We live in a day of experts and specialists. We go to them for answers. Fie on us. While they have, or should have, a depth of knowledge on their own field, what they lack is a breadth of knowledge and how the world works together.
We see this in the medical field. I always get a kick out of a doctor telling me that I need to cut out all alchohol. I never cut in alcohol. I probably had more alcohol in Robitussin when it was still leaded than I have in all the beverages I have ever consumed. I also like it when they bring up salt. If salt was bad for me I would have never survived elementary school. It makes you wonder what you can believe. Then you add in how the medical profession has thrown us under the bus over a virus.
G.K. Chesterton made an intersting comment. I need to point out that he was talking about experts in history and related fields rather than medicine, but the observation still applies.
“I, who am not one of the learned, cannot pretend for a moment to decide where such doctors disagree. But I can use my own common sense, and I sometimes fancy that theirs is a little rusty from want of use.” p. 75Common sense was a term that used to mean you look at the facts, think about what you see and come to a logical conclusion. If your conclusion sounds ridiculous, you think about it again. Since the advent of experts we have thrown our ability to think out the window. We need to remember that for a surgeon everything involves a knife. For a mechanic you always need to replace something expensive. For a psychologist you need to share your feelings. For the government you need to be told what to do and pay more taxes.
Get in the habit of thinking. It can be painful but might keep you alive.
Chesterton, G. K. The Everlasting Man. New York: Image Books, 1955, originally 1925.
homo unius libri