Monday, September 1, 2014

Living in a World That Is Only Half True

Indeed, wrote Peter Jaret, “a healthy diet, quality sleep and regular exercise can help any man build muscle, improve libido and raise energy levels. No prescription required” (AARP Bulletin, Jul-Aug, 2014). Jaret’s article, “Low-T: Real Problem or Ad-Driven Fad?” contests current marketing protocol targeting American men. This is standard advertising practice that flies in the face of governmental regulations on truth in advertising, et al.

Marketing ploys would have us believe, “Millions of men 45 or older may have low T … So talk to your doctor about low T.” His rationale includes this warning from Dr. Stephen Woloshin, professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for health Policy and Clinical Practice, who calls this practice, “the mother of all disease mongering.”

An increasing mountain of evidence supports what I already knew deep in my gut: business and the insatiable thirst for greater profits has led to the media taking the public captive and feeding it an increasing dosage of narcissisms, when our society is already addicted to me-ism in all of its variant forms.

Sex sells anything! The result is you cannot buy a new car without being tantalized by a sensuous woman to lust after, or be seduced by. You cannot watch a ball game without reading a Viagra sign to remind you that if your sex drive is decreasing with age, you are abnormal rather than simply experiencing normal aging. Never mind the fact that we have a real social problem today with an overabundance of sexual predators and that our families and children are under constant threat!

These are deeply symptomatic of a far greater problem. Our troubled society has deep-seated difficulty with sorting fact from fiction and reason from feeling. Data shows, suggests Jaret, that data from Internal Medicine (IMS) Health shows “T sales rose from $324 million in 2002 to nearly $2.3 billion in 2012. Sales could hit $5 billion by 2018.” What this really means is that by simply adjusting the truth to accommodate false illusions, lying to the public has become both acceptably legal and very profitable.” It further suggests that contemporary political protocol allows “lying” as an accepted behavior and business practice.

Amid our distrust today of government, and even truth itself; there remains little truth anywhere, because everywhere truth is re-packaged and slanted into the skins of justification to produce a product of phoney-baloney that marketers have found both highly productive and grossly profitable The net result is an increasing amount of distrust of everything and everybody everywhere. The end product is where we find ourselves – living in a truthless and ruthless society where truth is only what one perceives it to be; we no longer have moral absolutes.

Need I go further? It has come to the point that I am so dissatisfied with my culture that I am thoroughly tempted to disconnect my cable and flatly refuse to longer participate in that captive audience owned by the advertisers. They don’t know that they have already offended me to the point that their commercials turn me away from further purchasing their product; they lied to me and betrayed my trust!

While I cannot extricate myself from this predicament, I can become a very self-determining individual that will selectively buy by my standards rather than theirs, that I will buy only what I need for my day to day existence, and that I will as much as is within me base my choices upon my principles of financial management, which in my case begins with being a good financial steward before the God of the Bible.

When Jesus uttered his famous words, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), I suggest he was not simply proclaiming his belief in an antiquated provincial religion; he was affirming the ultimate ground of reality anchored in God Almighty. Jesus was reminding humanity of an ultimate realm of moral absolutes; he was affirming that compromising these absolutes will ultimately destroy all that is of value in our humanity and our human relationships.

We can philosophize all we want over this issue, from any and all perspectives of religion, ethics and morality but lying is a deceptive practice of human behavior. When accepted as a social norm it will eventually destroy all bases for our living together in any kind of social relationship. It is slowly destroying America and adulterating our so-called democracy. It allows a fast-growing cancer to speed up its growth as it slowly destroys this global body we call our world civilization.

From Warner’s World, the next time you are tempted to accept-or-offer a slanted half-truth as a whole perspective, consider the lie that destroys our common ground for relating to one another.

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