What is History? How do you verify if the history you are being taught is accurate? Are we sure it is unbiased? Can history even be unbiased? What can we learn from history whether or not is accurate, biased, liberal, conservative, cultural, normal, cruel, good, dark, light, happy, sad, depressing, or joyful?
I’m here to be your personal thought provoking article of questions, blunt answers, and crazy-awesome-childlike authorship that will be sure to make you wonder how in the world I plan on getting a Masters degree in four years from now. First lets start off with the biggest, philosophical question on the table: Can history be unbiased?
To start off on this we need to know what History is.
- Past tense
- News of old
- Retold stories
- Matters of humans from before who wished to preserve knowledge of what has been done in hopes of explaining and teaching the next generations.
Can history be unbiased?
–Disclaimer all views from here on out are totally opinionated and should be taken with a grain of salt. Opinions, dear children of the internet, are not facts. opinions can be correct, but they are in fact opinions.–
I daresay that history cannot be unbiased. Facts are facts and people… are fallible human, fleshly, forgetful, misinterpreting people. Even if facts were written in an unbiased way the reader can NEVER be completely objective in their interpretation of the facts. But of course this is under the presupposition that every human being has presuppositions that they cannot completely break. Your subconscious cannot just shut off. If you can fully control your subconscious please call me now, for I wish to learn this feat as well.
Is history accurate? Let me give you a few things to think about. First, History is biased. Second, who writes history? Is it the winner of a battle, or the loser? Perhaps a third “unbiased” party? Third, if history is biased, and whomever is writing it is biased, how can we check for its accuracy?
I’m glad my third question is basically the initial question reworded to give me more words on a paper. In fact these words that you are reading now ARE proof of how to check accuracy on things. –NO DON’T GET ME WRONG, I am not claiming to be a valid source… yet 🙂 —
Picture with me my answer as I set the premise up. We have a particular event that happens at a local venue. Each person at the end of said event journals down in their diary what took place. Now how many of these will be published in history? Possibly none. Unless one of them happens to deem it necessary to publish said material in public format. Though this does not mean the printed/public version is accurate, it just means that it was the one that happened to be used. Years down the road the grandchildren of all the attendees can read their grandparents journal, see the public print and compare. Do the articles add up? How accurate were they? Further more let us say that these grandchildren gather all together compare all the notes then retell the event and use only the most common pieces among the journals. Their retelling of the event would still be a bit biased, but they would more accurate to the actual event than had they taken the account of one individual. The more sources you have, the more likely your story will check out.
By reading this, you (whomever you are), have access to a time period that few will share. You can glimpse into the news of March 2016. You can see what was important enough to write about. You have enough information in this day and age to figure out that stuff is going down. Social Media, blogs, youtube, etc. It all contributes into the formula that our generation is a well/highly opinionated generation, but also a highly documented one…. one with pictures of ourselves and our food rather than intellectual journal entries of masters of penmanship.
In short, History is accurate to a point. It was written by the victory of other human beings. With that being the case am I telling you that History is accurate, but biased. Who really started those wars? Did we really have clean hands in those situations? Are people truly unaware of political and social changes? etc.
Time is out to get you. Get locked and loaded with multiple different sources and you will be set. Be sure that your sources check out. The kid smoking something in his mom’s basement might not be the best choice for a source, but then again he might have his opinions right and you are just refusing to give a high kid his due credit. Think before claiming fact. Trust, but verify.
If history is biased, possibly inaccurate, why even bother? Because you can learn from it. The saying is those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Go out and know history. It can be completely biased, and slightly inaccurate, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is, and always will be a life lesson tucked in there for the eyes who are searching. If you want to write history you have to become the victor. Conquer and do as you please, write biased opinions and give yourself a good name. But blessed is the one, who when his friends remember them that their minds are filled with consistency and love. The one who keeps track of the world that they live in (also the stuff going on around them, not just their own little world) will give eyes to the future to see the past in a more luminous way. These are the people that will shape the interpretation of history down the road.
So remember: History is biased, check the facts, History is accurate to the writer/victor, and no matter where/how/why history was written you can look for the life lesson tucked away somewhere.
From Lafayette, IN with Love,
This is David Sager reporting on all things going on in my mind.