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Detecting and correcting ‘false reports’

From The Christian Science Journal - November 2, 2015

Originally written in German, this first appeared in the October 2015 Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German editions of The Herald of Christian Science.

According to the German Wikipedia, “A false report, also known as a ‘canard,’ is an inaccurate news story. It arises as a result of flawed or sloppy research on the part of a journalist, or is deliberately publicized by journalists, official bodies, politicians, companies, private individuals, or other informants.” A canard is meant to mislead thought. The code of honor for the media includes, among other things, a respect for the truth, as well as diligence and rectification.

At times, we may be quick to accept the validity of a report, be it something we read or hear about in the media, or something a friend is telling us. We may feel that “we’ve always known it.” It is not rare, however, that a report turns out to be incorrect because it was based on an unreliable source. However, when something confirms and serves our own preconceived notions and entrenched opinions, we tend to believe it, willingly and uncritically. In order to avoid making false assumptions and rushing into wrong conclusions, one would do well, therefore, to always carefully and objectively examine the information that is presented, and ask him- or herself: “Is this true?”

There is another kind of report that we need to be wary of—the testimony of the material senses. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, instructs the reader in her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, to carefully look deeper, beneath the material appearance of things, to understand the spiritual reality. She summarizes spiritual reality in a pivotal statement called “the scientific statement of being”: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (p. 468).

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