I’ll be honest, this is as much a question as it is a vent.
Specifically, how do you deal with people you meet everyday like family, coworkers, etc. who just revel in conspiracy theories?
I have a coworker who is dead certain 5G somehow produces the coronavirus, despite easily verifiable facts in microbiology and physics showing otherwise. He’s a nice guy in general with a degree in electronics, but dear lord, when he starts with this tin-foil hat bullshit it ruins my day.
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Just ask them how COVID, apparently a mere “flu”, somehow affects the airsacs in the lungs permanently, magically causes pneumonia and in some cases reduces heart pump function by half, leading to heart attacks.
I am sure they will put 3 brackets around science, like the /pol/ kind of people do, and there you tell them that they are not just COVID denier, but also science denier, and thus logic deniers as well.
Instead of refusing to involve, which will make their beliefs stronger, employ tricks to defeat their predictable handful garbage arguments in a couple back and forths so they get to know their place. My dad is a doctor, and I am an information resource to my friends so we have these devised tricks at our fingertips.
" there you tell them that they are not just COVID denier, but also science denier, and thus logic deniers as well."
I like this!!! Simple, to the point and really drives it home.
I like to invoke Pascal’s wager (Bonus points if the individual is religious) to show how the benefit of wearing an uncomfortable mask should outweigh the result of comfortably not wearing one.
Only spend time trying to unravel someone like that if they are important to you. My dad tends to end up watching a lot of those videos, and he started talking about how covid was a hoaxs by the US gov, and so I said first, some of these “facts” are just plain false, second who benefits from you thinking that, and if that was true, what’s the gameplan for them?
My dad is an extremely logical person, in that he values logic above all else. So I tend to use logic to help guide him out. My mom on the otherhand is far more trusting, so I use her trust in me to affirm what I say is true and try to use experiences to show her, should she believe in anything like that.
That’s why you should only help those you know well. It’s not a one and done conversation, it’s a continous situation.
Maybe this is the way to go. This is going to sound callous, but my coworker is not that important to me and thus challenging him is a waste of my time and energy. Physics and microbiology are also not something I am well versed in and I really don’t feel like investing an unhealthy amount of energy researching something I’m only vaguely interested in just to prove someone wrong.
Not that’s fair, I also don’t care that much for my coworkers to invest the time. Unless I already know something well, I just ignore really
I know how you feel. I work with someone with a nursing degree and she called covid “a bunch of hogwash”. Luckily she doesn’t talk about it much.
Assuming the guy won’t troll you going forward you could tell him you just don’t want to talk about it or that it makes you not want to be around him.
Wow. People like that should have their degree revoked. I shudder to think how many patients had to listen to her theories. Some may have even believed her.
He’s not the trolling sort, thankfully. I already did tell him I don’t want to talk about it and that we’ll never agree on the topic, but he still occassionally brings up the topic when I’m around. I don’t participate in the discussion, but it still annoys me.
We both work for a medical device manufacturer and she’s a consultant for us, so she generally doesn’t see patients. She had a trump sticker on her car as well lol. Weird because she seems so nice when I have to actually work with her.
Maybe this is an anti-answer to your question but I don’t deal with them. I refuse. There’s way too many stupid people people in the world for me to spend my limited time trying to convince someone with logical arguments when they’re obviously immune to logic. They’ve already found their truth in a YouTube video despite the sum total of all scientific knowledge so what can I do other than get myself bent out of shape worrying about it?
I actively don’t engage, physically remove myself if possible, make a mental note to never trust them with anything that requires critical thought, and move on.
This isn’t the right answer for everyone but I lack the skills needed to not invest emotion in those encounters. It ruins my day. I actually learned this about myself through replying to crazy comments on reddit. I had to learn to down vote and move on.
I do something similar, actually. Whenever the topic of vaccinations comes up, I begin the process of tuning out my surroundings. Headphones on, focus on work for the next 15 minutes or so. Like you put it so well, my coworker found their truth on facebook, youtube or whatever and because of this I find arguing with him on this topic a colossal waste of my time and nerves.