Society(the organization of humans, into social networks borne from evolution-ie. the necessitiy to have hierarchy(leaders and figureheads who guide the group through super-peer interaction)) creates the options for choices.Society creates laws and justice systems- people can choose to break the law or follow the law. Society has a preset(and this varies from sub-society to sub-society) mating and courtship rituals, which people can choose to follow or not follow. Society has a network of healers, and amongst these are different schools of healing which people can freely choose from. Society has organized religions which people can choose to follow or not. Etc…etc..Another example of the super-peer would be the priest or pastor. He would be the Super-peer under the religion organization.People do what he says generally because he says so! He is a source of guidance for that sub-group.
I’m also not sure what your point is here, Vyazma. I think we can agree that society provides us with certain knee-jerk options or heuristics, although not all the “choices” we have before us (or that we actually choose) are provided by society. Some people opt to do things that are largely idiosyncratic.
But although one might argue that in some sense Oprah and the quacks are provided us by “society”, that isn’t the question. The question is whether they ought to be sanctioned by society. A better societal role would be the FDA—that is literally something provided us by society, through our political process. It has the power and authority to regulate drugs, but the ability to regulate much of modern quackery (herbs, homeopathic remedies, etc.) has been taken from it by a part of the society through subornation of the political process by the quacks themselves.
To put it another way, if the FDA and other governmental organs regulated these purported medications and medical practices as they should, we would not see these quacks on Oprah at all—sale of their products as “alternative medicines” would be illegal. Indeed, they actually should be regulated significantly more stringently now, seeing as it is now illegal to sell anything as purporting to treat or cure a disease unless it has FDA approval. The problem is that the government is looking the other way instead of prosecuting these frauds for what they are.
So while you are certainly right that society provides us with “super peers”, that’s not the right question. The question is who are the right super peers for society—and the government—to provide. When it comes to medicine, quacks and talk show hosts are not the right ones.