Evaluation of data needs no human authority

Authoritarianism has brought untold suffering to humanity. Suppose you hold what you consider to be valuable, intending to share with others. Those with whom you share, exude doubt, asking questions like, “Who is the authority of that information?” Right in front of you, would be a dimwit, assuming he was created without the mind, with which to think and evaluate.

The most terrible mistake in this life is to criticize or blindly approve something, on the basis of someone’s background. The pertinent point ought to be whether the information concurs with one’s own opinion, or not. Anyone who accepts or rejects knowledge without evaluation demonstrates a lack of wisdom.

All information needs personal evaluation, before adoption. Of course, there are specialists, needing consideration, in every sphere of information. But those specialists are not infallible. Whatever they say ought to be independently evaluated, objectively. When one authenticates those specialists, that should not imply labeling them as authorities.

When a person concludes that some piece of information is valuable, he would be comparing it to something else. Without comparing that piece of information to something similar, it is impossible to judge. One cannot just conclude blindly. How valuable is the data, towards livingness?

Having adopted the understanding of that information, the evaluator becomes the authority, as willing to also defend it. In the field of education, a scholar is uneducated, as long as quoting another person, for whatever would have been studied. Knowledge is accessible to any person, capable of evaluating data, in terms of livingness.

A twelve-year-old girl in Chimanimani can sufficiently provide visitors with valuable information in the area. Even though she might be considered uneducated, she would be familiar with the surroundings. Visitors access valuable information from her, regardless of her considered poor status.

In this world, there is only one authority, who is the source of everything existing. Generally, people get duped in two forms of authority. The first is fixating authority on individual personalities. When tempted to assign authority to another personality, one would be peddling with idolatry.

The personality may need crediting, but not as an authority. If holding some piece of information, which is considered to be true and workable, there is nothing wrong with being credited. But what the commending person does with that piece of information could be much greater than what would be currently held.

The simple advice is to evaluate any received information, making it one’s own, and then do something about it. In the field of science, the current scientists have done greater things than the likes of Newton and Einstein, for instance.

In recent times, many people have made magnificent discoveries, using the internet, originally discovered by others. It is a question of what one does with the information found to be workable.

The second authority, through which people get duped, is group authority. Having been created in God’s image, humans are as different as all species are different. Genetically, one may resemble his own father or ancestors. But, in terms of character traits, he would be totally different.

As created in God’s image, humans hold individual peculiarities, intrinsic to each of them. Needless to say, people die without ever testing their intrinsic peculiarities. They religiously adopt what is approved by their racial groupings. Most people seen around are copycats.

They get fixated on what goes on in the environment, more than listening to their own conscience. They become willing to adopt what they themselves consider as improper, only because everyone in their surrounding approves it. They behave like sheep, unwilling to think independently.

The group mentality drives political activism. It also sustains church groupings. In their sheepish behavior, humans feel secure, when belonging to a group, regardless of how off-track the group might be.

They become unwilling to evaluate data, as long as the generality of group members have not adopted it. They are simply sustained by cowardice. The group mentality is probably worse than the other, cultivated on individual personalities.

Consider the state of Zimbabwe, today, and the current social unrests in South Africa. Nevertheless, both the individual personality and the group mentality are designed for destruction. Mob psychology stems from the group mentality, which approves anything, as long as considered fashionable.

Trends are driven by group mentality, just as fashions are also driven by the group mentality. This comprises people who cannot think for themselves, but waiting to adopt whatever goes with the wind.

Being created in God’s image makes it the only reason why the information should be evaluated according to God’s word. I may not be familiar with scriptures of other religions. But as a Christian, I believe the Holy Bible provides true Godly information, needing to be meticulously evaluated.

However, each person should introspectively consider him/herself as peculiar. The person may relate to other group members, but with a special endowment, exclusive to his own personality. He would be doing a disfavor to his group if failing to project his own personality traits.

As humans, we could also learn a lot, as long as willing to grant beingness to other people. When using two-way communication one could get astonishing information from others. Most people have kept what God long revealed to them, as confronted by the unwilling listeners. Many of them have long died with their undiscovered fantastic stories.

There is no other tonic that beats the aspect of two-way communication in human relations. This engulfs the entire humanity, regardless of racial or geographical location. All problems, including wars in diverse places, can be resolved by two-way communication. As humans, let us talk to each other.

The general rule should be the willingness to speak to any person regardless of race, color, class, or gender. This is based on the axiom “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). The ability to speak is the greatest gift of humanity.

What prevails is uncertainty on matters of communication. The young man, desiring to find someone to marry, becomes suspicious of every woman. This is due to having been rebuffed once, but by another, unrelated to the one being courted.

The next woman may as well, rebuff him, similarly to how he was rebuffed before. But there is no reason to make that assumption, without having established the veracity of that conclusion. Similarly, having been treated badly, by one white man, cannot be a good reason to conclude that all whites would treat one badly.

Conversely, having encountered a treacherous black person does not invite a blanket assumption that all blacks are treacherous, by nature. These comprise an array of examples of miscommunication, arising from being unaware of the essence of two-way communication.

The illusion lies in conclusions, based on physical observations, rather than established through two-way communication. Communication is spiritually oriented, more than it is physically related. The power of communication rests on not being physically oriented.

Communication is a spiritual component that each human being possesses. And it carries all answers to human problems. Those appearing as having no problems in this world are good communicators.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5 NIV).

Right here we have answers to human survival. Put simply, the Word referred to, is communication. It is only through communication that humans can co-exist without problems. The establishment of this principle was by Jesus, revealing it, to the blinded humanity.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NIV).

Jesus established the principle of truth, coming from the source point. The receipt point can choose to duplicate and understand or choose to ignore.  Humans are as human as Jesus was human. As Jesus was the source point, similarly, humans, individually bear the value of being the source point.

This brings us to the question of whether the one regarded as the source point represents truth or not? Of course, this appears impossible, but possible when becoming a good listener, to establish the veracity of the data. That mindset was not possessed by the Pharisees of Jesus’s time.

Their viewpoint of Jesus was based on assumptions and suspicions, rather than truth. After His departure, Jesus’s disciples would carry the responsibility of being the source point. But those disciples passed on, at the first century. It is now a question of who is carrying the responsibility of the message, as coming from the source point.

There is no need to consider the background of any person, as all humans were created in God’s image. Of course, the wise still exist, even in our present time, as they existed during the times of the disciples. Such people are good listeners, as listening without prejudice.

 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11 NIV).

The author describes the Berean Jews as having been of more noble character, simply, by their willingness to listen. In other words, a good listener suspends his judgment, until having heard everything about what would be said. Information comes from the source point. But how can one know that, before having listened?

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except for their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-11 NIV).

A human being was created in God’s image, but the same human does not know God, in whose image he was created. It takes a good listener, to allow the Spirit to search all things, even the deep things of God. This is made possible by two-way communication.

The anatomy of a two-way communication goes as follows: The source point originates the communication, where the receipt point acknowledges, and shows interest by probing the source point to say more.

For instance, the source point might originate, “How are you, today?” As a way of showing interest, the receipt point might then respond smilingly, and say, “I am very well thank you. And how are you?” This type of response encourages the source point to engage in more communication.

However, if the receipt point simply responded by saying, “I am fine.” That might discourage the source point to continue talking, as the receipt point would be deemed to be uninterested. Also, that would be interpreted as a sign of unfriendliness.

The conclusion, by the source point, that the other person would be unfriendly is the original source of trouble. The source point bears the responsibility to complete the cycle of communication. Why did he initiate speaking to the receipt point, in the first place?

It is incumbent upon the source point to ensure that the message is conveyed to the receipt point. The source point stops doing so, only when the receipt point has explicitly stated being uninterested in the subject. This is what was stated by Jesus to the seventy-two disciples sent by Him:

“Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals, and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you” (Luke 10:3-6 NIV).

There is an aspect of responsibility that each human being carries, needing to be articulated without fail. God’s people need information. Why should one be so introverted as to be unwilling to talk to other people?

There is no other authority under the sun. But God uses each of those created in His own image to disseminate information without fail. Each one is supposed to boldly communicate, knowing fully well, they represent the authority of the one in whose image they were created.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

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