Many conspiracy theories come out of the deep distrust of authority.
When people have the perception they’ve been lied to, and deceived, over and over again, it’s only natural that people becoming distrusting of the offending entity. It can be very difficult, if not impossible to build trust again.
This seems to be what’s happening with western governments and the media, at the moment.
All who side with the distrusted party are themselves distrusted and seen to be complicit in the lie. Even science seems to have fallen into this trap of late.
How do you get trust back? Can you? Are governments’ reputations damaged irreparably? Is the media reputation damaged irreparably? What about science?
I think science should take an independent stand, so as not to be seen as complicit in some government led deception.
Science should speak with one voice, not with dissenting, often conflicting viewpoints, that only act to muddy the waters. What is evidence based, and what is opinion? It’s important to address any contradictions, otherwise people won’t know what to believe.
I often see people on social media, calling others ‘sheeple’ as a derogatory term for those they perceive as being gullible for believing what government and associated science are saying. But not believing what the government or science is saying, is not an absence of belief, but rather a belief in some kind of conspiracy theory.
What reliable scientific evidence is there to support the belief in that conspiracy theory? Believing in some unfounded conspiracy theory, which runs counter to respected scientific evidence, could also be seen as an example of people acting like sheeple.
You can believe the widely accepted science, or you can believe often debunked anti-scientific opinion, but I know which one is probably more likely to be accurate.
It’s wise to be skeptical about what people tell you. It’s wise to be questioning. When someone tells you something ask them to prove it. It’s fine to use that principle when authority tells you something, but also question conspiracy theories, in the same way. Don’t reject one and then blindly embrace the other, that is just dumb.
When people don’t have reliable sources of information, they may become confused and hunker down into what they already believe. Better to seek out information from various sources. Read what the Political Right have to say, then read what the Political Left have to say about the same thing. The truth is likely to be somewhere in the middle of the two.
Science is usually a good starting point, spend time researching the latest knowledge on the topic. If you’ve not got the time, best to keep your opinions to yourself, rather than risk spreading misinformed misinformation, which doesn’t help anyone.
Follow the scientific advice unless you have definitive proof it’s a lie. Be even more skeptical of conspiracy theories. They spread because they are often sensational and fantastical. They ride on the back of the facts of the event or situation in a plausible way, but they are only a narrative interpretation.
Every intention and action can be interpreted negatively or positively if you so wish. The hero explorer is cast as the merciless invader, the protective government is seen as the oppressor, safety becomes confinement, a worried neighbor is seen as nosey.
Look for the facts and take the rest of the story with a pinch of salt.