Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories? Do we need to evaluate the evidence for ourselves, or should we just trust the experts? This week on Philosophy Talk, we’re discussing science and skepticism, and the role that trust plays in deciding what's true.
What Is It
In recent decades, we’ve witnessed intense cultural wars waged on scientifically established phenomena, such as climate change and the benefit of vaccines. Of course, we might agree that some degree of skepticism about the world around us is good—it would be impractical and even dangerous for us to blindly accept everything we are told as fact. But is skepticism always healthy? Or is there a point at which one’s skepticism regarding a given phenomenon becomes unwarranted or even detrimental form of denialism? And if there does exist such a point, how do we know when we’ve crossed it? Josh and Ray won't deny their discussion with Michael Shermer, author of Giving the Devil his Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist.