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Suspicious conspiracist with binoculars

How to Think about Coronavirus Conspiracism

The recently released documentary Plandemic is a perfect example of the type of conspiratorial thinking that has emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic. The claim: that the virus was not “naturally occurring” and thus “manipulated” — and that it was released, “deliberately or not,” on the public. In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Elan Journo address aspects of the documentary in order to identify and explain several key characteristics of conspiratorial thinking.

Among other topics, they discuss:

  • What real evidence for a claim looks like and how to spot arbitrary claims;
  • What Objectivism’s theory of knowledge has to offer in terms of how to think about conspiracies and the facts presented to us;
  • Why conspiratorial thinking is sometimes appealing to self-proclaimed “individualists.”

Mentioned in the podcast are three additional resources of interest: Bayer’s articles “An Alternative to Conspiracism’s Foolish Illusions” and “Analyzing the Conspiracist Firestorm over Notre Dame,” and the Ayn Rand Lexicon entry “Arbitrary.”

This podcast was recorded on May 18, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below.

To see future episodes of New Ideal Live, join the live Zoom broadcast on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific to take part in the Q&A. Go to https://zoom.us/join and use Meeting ID: 812-506-718. Or catch the livestream or recordings on YouTube and Facebook.

Podcast audio:

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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LLB and LLM, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and an opinion columnist at the Orange County Register.

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