The Sun Rising in the East is Just Your Opinion

Katie’s been on Facebook fighting with relatives again. She’s also been reminding my, indirectly, why I’m not on Facebook. I long ago resigned myself that you can’t pry open a closed mind. There is no point in arguing with them. Facts don’t matter to some people. The sun rising in the east is just your opinion, no matter what the evidence of your senses or the best available scientific data says.

This, I think, is the most terrifying reality of the modern world. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. You could be discussing the safety and efficacy of modern vaccines, talking about the clear causal through-line of climate change, sharing the latest information on COVID-19, presenting clear evidence of systemic racism, it doesn’t matter. There are people who won’t believe it. Not because they don’t understand the facts, or have a different interpretation of the data. They don’t believe because they choose not to. They will assert this is their God-given right.

This is their mic drop. All of objective, quantifiable reality is moot compared to their right to believe whatever nonsense they choose. You can’t counter that. Not only will they not listen, they will get nasty. In some cases to the point of violence. Not because vaccines assuredly do not cause autism, climate change is phenomena caused by human actions, or black lives matter. They get so damned mad because you’ve told them no. You’re denying them the right to have their made-up bullshit taken as seriously as the peer-reviewed findings of certified experts.

This lack of respect, nay, this utter contempt for expertise, this attempt to democratize all opinions so that the informed and the uninformed has equal weight, is insanity. It is the work of people who feel dumb, who feel less-than because they lack education and critical thinking skills. Rather than pull themselves up, they focus their efforts on dragging others down. Ultimately, that has the effect of pulling down all of human civilization. We need to address this pandemic of willful ignorance, the root of all our present evils, before it destroys us all.

Just Your Opinion
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