Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
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14-05-2015, 01:32 AM
Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
Is there a relation between believers in conspiracy theories and followers of religion?

I tried looking this up, and I'm sure that many might say the evidence is inconclusive. Here's an article:

http://atheistpapers.com/2015/01/05/stud...-theories/

In any case, I do see how a connection can be made. I've made the admission in another forum here that I'm a comic book nerd in that I collected most of the Jack Chick comics and tracts as a kid. Why is that significant? Well, because if you take Jack Chick seriously (which I'm sure JTC Publications would like you to), you learn that there's a conspiracy involving just about everything from Communism, to witchcraft, to evolution, and even rock music. And don't forget Roman Catholicism. The last 5 Crusader comics from Jack Chick involve a grand conspiracy for which the Vatican is at the center of.

So what's the connection? Well, for myself and from what I've seen growing up in churches and reading up on people who accept conspiracy theories, it seems to be the need to explain that anything event or related events that seem out of control, somebody has to be controlling it. There's some logic going on here: however big the event, shows how much control is needed. Hence the creation of the universe, that has to be some huge infinitely powerful being right? And please let him or her be a nice and loving being.

And like the article says at the end, I'm not saying that religious people are the only ones who believe in conspiracy theories. I'm sure there's atheists sprinkled in there as well. But maybe conspiracy theories might be its own religion.

I mean for any big event there is an expectation (or should be) for mistakes and inconsistencies to be made especially by news reports and other investigations. People make mistakes. But for the conspiracy theorist all those mistakes and inconsistencies mean something more.

A conspiracy theorist just cannot believe that one lone gunman would go to a school and kill a bunch of people and escape the cops even if for a while before they finally find him. No, something else is going on. Something bigger. And to prove it, look at all the conflicting reports. The pictures that were obviously doctored. Yeah, obviously. Facepalm No

I've heard religious people say there are no coincidences. Ironically, I don't think it's much of a coincidence that I've also heard conspiracy theorists say the same thing. Somebody has to be in control. Has to be. When it's all good stuff, godidit. When it's bad stuff satandidit. When it's chaotic peopledidit. Or maybe that's still God, or Satan. It's the Jesuits. It's the Illuminati. Freemasons. Witches? No?

Why did I stop putting stock into religion and as well conspiracy theories? I came to terms with how big our universe really is. I came to terms with the concept of infinity and eternity. With that in mind, even a billion years on the third pebble from a little ball of light is a short time. In that short time, people win the lottery, like all the time. Shorter than that even, since the lottery is not that old. How old is the Mega Millions? How many people have won since it started? We live in an infinite universe, you still don't think coincidences happen? Creationists try to tell you about how the earth is a Goldilocks Planet and that proves creation. Really? Or is it that the earth just won the lottery? In an infinite universe with infinite possibilities, chances are it's happened before and will again. And even then, "just right"? Eh, I think there's a debate in that.
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14-05-2015, 03:51 AM
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
Both religion and conspiracy theories have a benefit of giving comfort of knowing the TRUTH and thus being smater than sheeple. Obviously in both cases it is false comfort, but is simple (well, simple as in god did it or masons did it, specifics may not be so simple) and convicing enough to satisfy certain kind of people.

Also humans are quick to to see causality, so belief that there are no coincidences isn't something surprising. Or maybe it's case of causality giving comfort - someone died cause someone else wanted him killed, so one who died was important, his death has purpose. Otherwise it is just death - meaningless, it's happened to x but it could have happen to everyone, and x was by no means special.

I would say that religion and conspiracy theories are specific way of thinking - one thinks that lack of evidence proves that something is up in the air, and other don't really need evidence only indoctrination, and after that everything seems to be pointing to existence of god.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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14-05-2015, 07:53 AM
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
In my experience, people who are willing to believe in a supernatural being that controls the universe--are more apt to believe in other things that involve stretches of the imagination. Obviously, I can't speak for all christians, but I know when I was a believer, there were more things more that I would be willing to accept as *reality* than I do now. People like to try and make sense of things--it's inherent.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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14-05-2015, 08:26 AM
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
(14-05-2015 07:53 AM)jennybee Wrote:  In my experience, people who are willing to believe in a supernatural being that controls the universe--are more apt to believe in other things that involve stretches of the imagination. Obviously, I can't speak for all christians, but I know when I was a believer, there were more things more that I would be willing to accept as *reality* than I do now. People like to try and make sense of things--it's inherent.

It seems your experience is at least partially right:
Quote:Religiosity has been found to correlate with the occurrence of superstitious and paranormal beliefs in many studies (Beck & Miller, 2001; MacDonald, 1995; Orenstein, 2002; Tobacyk & Milford, 1983). MacDonald (1995) found that a higher degree of religiosity correlated with a higher frequency of reporting belief in paranormal experiences such as telepathy, but not belief in experiences such as clairvoyance. Beck and Miller (2001) found a correlation between a high degree of religiosity and higher levels of belief in the supernatural.

And while I also think that people try to make sense of things, I'll would say that religion is more about comfort and being indoctrinated than making sense.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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14-05-2015, 08:29 AM
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
It's called "being gullible", and is required for both.

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14-05-2015, 08:37 AM (This post was last modified: 14-05-2015 08:41 AM by jennybee.)
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
(14-05-2015 08:26 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(14-05-2015 07:53 AM)jennybee Wrote:  In my experience, people who are willing to believe in a supernatural being that controls the universe--are more apt to believe in other things that involve stretches of the imagination. Obviously, I can't speak for all christians, but I know when I was a believer, there were more things more that I would be willing to accept as *reality* than I do now. People like to try and make sense of things--it's inherent.

It seems your experience is at least partially right:
Quote:Religiosity has been found to correlate with the occurrence of superstitious and paranormal beliefs in many studies (Beck & Miller, 2001; MacDonald, 1995; Orenstein, 2002; Tobacyk & Milford, 1983). MacDonald (1995) found that a higher degree of religiosity correlated with a higher frequency of reporting belief in paranormal experiences such as telepathy, but not belief in experiences such as clairvoyance. Beck and Miller (2001) found a correlation between a high degree of religiosity and higher levels of belief in the supernatural.

And while I also think that people try to make sense of things, I'll would say that religion is more about comfort and being indoctrinated than making sense.

People have always tried to make sense of the world around them. Why is there thunder? Because the gods are mad. What can we do to stop it? Sacrifice a few virgins, etc. etc. Religion was born out of the need to explain a variety of things that had no readily made answers. But, you are right, the development of such creates a level of comfort.

As a catholic, I believed in praying to saints and on rosary beads. As a christian, I believed in angels. I think when you are willing to believe the unbelievable in one area--it is much easier to believe the unbelievable in other areas as well.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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14-05-2015, 08:45 AM
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
(14-05-2015 08:37 AM)jennybee Wrote:  
(14-05-2015 08:26 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  It seems your experience is at least partially right:

And while I also think that people try to make sense of things, I'll would say that religion is more about comfort and being indoctrinated than making sense.

People have always tried to make sense of the world around them. Why is there thunder? Because the gods are mad. What can we do to stop it? Sacrifice a few virgins, etc. etc. Religion was born out of the need to explain a variety of things that had no readily made answers. But, you are right, the development of such creates a level of comfort.

As a catholic, I believed in praying to saints and on rosary beads. As a christian, I believed in angels. I think when you are willing to suspend belief in one area--it is much easier to suspend belief in other areas as well.

It may be, though to me it seems people always tried to take advantage of others i.e. why is there thunder? Don't care, but you must give me cows/virgins/money so I appease our god.

As for belief I think you're right.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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14-05-2015, 08:53 AM (This post was last modified: 14-05-2015 09:04 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
(14-05-2015 01:32 AM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  Is there a relation between believers in conspiracy theories and followers of religion?
.

Nah, I don't think there's a strong relationship between the two. Conspiracy theorist primarily suffer from an extreme form of skepticism, of official accounts. They have more in common with the skeptic movement, than anything else. With folks who believe Jesus wasn't a historical person, etc... There views of the government, medical establishment, any sort of authoritative body in this sense, it's sort of like the atheist views of organized religion, and religious authoritative bodies, as ones we should be extremely doubtful about.

"Pastors are all devious culprits, taking advantage of gullible flock. None of them ever seem to be honest, or good, or trust worthy, just like government officials, and the medical establishment, the FDA etc...".Skeptics and extreme skeptics devotes themselves more to what they doubt, and don't buy, unlike religious people who devote themselves more so to what they do buy, and believe in. Religious believers may doubt things like evolution, but most of them are not particularly devoted or interested in exploring or expanding on their doubts. They usually ignore them, concentrating more so on their actual beliefs.

Skeptics, and extreme skeptics like Conspiracy theorist, tend to suffer from a lost of trust in one institution or the other, one governing body or the other. Even if in some cases one feels this lack of trust is warranted or not.
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14-05-2015, 09:14 AM
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
(14-05-2015 08:53 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(14-05-2015 01:32 AM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  Is there a relation between believers in conspiracy theories and followers of religion?
.

Nah, I don't think there's a strong relationship between the two.

Except it was just shown that there is.

Quote:Conspiracy theorist primarily suffer from an extreme form of skepticism, of official accounts. They have more in common with the skeptic movement, than anything else.

No, they are not skeptical. They suffer from extreme confirmation bias.

Quote:With folks who believe Jesus wasn't a historical person, etc... There views of the government, medical establishment, any sort of authoritative body in this sense, it's sort of like the atheist views of organized religion, and religious authoritative bodies, as ones we should be extremely doubtful about.

The difference being that we have actual, demonstrable evidence.

Quote:"Pastors are all devious culprits, taking advantage of gullible flock. None of them ever seem to be honest, or good, or trust worthy, just like government officials, and the medical establishment, the FDA etc...".Skeptics and extreme skeptics devotes themselves more to what they doubt, and don't buy, unlike religious people who devote themselves more so to what they do buy, and believe in. Religious believers may doubt things like evolution, but most of them are not particularly devoted or interested in exploring or expanding on their doubts. They usually ignore them, concentrating more so on their actual beliefs.

Those religious believers are therefore guilty of willful ignorance.

Quote:Skeptics, and extreme skeptics like Conspiracy theorist, tend to suffer from a lost of trust in one institution or the other, one governing body or the other. Even if in some cases one feels this lack of trust is warranted or not.

Conspiracy theorists are not skeptics - they are gullible fools.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-05-2015, 09:27 AM
RE: Conspiracy Theorists and Religion
Both use fabricated stories to explain what isn't understood.
Religious belief predisposes people to believe most anything.
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