Every day during this COVID-19 time I ask myself: Am I, are we, maintaining our freedom and our duty to question everything? To keep asking questions, however hard or unpopular?
I start with this question: Is a thing true just because everybody, or seemingly everybody, believes it? There, I’ve asked it as a “yes” or “no” question, and I should question whether that is a good or necessary way to ask it.
So I will begin by granting that the best answer is not a categorical “yes” or “no.” But I will maintain that a “no” answer is better than a “yes” answer as a starting point for the discussion.
A thing is not true just because seemingly everybody believes it. In our culture/nation, virtually everybody thinks that war is a necessary function of the state/government. That is the consensus, and I don’t grant for a minute that it is right. That is not a trivial case for my point that a thing is not true just because everybody believes it. Add to this some other cases: predatory capitalism, white supremacy, women’s suffrage.
So where do I go from there? Well, if the majority can be wrong on a few big ones like that, on what other big ones might they be wrong?
John K. Stoner 7/23/20