Is it dangerous to think you know the truth or know the good?

Conspiracy theorists think that one of the greatest tragedies of the normie is that we all feel so sure that we know what the truth is, and know how to tell right from wrong.

Non-believers in conspiracy theories have a blithe, thoughtless certainty that the world is the way we think it is, and that people who want to tear down the established order are in the wrong. The world would be so much better, thinks the conspiracy theorist, if all those people could live with a bit of doubt, could question those omnipresent assumptions for even just a second.

“We’re the good guys,” says the non-conspiracy theorist, and blinks thereby. The conspiracy theorist balks at this naive self-righteousness.

The thing is, though, that there’s nothing wrong with it. Here’s why: There’s nothing wrong with believing that truth is knowable, or that justice can be known and practiced. There’s also nothing wrong with trying to know the knowable truth, or to understand and act with justice.

I get it. We might be wrong. Our reasons for thinking we’re right might be bad reasons. But the answer isn’t to stop trying to believe truth and act well; we should keep on looking to recognize our flaws and improve on them, calibrate our convictions and bring them closer and closer to truth as we’re able.

If everyone lived as though truth were unknowable, or justice impossible from top to bottom, then that would be a much worse world. That would be a world of people believing whatever they want to believe without a care for truth, acting however they like to act without a thought for virtue, without concern for whom they might be harming.

Perhaps it would be somewhat similar, come to think of it, to what a world full of conspiracy theorists would look like.

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