I was watching a video on youtube a few weeks ago about two American virologists talking about Covid 19.
I find the human body fascinating and these two Doctors were explaining to people what a virus is and how our immune systems create natural immunity to viruses. They also discussed the dangers of keeping people locked inside their homes for too long such as mental health issues, an increase in domestic violence and how a lack of exposure to the natural environment resulted in a weakened immune system.
Interesting, informative and educational, I thought. So I shared it on Facebook.
A few hours later I got a very angry response from someone calling me naive and telling me that it was dangerous posting such rubbish and misinformation on Facebook.
Interesting response, I thought to myself. I wondered why he got so upset?
As you are now probably aware, I find the mind fascinating and I often wonder what lies at the root of people’s unhappiness. So whenever people get angry or upset and I always wonder what is going on in their heads. They kind of become like a case study for me, an intellectual challenge, a puzzle that I try and figure out.
And one thing that sprang to mind was this:
Everything we think we know is based on the opinions of other people.
Let me explain what I mean
My Facebook page has been inundated with conspiracy theories about Covid 19.
Anyone who believes in the conspiracy theories will search for any information they can find on the internet to validate their beliefs and ignore any information that says otherwise.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have people who believe that conspiracy theorists are a bunch of crackpots and whose opinions about the virus tend to be formed by what they read in the press or watch on news networks.
They believe that anything to do with 5G and an attempt by the elite to take over the world is ‘fake news’ and search for any information contrary to the conspiracy theorists. As a results, they push their articles and videos on people that back up their opinion on the matter.
The truth is, is that nobody knows what the truth is because all of our opinions are based on the opinions of others.
Even the governments with all their ‘facts’ keep admitting that their ‘facts’ may be completely wrong.
Which made me ask myself: How do we learn things?
Well, we learn things by being presented a ‘fact’ by someone we know, an authoritative figure or institution that we tend to trust.
This authority could be our parents, friends, teachers, a book, a newspaper, a magazine, social media or the news for example.
After we have listened to, read or watched the information our minds will form an opinion depending on how much we trust the source. If we trust the source, we will then believe what we have been told which will result in an opinion being formed.
Once an opinion has been formed our minds will then only search for information that will validate this belief.
Any information that goes against this newly formed belief will then be automatically dismissed and rejected.
And so what happens is that we develop a set of belief systems that we convince ourselves is real. We start to see anyone who disagrees with us as an idiot, someone who is stupid and misinformed and the more that such a person tries to validate their argument, the stronger our opposition towards that person becomes.
And if anyone attacks those beliefs we have, it can feel like a personal attack on us as we have identified those beliefs as ‘us’.
History has shown us that people will even sacrifice their lives by defending their beliefs, especially if they are religious, national or political and yet, the truth is that no one knows what the truth is.
Our opinions are based on the opinions of others.
You may laugh at conspiracy theorists and think their views are far fetched, but just look back at the mad and crazy leaders who have already sacrificed the lives of millions because of their beliefs; Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung.
And if you believe every word you read in the press, then remember the ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ not so long ago that were never found but gave the Americans and British and excuse to invade Iraq?
I may have an opinion about why they invaded Iraq, but I DON’T KNOW if it’s true. My opinions have been formed by what articles I HAVE CHOSEN TO READ. I have never been to Iraq or spoken with any Iraqis about the war and neither have I ever met or discussed the issues with Tony Blair or George W Bush. And even if I did, then I would still be forming my opinions based on their opinions.
And if you did find out the reasons why these 2 political figures decided to invade Iraq, you would find that their decisions would have been based on the opinions of ‘government defence experts’ whose opinions also turned out to be wrong!!!
The truth is, is that nobody knows what the truth is.
Because almost everything that we have ever learned about anything in the world is based on the opinion of others.
So, what this message on Facebook has taught me is to question everything, other people’s opinions and particularly my own.