From: Winnipeg, MB
ORIGINAL: Dante Fierro
Funny how often COVID-19 gets steered into a political argument. As if people here have an agenda whether they want to admit to it or not. And who gets left out, all the ordinary working Americans who have to deal with this crisis on a first hand basis.
I think this is rooted in the psychological "need" to be proven correct in one's beliefs (because security comes from being able to project what will happen next). When our beliefs start to dismiss objective data, we create a "faith", and that is very hard to abandon. Doing so would mean admitting we were wrong about a long list of things that we constructed/incorporated as part of the faith.
My own faith seems to be that skeptics, who demand objective evidence about new info, are more flexible in creating/abandoning various models of what is happening. I freely admit to being wrong about a great many things during my lifetime and I am the better for changing my mind. But like all of us, I am a (piece of?) work in progress!
I like your approach. I was forced in some ways to adopt something similar from a young age. It's not "better" but it might be more flexible in making adjustments to unforeseen events and being able to learn form mistaken assumptions. During times of stability it can also be unsettling to not have the kind of guidance, comfort and understanding that faith allows.
I was not addressing this to religious faith, if that is your comfort source you refer to. I was referring to our own personal models of how the world works that include sets of assumptions that don't fit with bona fide data, well sourced and verified. To ignore this requires us to put faith in some other source that supports out assumptions.
This could describe the back-and-forth about which news outlet can be trusted and which cannot. No outlet will be completely error free in every detail, but over months and years they build reputations for whether they are following good journalism practices. To me, one of the tip-offs is that good news reporting acknowledges their errors and announces a correction while the poor ones change the subject to take attention away from their previous assertions.
Either way, there is too much reporting of opinions of "experts" (which can be found to support any position the news outlet wants) rather than the presentation of the objective facts with all the different interpretations one could make of the data. I think part of the reason news outlets do this is because they realize there is a large segment of the population who do not have the critical thinking skills to decide which interpretation is likely most accurate, so they present their own bias. It seems to earn them more income that way.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth