I need a word, or philosophical term that means nothing can be taken at face value or below its surface. It should convey that people's characters cannot be judged even by a book's first chapter.
Despite infobesity, the media's obsession with celebrities, and the widespread coverage of those who hold positions of power and influence, we are fed only birdseed. By its very nature, and in order to drum up interest (and boost sales), today the media is more biased than ever. Articles and TV reports paint an either rosier or greyer picture than what we call ‘reality’. Similarly, social media is manipulated by press agents and public relations, and so the public can never really discern what is truth or what is fictional. We are living in a post-truth era. In other words, although a person's moral code and overall behaviour may appear to be exemplary, the opposite is often tragically true.
For inspiration, think of how admired, respected, and in a some cases even adored, the following figures were: Jimmy Savile; Bill Cosby; Michael Flynn; the ex Prime Minister, Tony Blair; if you're an alt-right supporter, Hillary Clinton, and the fictional character O'Brien. It would be an added bonus if this word, or expression could suggest that we, the public, are often in self-denial. We are all guilty of downplaying the faults of our heroes, not only to outsiders but also among ourselves.
Pretence is close, but it is inexorably linked to volition and implies deception whereas it seems to me that the aforementioned figures would never call themselves traitors, liars, or criminals. The introspection gene is conspicuously lacking in their psyche. Additionally, the ‘general public’ appear to be unaware of their own prejudices, hypocrisies and corrupted moral code. Lastly, everyone without distinction, is oblivious to the ________ , and as a result, the events which unfurl daily become all the more disquieting.
I want to say to any political supporter, regardless of their political leaning, the following:
No, you think you know who this public figure is but you don't. Not even they know who they really are. We are being fed illusions.
I am looking for a philosophical, psychological or sociological term, but it eludes me.
Double standards, hypocrisy are close, but duplicitous, deceitful are unsatisfactory because they lean more towards a dishonesty that is conscious, and for me it's much more worrying and complex than that.
I am not looking for an idiom, proverb, or cliches. Ergo, the answers: All that glitters is not gold, You can't judge a book by its cover, and Beauty is only skin deep are unsatisfactory.
I am asking for a more technical term (if it exists), or expression, possibly in the field of philosophy, sociology or psychology.