It is normal for most people to have strong convictions concerning issues about which they have passively absorbed these convictions entirely from the mainstream media and officialdom.
For instance, the most recent of the major, world-agenda-shaping Litmus Test issues of 2022 has been the Fire Nation versus Evil Empire proxy war.
Most people in my corner of the world have aggressively/ sentimentally adopted a stance 100% in line with that propagated by the Western Establishment; and are both completely ignorant of the causes of this conflict, and completely wrong about the Fire Nation's motivation and conduct.
How culpable are such people for having chosen to support the side of evil in this great conflict of our time?
There are various views on this matter.
One is that people are not to blame, because all their information and analysis (whether from TV, newspapers, official announcements, or PR from large corporations) is consistent and internally coherent (at least, on a day-by-day basis - which is all that the masses ever notice).
Such sources all confidently state the same things, often in the same words and with identical images; and provide 'evidence' to support this conviction; while contrary information is not available (is indeed aggressively excluded).
This would suggest that the support of the wrong side is simply mindless, non-responsible; and therefore innocent and not-culpable - in much the way that young children are innocent and cannot be blamed for their expressed opinions on matters they take secondhand.
This interpretation has it that the masses are closely analogous to young children in terms of innately trusting of authority. This is regarded as a fact-of-life, so that the masses are non-responsible for whatever authority tells them - and if the ignorant do preen themselves on their moral stances, and boast of their own Goodness; then this is merely the forgivable bravado of a youngster obediently mimicking his elders.
But such a view takes-for-granted that it is natural and reasonable for people passively to accept whatever view is propagated vigorously and monolithically by The Establishment.
That, in other words - here-and-now, in 2022 - when Western authorities are unified in pushing a point-of-view; then it is a reasonable and morally innocent default to accept this point-of-view; and adopt the recommended attitudes.
"After all," it is said, in effect; "we can hardly expect ordinary people to look behind the mass-media-official view, and each-for-himself discover that covert reality which so starkly contradicts the propagated fake-narrative."
Well, this matter of what we ought-to expect from people, before adopting an opinion - is itself a thing that divides opinion.
It has become accepted that it is OK for someone to spend (say...) two hours a day marinating-himself in official/ mass media propaganda, plus another couple of hours reinforcing this on social media; yet never even for five minutes checking anything by looking at 'alternative' sources, or even by five minutes of rigorous and critical thinking and remembering.
Yet, by now it now seems clear that - whatever people ought to do in terms of checking - they will Not do it. And it is therefore just so much wasted breath, or ink or pixels, to assert that they should be doing it!
Any complex or effort-entailing answer to the problem of passive mind-manipulation is therefore a non-starter.
What, then, is the real crux of this matter?
It is, simply: one's attitude to Litmus Test issues as such.
When the world of officialdom, corporate propaganda and the mass/ social media are pushing some-thing; do we - as individuals - assume that this means what is being pushed is good and true?
Or - do we - as individuals - assume the exact opposite: that the fact of such an onslaught of opinion and 'fact' means that what is being pushed is instead an evil lie?
And this crux-decision, in turn, depends on our value-discernment first about whether or not the dominant Western Establishment institutions comprise a single and controlled System.
Among those who recognize a controlled System; there is then the question of whether the System is net-Good, or is net-evil.
This matter of the System, then, is the Big Issue of the West in 2022; upon which all matters of public policy can be seen to hinge.
The two questions are whether there is indeed such a System, and if there is a System, whether it is aiming at Good?
The decision about whether or not there is a System is decided by a person's prior assumptions as to whether it is possible that there could be a System.
If it is pre-decided that there cannot be a System, and anyone who supposes there could-be is a 'conspiracy theorist', then there cannot be a System: so it will not be recognized, regardless of 'evidence'.
If, instead, it is regarded as a real possibility that there might be a System - then the interpretation that there is indeed a System will instantly be obvious; because a vast and growing mass of supporting evidence will be clear and unambiguous.
Among those who do recognize a System, the evaluation of that System will largely depend upon whether a person is spiritual-Christian or instead a materialist-leftist.
(Because there are few, and ever fewer, people who do not inhabit one of these two categories.)
For the large-majority who are materialist-leftists; the System is obviously Good, overall.
For the small-minority who are spiritual-Christian; the System is obviously evil.
I think this is where the original question leads us. I asked whether those who, for instance, support the side of evil in its war against the Fire Nation, are culpable or innocent. And my answer - from a spiritual-Christian perspective - is that they are culpable and therefore evil...
But they are evilly-culpable not in this specific decision, but in their having chosen to affiliate with the System - which is evil.
Naturally, such a person will believe... whatever the System is telling them; and the more forceful and sustained is the System messaging - the more strongly the System will be believed.
But, for someone like myself; if the System is saying any-thing in a forceful, sustained and coherent fashion, then that thing must be an evil lie - or else the System would not be saying it.