I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
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01-10-2016, 09:43 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
Conspiracy theorists that I know are profoundly delusional. Pathologically so.

Peter Boghossian and Richard Carrier - and loads more, I'm sure - have summarised what makes a delusional belief. First is inerrancy. The "knowledge" that, say, Jesus performed miracles. Fact!

Second, the belief cannot be corrected or modified. Incorrigibility. The unshakeable conviction of, say, religious people, that some tenet of faith will remain forever true simply by virtue of the fact that they believe it. Evidence and/or logical arguments to the effect that, say, Jesus's miracle-working may have a non-divine explanation will not sway the genuinely delusional man or woman.

The third part of the definition of a delusional belief is that it's zany and regarded as such by most of the rest of the human race. To most of us, the Mormons' planet [is it Kolob?] does not exist and, even if it did, you couldn't focus a telescope on it and see God out for a stroll on its surface.

As Carrier said in one of his brilliant talks, there are profoundly deep-seated psychological reasons for people becoming delusional. Oddly, the delusions of the religious are granted some sort of bogus exemption in the DSM from being categorised for what they truly are. As well as the complex reasons Carrier talks about, aren't there also just plain old stupidity and the widespread failure of people's intellects to develop much after childhood?
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01-10-2016, 10:04 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
(01-10-2016 09:43 AM)Gert Heide Wrote:  Oddly, the delusions of the religious are granted some sort of bogus exemption in the DSM from being categorised for what they truly are.
Not "oddly" at all. Believers will never accept that they are deluded. And there were believers on the board that created the DSM, as well as heavy pressure from the religious leaders who were notified that it might happen.
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01-10-2016, 10:28 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
Isn't there some modest campaign being pursued by someone like Dawkins or someone similarly involved in the atheist-believer arguments to compel the DSM editors to change their policy about exempting religion-sponsored delusions from the general category?

I can see the point in not doing this. Increasingly, I think, the concept of 'believer' is getting so vague across religious groups that the hard core of sincerely delusional people in religious communities is dwindling rapidly. Robert Price, who of course lives in the States and knows whereof he speaks, describes some of the churches there as secular social clubs where you'd only embarrass others by talking about miracles and the resurrection. A lot of Christians, so-called, are people who think Jesus was a politically correct 'nice guy' who taught everyone to give hugs and vote Democrat, but, beyond that, they don't care or know.
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01-10-2016, 10:36 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
I as a c.t. actually must agree with u. Bc anyone and everyone can be delusional. I must acknowledge that. And yes religious people r also delusional whether god exists or not. Unfortunately u r right unless god shows up and tells us the rest of us r crazy then we all have our own beliefs. (And even if god did show up some of us wouldnt believe he/she/it/they are god) this is no disrespect towards religious people but the bible was written by MAN. Men r completely fallible. Not to say Jesus and his miracles didn't happen...but I believe Jesus was a real Man. But i do not follow tge same religious beliefs or reasoning (or nonreasoning to most) for conspiracies. But that's just me
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02-10-2016, 06:21 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
(17-09-2016 05:04 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  In 1965 I was given the full forty volume set of The Congressional Investigation into the Attack on Pearl Harbor by a neighbor who told me that "somewhere in there is the smoking gun that proves Roosevelt knew about the attack and let it happen on purpose!" He knew I was planning to join the Navy even then and played on that, "protect the Navy from this kind of political shenanigans in the future..."

I plowed through the whole 35,000+ pages in four years, having a ball reading the "first draft of history", but not finding a smoking gun. When I reported this to him Cecil just said "well, we'll find it somewhere else then."

He also confided in me that he was a veteran himself, having served with George Washington at Valley Forge. Facepalm

Hahaha! That's the kind of stuff that makes me angry with conspiracy theorists, you can devote an inordinate amount of time reading or studying something and end up totally wasting your time.

There was a series on the SyFy network called Destination Truth, on one episode I watched, Josh Gates goes into this village somewhere in Africa chasing a Chupacabra or something.

Some guy in the village had a story where his second cousin's best friend saw something, so the guy leads Gates down some trails, then he can't remember which trail his second cousin's best friend said he saw something.

So they end up going on a snipe hunt, I watched a few episodes of Destination Truth and it was always something like this.

Gates hears of a local legend from some remote village and he goes charging off to track down what it is, he finds credulous witnesses or relatives of these witnesses and goes charging off to find something and never does.

I guess if a network pays for you to go on camping expeditions around the world, why not go on these paid snipe hunts? Facepalm

All of this stuff bears a striking similarity to the religious claims that I now scoff at.

People that want to believe in something look for anything they can to show proof for it and then get bamboozled by anything that resembles what they are looking for. Then it's a matter of ignoring evidence to the contrary and making anything else you find fit into your presuppositions. Rinse, repeat, then create your pyramid of monumental delusion brick by biased brick.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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02-10-2016, 06:45 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
I no longer attempt to disprove a conspiracy advocate's claims, I just demand proof and tear that apart. It usually goes something like this:

He: He's alive!

Me: Why do you think so?

He: I saw him move!

Me: You may have noted that his head is separated from his body?

He: You professional debunkers make me sick!!!!
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02-10-2016, 07:44 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
I'm really intrigued to hear of some interference in the content of the DSM regarding what is or is not a delusional belief. There is, I think, a fundamental difference between people who choose to believe in something counterintuitive and the much larger group of people who are uncritically classed as 'believers' because they're born in regions or to cultures where everyone is deemed to be Christian or Hindu or whatever.

On a walk back from Sunday lunch at a mutual friend's place, a uni classmate announced to me how depressed he was about the thought of being mortal. The following Monday morning, he had decided to become a fundamentalist, a Born Again. He remained so for the next few years until we lost touch. I think he trained up in a seminary, so, deluded as he may or may not have been, he was sincere. But the rest of my classmates on the course were either atheists or barely skin-deep Christians. If I'd pressed any one of the latter group to say they REALLY believed in the resurrection, I'd have been pegged as an over-curious weirdo. Despite believing something I thought was deluded, the Monday Morning evangelist never displayed any sort of odd behaviour. He just wanted to believe Jesus-worship would make him immortal. Stupid more than deluded? [I don't hold with Pascal's Wager, so I'm happy with 'stupid'.]

As far as psychiatrists and psychological practitioners are concerned, I'm sure they all know when behaviour and language is extreme enough to be seen as symptomatic of a dysfunctional brain. Still, religious beliefs, rationally analysed, truly are delusional. Most, though, are insincere and shallow, so I'm not sure what benefit would result from expanding textbook definitions in the DSM.
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02-10-2016, 08:26 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
Delusional would include people who have imaginary friends.
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02-10-2016, 09:09 AM
RE: I absolutely hate idiots like conspiracy theorist, but is my hate too much?
I was struck by the remark of one mythicist addressing this issue to the effect that we're all delusional. Of course, he didn't mean Invisible Friend Delusionality in the orthodox, religious-fundy sense. More like the delusion that we're a bit more talented or well-liked than the general and less flattering consensus of opinion would run to. A lot of invisible friends seem to me to be deceased relatives people like to think are up on some cloud watching down. Same with belief in ghosts. I wouldn't hesitate to class this as delusional, but I think the reasons for it involve a childish intellect and not certifiable lunacy. I like the "batshit insane" definition from one of Carrier's talks. That covers the extreme end of the spectrum without managing to unnecessarily condemn people who are sure they've genuinely seen Grandma since the funeral but aren't dogmatic about it.
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