Jeremy told me about a discussion he had with his friend.
Jeremy said, “Trump is a bad person.”
The friend replied, “How do you know?”
“Trump cheated on his wives while they were pregnant. He paid off women he had affairs with to hide it. He committed tax fraud on a massive scale. And these are just the clearly proven things!”
His friend said, “How do you know any of that actually happened? I think it’s all just fake news.”
Jeremy later told me he was in shock… How do you reply to someone who refuses to believe any source?
Jeremy said, “There is facts and truth in the world. Your phone runs on an enormous amount of technology discovered through extensive research. If you aren’t willing to believe facts, you shouldn’t be allowed to use technology either.”
I have had similar conversations with some family members and friends. The most mind blowing but the most clearly descriptive statement of this mentality came from my grandpa:
“If something doesn’t fit with what I know, I don’t believe it.” Basically, if he learns a fact that does not fit with his existing worldview, the fact must be fake.
This attitude prevents any new learning or productive debate.
And a huge number of people in our world today have this attitude. My guess is more than half.
What can be done to change this? How can we bring people back to believing new facts from respected sources?