11/29/2022
11/29/2022

In this age of "Misinformation," what are the questions you should ask?

By Rich Rostron
3/14/2022

The U.S. government has acknowledged that there are U.S. funded bio research labs in Ukraine but denies Russia's claim that they are biowarfare labs. How do you know who to believe?

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tells us that Russia "hacked our (2016) election." Why did that claim take so long to surface, why did it surface now, and isn't it a threat to our democracy to question the outcome of an election? What should you believe?

Suggesting that the COVID-19 Pandemic originated in the Wuhan Lab was fervently denounced by the government as dangerous misinformation. Uttering such a "conspiracy theory" on social networking could get you blocked, suspended and/or banned. Was the government right?

Inflation was caused by the pandemic … by supply issues … by Putin … and, no doubt, by Donald Trump. Which explanation should we believe?

No doubt, these aren't the only questions Americans are struggling with. Not by a long stretch. But how do we know what's true?

Here are some tips to consider. They won't necessarily give you the answers but they may help you to figure out how to look at things and what questions to ask.

Transparency

In years gone by; I was inclined to believe the U.S. government - not politicians so much, but I had an inherent sense that the federal government could be believed.

I know, how silly can someone be? But if you approach life with a sense of trusting someone until they prove otherwise, this is the kind of trusting nature you're liable to exhibit.

Today, you might say that I bring a little more skepticism to the table when our government 'speaks.' So, when I find myself on the outside looking in as the U.S. and Russian governments argue about the nature of labs in Ukraine, I'm not automatically going to take the side of my government. I want the truth, period.

In terms of transparency, how many of you knew the U.S. had biolabs of any kind in Ukraine until Russia invaded? Keep in mind that, when they say "funded by the U.S." they mean our tax dollars. In other words, we have paid for those labs, whatever their purpose.

I'd have a lot more confidence in the U.S. side of the argument if the existence of the labs didn't come as such a surprise.

Consistency

If you want me to believe you, be consistent. This goes beyond changing your story; it includes sticking consistently to your principles.

When Psaki now tells us that Russia hacked the 2016 election, I'm reminded that we were told it's a threat to democracy to question our elections; how is it a threat to question the 2020 election but okay to question the 2016 election?

Obstruction of Curiosity

When someone tells you not to ask questions, the first thing to do is to ask a question: 'Why?' Why don't they want you to ask questions? Why don't they prefer to answer your questions since this will give them an opportunity to prove their points? What are they afraid of?

When people started asking where COVID came from, why was it okay to attack anyone who asked that question? Why did the government, Big Tech and the media demand that you accept their explanation and without questioning the validity of their answer?

Other questions to ask

One question to ask is 'Who profits from this answer and/or a lack of intellectual honesty?' By profit, you could mean financially, socially, and/or politically.

We live in the age of the Cancel Culture. The Cancel Culture is, by its very nature, the opposite of intellectually honest. One way we know someone is being honest is when we see that they are unafraid of opposing perspectives: they're not afraid of challenges to their views.

And one of the most reprehensible positions to take is to tell the American people that we need to withhold the truth for our own good - to tell us that, as spoken in a movie once, we "can't handle the truth."

We're Americans. Not only can we handle the truth but our fearless pursuit of the truth demands transparency, consistency, and curiosity. Without these, we are lost.