On controversial subjects, the very least we should do is expose ourselves to a variety of sources. That’s assuming we want to have some reasonable chance of actually determining the facts of the matter, of course. Those who believe in JFK assassination conspiracy theories without having read any of the numerous reasons people give for doubting those theories are standing on very shaky ground.
In a recent Psychology Today article, Guy P. Harrison identified insufficient skepticism as the world’s great unrecognized crisis. It may seem like overkill to worry so much about the beliefs people have about what happened in Dallas on that fateful day, but there’s a lot more to it than that. To take just one example of the serious effects of insufficient skepticism, medical quackery entails huge costs in terms of both blood and treasure.
Ask not what your country can do for you in this regard, though, because politicians are generally the last people who will encourage you to think critically, and public schools aren’t much better as a rule. But there is something you can do for your country, and for the whole world in fact: Make an effort to become a better thinker. We are not doomed to be credulous. We can overcome our all-too-natural inclinations to believe things without sufficient evidence. We can learn to be more comfortable with uncertainty. At least, I think we can.