Credible sources

Anyone who takes their religion and politics seriously has their list of ‘go-to’ sources.  Whether they be certain authors, blogs, journals, or books, we all have them.   We need them.

What is it that makes your particular sources credible?  How do you know the source is credible?

It’s important to remember that we’re all biased and will always be.  But it’s not whether we have a bias, or even that our sources are biased.  What’s important is whether that bias is obstructive, or if it will not allow a fair examination of a particular issue.

What are your sources for religious and political analysis?  Who do you trust to provide you with an accurate accounting of the issues important to you?

Comments

  1. Excellent question. What I try to do is to try a balance, and evaluate any testable predictions that people make from the explanations they give. Some of these tests are not that hard to do. Sometimes it’s also a matter of style. For example, for climate related issues I read realclimate.org, climateaudit.org, and judith curry’s blog, and the occasional post on Watt’s Up With That. After dropping out the extreme claims, you come to a reasonable balance relatively quickly.

    For religion, one of the reasons I like the Unbelievable podcast, is that you often get the point and counterpoint right next to each other, making it easier to see where each side is weak, each side is strong, etc… I try to get in the habit of trying to evaluate the many sides of an issue, not just read from my “go-to” list. For the New Atheists, my favorite is Sam Harris – I find he is the least shrill. For biblical texts and methods, I really like Robert Price – not that I agree with him all the time, but he has a very open approach and an encyclopedic knowledge of the materials. I shy away from philosophers, because I find much of it is word-games.

  2. I find credible sources to be those that support their positions with links to verifiable data, such as gov’t statistics that anyone can access, review and use. I am also impressed with sources that use large excerpts of opposition material so that they cannot be accused of cherry picking out of context snippets. They welcome opposing comments and answer them without fear. These are just a few criteria that indicate my sources are credible.

  3. i received a link to a post about abortion today and it came to an error page, dont know if it was on purpose Not Found, Error 404
    The page you are looking for no longer exists. Perhaps you can return back to the site’s homepage and see if you can find what you are looking for. Or, you can try finding it with the information below.

    • Crystal I deleted the post. I was asking for opinions on whether I should publish a post which would have been extremely controversial. I decided it is best left unpublished.

  4. John,

    Randall Hoven, whose essays and articles are published at AmericanThinker.com, is a perfect example of one who is keen on using verifiable data to support his opinions. His articles there are usually two-toned for all the blue colored text denoting links. He is typical of the type and quality of people who have articles posted there. None of this means they are perfect, but that they do not simply throw crap against the wall to see what sticks. They argue from a position of informed knowledge.

    Another would be Rush Limbaugh for the specific reason that among his callers, he gives the most attention and time to those that oppose him. Michael Medved is probably 80%-20% opposition callers to those who agree.

    Heritage Foundation provides great detail in supporting their positions. I also still read National Review, Weekly Standard and a few other publications and believe their reporting to be focused more on reality than on ideological rantings.

    One thing that marks my sources as superior is their willingness to go toe-to-toe with opposing points of view and debate them to the end. They welcome the debate and do not tend to respond with anything other than on point comments and arguments.

  5. Here are a few of my favorite resources that are highly numbers based that allow you to draw your own conclusions:

    PewResearch.org (various statistics on media, politics, religion, and society)
    NationMaster.com (various stats on countries)
    http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats (US crime statistics)
    http://www.shadowstats.com/ (analysis of Government statistics)
    http://www.c-span.org/ (live and recorded video of Government hearings)

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