How Does Suspicion or Conjecture Lead to Wrong Conclusions or Distrust?

If we don’t know the facts, about a person or a situation, it’s difficult to draw any conclusions or form any opinions that we can rely-upon. In other words ... we can’t really form an accurate opinion about someone, or something, if we don’t know the facts.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan (a now-deceased U.S. Senator) once said:

You are entitled to your own opinion,
but you are not entitled to your own facts.

How does suspicion or conjecture, about a subject for which we lack the facts, lead us to wrong conclusions?

Have you ever had someone “think” they “know” something about you—or something you may have done—that is based entirely on suspicion? How did that make you feel? Were you able to show that the individual was wrong?

In Victor Hugo’s story Les Miserables, Javert (a police inspector) views Father Madeleine (who is really Jean Valjean) with “suspicion and conjecture.” Why does he do this?

Is the police officer looking for a crime where a crime has not been committed? If so, what is his objective?

In the 21st century, “fake news” seems to be a constant issue. Do you think “fake news” comes about through suspicion or conjecture? How?

If "the news" is proven to be wrong, how does that impact our trust of the media?

Is distrust of the media a good or a bad thing? Explain your answer.

What impact does “fake news” have in today’s world? What can be done to stop it?

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