Whom Shall We Trust?
August 15th, 2020 by INMED
The COVID-19 Pandemic stretches most every sector of modern society. Healthcare, employment, education, transportation, and social relationships continue in upheaval. Fortunate for us, we live in the Information Age. Abundant knowledge is readily available to improve our response to these crises.
But such knowledge is so voluminous, and sometimes so complex, that few persons have capacity or skill to consider it all. Instead we must of necessity must turn to authorities – people who make it their vocation to sift through the evidence and summarize it on our behalf. Vaccine research is a pressing example. Suddenly millions of common citizens are captivated with this potential solution to COVID-19. But vaccine development is a most complex of sciences, requiring profound expertise. We common citizens, while trying to be reasonably informed, come reply upon word of authorities.
And here’s the contention: Which authorities are worthy of our trust? The personal process of identifying persons in whom to place our confidence seems so innate that we rarely discuss it head on. Yet some thoughtful analysis can help you and I to avoid following unreliable authorities. Analysis about:
- Motives. What rationales could be driving the authorities? We do especially well to doubly scrutinize situations where significant money or power are involved.
- Consensus. What are the statements of other authorities? While consensus does not guarantee accuracy, it certainly improves the odds.
- Test of Time. Authorities with an impressive record of integrity and accuracy usually continue to generate such outcomes.
- Personal Endorsements. The confirmation of a faithful friend adds immense credence to our sense of trust.
Today’s pandemic will likely intensify in the coming fall season, magnifying social upheavals and search for solutions. For guidance, let us carefully discern whom we shall trust.