Recently an acquaintance of mine recirculated a web site article asserting that Dr. Fauci was the originator of the Corona Virus and hold patents on it. Another friend responded with the facts refuting this claim. The acquaintance responded something along the lines of “I don’t care about the facts, I’ll keep believing what I want”.
Sadly, this is not an isolated instance in today’s world of instantly available “news flashes” that, for all too many, do not need to be checked out for validity, or even to check the source of the article. And, of course, it is easily spread to numerous people and all too often accepted as fact even when the most casual observation and a modicum of common sense would refute some of these claims.
My favorite example of this from the last six months is the Johns Hopkins University report published in their Newsletter stating that COVID-19 had relatively no effect on deaths in the United States JHU Study Says COVID-19 Had ‘Relatively No Effect on Deaths’ in U.S. (pjmedia.com). Johns Hopkins almost immediately retracted the article and numerous responses from others in the field repudiated the statistics and logic contained in that article. Nevertheless, this circulated widely and found fertile ground amongst those who believed the virus was a hoax or part of a conspiracy.
I would submit that this, like so many others, is so easily refuted by just looking the world around us. In this case, a simple observation of the hospitals and the funeral homes that were so full as to be unable to meet the demand for services and treatment would have caused even the most ardent believer in the “COVID Hoax” to question the validity of the conclusions of this study. Such an easily undertaken study did not deter those wedded to various conspiracy theories.
How is it that so many of us now choose to cast aside logic and even casual observation and instead, believe whatever supports our prejudices and out dated beliefs? The obvious product of such an attitude is a marked failure to grow and mature. For our society, it means that there is blind adherence, even cult-like behavior, to those that espouse views that reinforce our own beliefs and prejudices. That, in turn, can easily lead to the events of January 6 and, perhaps, even worse in the future. Maybe it also leads to the belief that somehow I should not be held accountable for my behavior, rather that someone or some government should bail me out of whatever dilemma I found myself in, whether that dilemma is being in debt a result of a student loan entered into, or even imprisonment for my actions, voluntarily undertaken.
In this age of easily circulated “information” and slanted journalism, there is a site that I have found is a good resource for verifying internet and media claims as well as various urban myths. If you want to substantiate the latest posting you have received or rumor you have heard, you might try snopes.com.
Whatever the result of the reason behind failure to test others’ opinions or positons, to blindly follow whatever is the latest or most volatile posting is, to me, akin to those that embrace Flat Earth.