In line with the celebration of the Information Technology Week 2017, the third Ignatian Conversation was held yesterday, November 22, at Finster auditorium, centering on the theme, ”Finding Truth in the New Age of Information”.
Fr. Ramon Prudencio S. Toledo, S.J. & Fr. Ulysses S, Cabayao, S.J. were the lead discussants of the said dialogue. Aside from the faculty, admin, staff, and students of Ateneo de Davao University, both from primary education and higher education, guests from St. Peter’s College of Toril and Philippine Catholic Lay Ministries also participated during the event.
The conversation revolved around seeking truth and finding freedom by pursuing what is truthful. As the ability of people to discern truth amid the influx of information in modern media becomes an issue, it hopes to help its participants determine the truth. It tackled the effects of social media responsibility, fake news, discernment, post-truth and many more.
Fr. Toledo presented recent social media statistics in the Philippines and the whole world. He cited that information rapidly circulates online among millions of users regardless if it is true or not. He also discussed the impact of social media on the business world and each individual.
“The problem though is that these days, it is not reasoning that works for many. So, never underestimate the power of emotions. It can lead us to reckless statements and irrational methods, especially when we are angry or very passionate about it. Never underestimate the depth of prejudice or bias.
Moreover, it is important to cultivate empathy. It is important to be discerning,” Toledo reflected.
On the other hand, Fr. Cabayao supplemented Fr. Toledo’s discussion. He seconded the idea of why there is a higher chance of unbalanced information because of the consideration of the appeal of emotions in absorbing new information. He highlighted how people, especially Filipinos, are living in a post-truth world.
“When we speak about our own culture and literacy, and we noticed that in our social media or even offline, there seems to be something that we are probed too. In fact, I would even suggest that we, Filipinos, have always been post-truth,” said Fr. Cabayao.
According to Cabayao, the challenge is finding some common ground with people who we usually disagree with. He expressed how many people believe that just by knowing the facts, others will already subscribe to it.
“No matter how factual the evidence you constantly present to people who subscribe to other ways of looking at things, that particular fact does not take faction among them. So instead of bombarding other people with facts, do we even attempt to consider the perspective of another person?” he inquired.
Efren Bibat, an IT student at St. Peter’s College of Toril, shared his insights after attending the 3rd Ignatian Conversation.
“I am thankful that I have attended this event. I have learned a lot from the speakers. As a BSIT student, I am challenged to incorporate this new learning in my field especially in the new age of information,” Bibat said.