Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
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02-11-2012, 05:05 PM
Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
I'm not sure if this has already been covered, but it seems like an obvious question so I'll go ahead and make it my first post [aknowledges polite ripple of applause and several respectful head nods...]. I've been reading a bit about Conspiracy Theories recently, mostly for the entertainment value, but some of it does make me sit back and scratch my chin for a while. Anyway, I began to wonder if believing in any of that stuff could be compatible with a clear cut atheist opinion, so came here to see what others thought. I have to admit to being a little surprised by what appears to be a majority reaction of off-handed dismissal, or downright condemnation, of any ideas that don't match the "official" explanation.

We (if you'll allow me that collective familiarity) believe that [picks one at random], the Roman Catholic Church for example, is an organisation based on complete falsehoods, conceived to manipulate and control the majority of the population in order to forward a particular agenda. This has involved thousands of people, over many hundreds of years, to the extent that millions now unquestioningly accept, even welcome, the lies and manipulations of this organisation. The vast majority would consider this organisation to be a force for good, even though there is a huge quantity of factual evidence to the contrary. So, given that we don't adhere to this mainstream view, as Atheists we are clearly in the Conspiracy Theorist's camp with regards to the Roman Catholic Church.

Why then is it so difficult to apply the same logic, or open minded investigation of a question, when it relates to some of the other Conspiracy Theories ?

Just for the record, here's my current position on some of the principal CT's :
JFK. - Quite possibly shot by his driver
9/11. - Lots of unanswered questions...
NWO. - Would explain a lot of what seems not right in the way the world is headed
Reptilians. - I dont think so !

My position on any of the above is open to modification as I consider further information.

So, any thoughts ?
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02-11-2012, 05:50 PM
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
(02-11-2012 05:05 PM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  I'm not sure if this has already been covered, but it seems like an obvious question so I'll go ahead and make it my first post [aknowledges polite ripple of applause and several respectful head nods...]. I've been reading a bit about Conspiracy Theories recently, mostly for the entertainment value, but some of it does make me sit back and scratch my chin for a while. Anyway, I began to wonder if believing in any of that stuff could be compatible with a clear cut atheist opinion, so came here to see what others thought. I have to admit to being a little surprised by what appears to be a majority reaction of off-handed dismissal, or downright condemnation, of any ideas that don't match the "official" explanation.

We (if you'll allow me that collective familiarity) believe that [picks one at random], the Roman Catholic Church for example, is an organisation based on complete falsehoods, conceived to manipulate and control the majority of the population in order to forward a particular agenda. This has involved thousands of people, over many hundreds of years, to the extent that millions now unquestioningly accept, even welcome, the lies and manipulations of this organisation. The vast majority would consider this organisation to be a force for good, even though there is a huge quantity of factual evidence to the contrary. So, given that we don't adhere to this mainstream view, as Atheists we are clearly in the Conspiracy Theorist's camp with regards to the Roman Catholic Church.

Why then is it so difficult to apply the same logic, or open minded investigation of a question, when it relates to some of the other Conspiracy Theories ?

Just for the record, here's my current position on some of the principal CT's :
JFK. - Quite possibly shot by his driver
9/11. - Lots of unanswered questions...
NWO. - Would explain a lot of what seems not right in the way the world is headed
Reptilians. - I dont think so !

My position on any of the above is open to modification as I consider further information.

So, any thoughts ?
You most certainly mischaracterize my opinion of the Roman Catholic Church as a vast conspiracy.
Most people before the Enlightenment believed in God, gods, and the supernatural, so the church hierarchy was probably made up of mostly believers. It is clear that many of the popes and cardinals were rather more worldly, though.

As for other conspiracy theories, it is a matter of evidence and critical thinking. We have a broad range of skill sets and views in the members here. I wouldn't generalize.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-11-2012, 05:54 PM
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
JFK - Evidence is pretty clear that a crazy communist attention whore blew his head off.

9/11 - Yes, agreed that there are a lot of questions that have not, and possibly cannot be answered.

NWO - Seems to me like it is a simple case of the powerful people doing things with their power. If you need to label it, sure NWO, but then there has always been those people.

Reptillians - No one with half a brain believes in Reptilians.

Most atheists are skeptical. Without facts, or convincing evidence you can expect a wave of dismissal from most people.

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02-11-2012, 07:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2012 07:15 PM by amyb.)
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
Quote: I have to admit to being a little surprised by what appears to be a majority reaction of off-handed dismissal, or downright condemnation, of any ideas that don't match the "official" explanation....

Why then is it so difficult to apply the same logic, or open minded investigation of a question, when it relates to some of the other Conspiracy Theories ?

I've seen this idea before, it seems to presuppose that
-people become atheists because it's unpopular, rebellious, going against the general consensus, rather than
-people become atheists because they have not seen any evidence for deities.

While I agree people can become atheists for a variety of reasons, I imagine that most people here would say they become atheists due to a lack of credible evidence for deities.

So I'd say the reason many do not subscribe to conspiracy theories is the exact opposite of what you say. Because many of them have applied logic and reason and not found evidence, they have concluded various things are probably not conspiracies. It has little to do with whether the conclusions match official ones or not. (You seem to be assuming the only reason they are dismissed by many atheists is because you think atheists, as a group, automatically accept official explanations of things.)
Quote:So, given that we don't adhere to this mainstream view, as Atheists we are clearly in the Conspiracy Theorist's camp with regards to the Roman Catholic Church.
Additionally, if some want to call the catholic church a conspiracy, it's because they've seen evidence supporting that, I'd imagine.
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02-11-2012, 07:22 PM
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
(02-11-2012 05:05 PM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  So, any thoughts ?

Oh great. Another one.
Can't we put these people in a special rubber room ?

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02-11-2012, 08:28 PM
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
(02-11-2012 05:05 PM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  Why then is it so difficult to apply the same logic, or open minded investigation of a question, when it relates to some of the other Conspiracy Theories ?
Because CT's tend to consider only evidence which supports their position, while rejecting everything that doesn't.
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02-11-2012, 10:22 PM
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
anyone else read the title and go "atheists isn't a conspiracy theory wtf" and then was very disappointed that that's not what the thread was about?
or was that just me?

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03-11-2012, 03:02 AM
Re: RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
(02-11-2012 10:22 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  anyone else read the title and go "atheists isn't a conspiracy theory wtf" and then was very disappointed that that's not what the thread was about?
or was that just me?

I am!

I also am disappointed it's another one of these arguments that mischaracterize groups of people because this of how he/she became an atheist.

Some skeptical atheists are skeptical because there is no evidence for belief... That's the same reason they tend to brush off ideas that the conspiracy is grand when there isn't sufficient evidence to back it up.

Believing it based on insufficient grounds is the same mindset that leads people into religion.

Also, bit believing the conspiracy does not mean you accept the story as told to it's pure details.

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03-11-2012, 03:27 AM
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
(02-11-2012 10:22 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  anyone else read the title and go "atheists isn't a conspiracy theory wtf" and then was very disappointed that that's not what the thread was about?
or was that just me?
If I ever want people to read something, I know that I can either put conspiracy theory in the title, or something random like, "SPIDER GENITALIA" and people will come running out of sheer curiosity of hoping for a train wreck. Then be disappointed by something...something far more rational or logical or just... plain.
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03-11-2012, 03:33 AM
RE: Atheism : a Conspiracy Theory ?
First off, thank you for taking the time to respond. Secondly, for clarification, I'm not stating that any CT's are true and I'm not attempting to change anyone's point of view. As I mentioned in the OP, my own views are open for modification as I review further information. I'm therefore being skeptical, applying critical thinking and looking for convincing evidence. The thing that I'm currently most convinced about is that god does not exist.

So as not to generalize, I'll restict my comments to my own opinion. I mentioned the Catholic Church because it seems to correspond to any definition of the word conspiracy, for example (and for simplicity's sake as it was the first result on a Google search of the word) this one given by Wikipedia :
Types of conspiracies:
Cabal, an association between religious, political, or tribal officials to further their own ends, usually by intrigue
Conspiracy (civil), an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage
Conspiracy (crime), an agreement between persons to break the law in the future, in some cases having committed an act to further that agreement
Conspiracy (political), the overthrow of a government

I'd say they've done all of the above at some point. I'd also claim that what they purport to represent is an untruth. Therefore, there is an established conspiracy by influential people to deceive the general population.
Given that I accept this has been going on at such a massive level, on an international scale, and for hundreds of years, then I have to keep an open mind about other events and accept the posibility that some theories that don't match the established version may be worth consideration. People have been killed for taking that approach with the Catholic Church in the past, I'm willing to be lightly mocked on an internet forum for doing the same !

Just one direct question to Bucky Ball : why do you think I should be locked in a rubber room for posing a simple enough question on a forum specifically created to discuss exactly that type of topic ? Seems a little harsh... Maybe some of what I've said above could soften your opinion ?

If anyone else would like to add anything else I'd be interested to read them.
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