Why are so many people willing to believe what they’re told, with little to no evidence whether it’s about politics or religion? I’ve always kind of scratched my head in wonder mainly because I think I’m one of those that is skeptical unless I actually see something more than a single news story or that yes, in fact, Jesus or the Virgin Mary appeared on a piece of toast.
Is it in our nature to be gullible or is it that we are sometimes so entrenched in some belief that we cannot see, even if all the evidence points elsewhere, that we are wrong. Why hold onto something that cannot be proven, or has been proven to be false?
We rely on the media too much to present us with facts but as anyone, no matter whether you’re liberal or conservative, can say that we’re not getting the entire story. We have news channels that will give us their take, with possibly one dissenting view and we are left with a feeling of not knowing what to believe. It would be simpler if some pundit just brought in the piece of toast.
I may be also naive to think that most people don’t have ill intentions but are guided by what they’ve always believed is true. Atheists have this problem with the general public in that some televangelist tells his viewers that we are all the Spawn of Satan and what do you think their hundreds of thousands (in some cases) of viewers come to think?
We need to place less trust on what we’re told than what we can validate through the evidence provided. Evidentiary investigation is not just for scientists, but should be something we all do, all the time. Unless someone has compelling evidence for what we’re told, or what we read, the first comment out of our mouth should be, I don’t believe you.
We’ve allowed all parts of our lives to be dictated by some who have an agenda that is only beneficial to them whether it’s religion or politics, and yes, even science in some instances. We want something to be true because we’ve already concluded that it is true. Evidence be damned.
Some I know have become less skeptical and more speculatory over whatever they hear or read. It’s easy to come to the wrong conclusion when you’ve already come to a conclusion based on what is believed rather than what the actual facts show. We can pretend we are in the right, but are we when we have nothing but a religious fervor to stand behind us.
It’s not that something is possible, but probable. Simply that we don’t like the evidence that may shatter our entire worldview is not enough to reject that evidence. We should be, in anything, requesting – no – demanding more. Don’t tell me I am wrong, but explain to me why I am wrong. That’s the beginning of a discussion.
I think we may all need a bit of a re-tuning to our skepticism. When we go out and look for that every evidence do we only use those that validate what we already believe or do we also take the time to look at counter arguments before we affirm to ourselves what we want to believe we know?
There’s nothing wrong with having opinions on any topic, but how many of thooe are based on anything other that what we feel at the time? Shouldn’t we be able to be, as skeptics, more circumspect about the information we receive and be able to dissect that and come to a reasoned evaluation, based on evidence and not emotion?
I’m finding fewer and fewer of those that call themselves skeptics that actually are. We want to believe want we want to believe without applying the most basic rules of evidence. Are we now not just another religious belief system? I hope not, but right now, I’m skeptical.
2 thoughts on “We’ve Lost Our Objectivity”
Let’s see, things to do… Evidentiary investigation, question authority at all times, be skeptical about all science and especially news about current events, question my doctors to irritation and the pharmacy, become an lay expert on insurance and tax code, doubt the plumbers and electricians and Tyson’s service techs…oh, automobile mechanics, sheesh.
People rely upon authorities of various sort because we have stuff we have to do during the day and hope to get 8 hours of worry-free sleep at night.
Our authorities often let us down, but in general they do okay. What plagues us now is that the authorities that we relied upon to help us find the truth have lost their credibility.
“Why are so many people willing to believe what they’re told, with little to no evidence…” I don’t think any of us have sufficient time or expertise to investigate the veracity of every piece of information we might find relevant. We trust others, including scientists and journalists, to provide us with accurate information most of the time. And most of the time, they do.
I think that many of us are also able to distinguish between something like “Jesus appeared on my toast” and the scientific consensus on climate change. In the case of the former, skepticism makes good sense and it not too difficult. In the case of the latter, skepticism seems unwarranted and few of us would be capable of testing this ourselves let alone understanding the results published in relevant scientific journals.