Originally Posted by Jessica765
Facts are facts, and the theory part comes in when you're figuring out how to explain the facts, and how (and whether) to extrapolate from them to make broader generalizations about people, institutions, fields, society, etc.
The term "conspiracy theorist" is aimed at non-vaxxers at the slightest provocation. It is often an accusation based on very weak evidence. My 2 cents.
Regarding the bolded: humans have tipping points when they decide whether or not to trust an institution, field, etc. This tipping point is subjective and hard to quantify...but I firmly believe it exists in all of us a self preservation mechanism.
Consider the Mumps/Merck case.
Person 1 reads that Merck is accused of burying data that shows the mumps vaccine is not as effective as once thought. They may decide this is only a merck issues, is probably a one-off that this sort of stuff does happen once in a while in all companies, etc.
Person 2 reads the same accusation. They may have noted that the pharmaceutical industry in general has more than its fair share of scandals, and that this is just another example. The person might be reaching their tipping point in terms of trusting the pharmaceutical industry.
Fwiw, I do not easily trust car mechanics, the cold-cut meat industries, the insurance industry and I am not too keen on lawyers. My distrust of the pharmaceutical industry is the only thing that has ever
got me labelled a conspiracy theorist. There is a saying - find out who you are not allowed to criticize and you will find out who rules over you.