I’d like to make some rough notes on the subject of credibility analysis so that we all have a common language with which to assess the reliability of sources. I don’t mean this to be seen as something formal or as having, or seeming to have, any legal weight. These are just my interpretations. My purpose is to help us to weigh primarily channeled messages.
Credibility analysis is about what account among competing versions of events you find to be persuasive and prefer – and why.
Why is it necessary to assess the credibility of a statement? In the Fifth Dimension it won’t be, according to our sources; only truth can exist at that level. But the same is not the case in the Third Dimension.
We need credibility analysis where we cannot ask questions of an information source, where there is reason to believe the source is not telling the truth, where no one (neither the source nor the reader) knows what the truth may be, etc.
When we find ourselves in a position where doubt is reasonable and yet a decision must be made, credibility analysis helps.
To decide credibility, we decide whether any of the following problems are present and, if present, whether they are serious: improbabilities, implausibilities, impossibilities, contradictions and inconsistencies.
- Improbabilities are events or accounts unlikely to be true or to occur. “Unlikely” means less likely than not.
- Implausibilities are events or accounts that are not even superficially fair or reasonable.
- Impossibilities are events or accounts that cannot be or happen, given such things as the law of physics, etc., as we understand them.
- Contradictions are events or accounts that assert, point to, or imply both the truth and falsity of something. They make one thing true and another thing false. They contradict the truth of one circumstance in the course of establishing the truth of another.
- Inconsistencies are events or accounts that do not stay the same at different times and reasonably should be expected to stay the same.
In addition to these legal means of assessing credibility, some non-legal criteria have been offered by the growth movement. These include rhetoric/bias/spin and competing agendas.
- Rhetoric connotes a degree of insincerity or grandiloquence that appears to depart from the truth of an event or account.
- Bias connotes a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment or prejudice.
- A spin is a special point of view, emphasis, or interpretation presented for the purpose of influencing opinion; something added to an explanation or statement for reasons of persuasiveness rather than truthfulness.
- A competing agenda is an unstated underlying, often ideological, plan or program, competing for one’s attention with the stated plan or program.
Whether or not an account without these problems is the truth, I may judge it to be persuasive and prefer it to one that has these problems in it.
John adds the following dimension to this article by way of comment. Thanks, John.
Let me add one more important thing about this topic that you have not mentioned in your article:
On top of those things you have mentioned, we should also be aware that there are indeed “Disinformation Campaigns” and “Agents of Disinformation” (double agents, infiltrators, debunkers, etc.) whose job is precisely to plant false information very well designed to try to deceive us.
For instance, I’ve seen many debunkers (some of them possibly professional ones) who regularly participate in all sorts of Internet forums to defend the official version of things (that 911 was a Bin Laden job, when we know it was an inside job, etc.) and discredit those who disagree with it.
In a way, what’s going on right now in the world is an information war.
So, that’s why we need to be on the alert and to try to discern each piece of info as well as we can.