to the public. We, perhaps, spend almost our entire time daily on the internet with social media. The distribution of information through the internet or social media is for certain far easier compared to that through a printed one. 

Hence, the Post-Truth phenomenon takes place in a much more enormous and sporadic form. Social media, in particular, manage to spread out a variety of breach chunks of information which are misformation, disinformation, and mal-information. The arts of lying in the manner of post-truth will lead anything being informed to sounding, tasting, smelling, and appearing right. Let us behold from the past several years, hoaxes have been believed whilst real facts haven’t. 

The Post-Truth is also applicable in the world of religions, in its practice particularly. In the practice of Islam for example, some interested scholars of Islam who are really into committing Bida (an innovation in deen) will live their lives to the Post Truth where they will keep misinforming the public that the Bida they have been doing is of Sunnah Rasulillah, may peace be upon him. Furthermore, they are continuously convincing the laymen that what they do is part of Sunnah, then it will eventually turn to Sunnah on motive and by design. 

Aside from it, and practice of polytheism (shirk), khurofat (absurd teachings or beliefs, superstition, etc), etc can be accepted as they are packed in planned and structured lies, not to mention they are performed by scholars, ruling elites, and respected people. Laymen seem to be the most victims of the Post-Truth since they do not have the instrument to detect the Post-Truth’s activities or its footprints. 

All in all, it is growing crystal clear that we have lived in various worlds where Post-Truth has taken part in. The Post-Truth constantly suits any type of world as long as it is filled with liars and hypocrites attempting to lie, fool and deceive targetted people. As it is to fool, hence only fools will be fooled. In other words, to at least protect ourselves from the attack of The Post-Truth or to at most deactivate the Post-Truth; reasoning, logical, rational, critical yet slightly skeptical brains are required. Comprehensive knowledge and critical thinking will help immensely in facing the world of Post-Truth. 


*) Oleh : Andre Anugrah, Dosen Susatera, Peneliti Bahasa, dan Mahasiswa Doktoral UPI Bandung.

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