What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
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08-12-2016, 02:58 PM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2016 10:17 AM by Gert Heide.)
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(27-11-2016 03:29 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  So don't say to bring evidence, that is the one answer I will not accept.

A day ago, I was listening to an atheist podcast in which the host informed his listeners that they should all reject the Christ Myth Theory and accept the historicist view of Jeebas. He hadn’t read enough to have formed an opinion of his own regarding the two sides of the argument but, because the consensus view was the historicist view, it made sense to stick with it. This, we were told, was always the right way to go. And believers in the Christ Myth Theory, according to the all-knowing and infallible internet, belong to a group of people that it’s fun to deride as ‘conspiracy theorists’.

Two things. First, we need to define ‘conspiracy theory’. Originally, the concept of a ‘conspiracy theory’ referred to two or more alternative versions of history. An event in history would be interpreted as having taken place as the result of, say, a conspiracy by evil and powerful men to get their own way by lies and deception. The ever-gullible public and ‘the consensus’ [majority] of equally gullible scholars would swallow the lies and spend the indefinite future deriding the opposing point of view as insane. So, ‘conspiracy theorist’ is okay as far as it’s useful in describing someone who believes the US government conspired to rig the Twin Towers with explosives and that no one noticed this happening for two or so years.

Latterly, the term has come to mean simply any point of view about science or history that is derided by experts but supported by a minority of enthusiasts. Oddly, there are nowadays no genuine conspiracies behind these debates. Disagreements concerning human anthropology, archaeology, history, biology and astro-physics may certainly divide academic communities into Consensus [the guys who keep telling us how right they are and how insane their gainsayers are] and the Sceptics. But these are nothing to do with conspiracy. Some are manifestations of disagreements between real science and pseudo-science. Other debates, however, especially in astro-physics, could in time be resolved either way, or in ways that would, were they known to us today, embarrass both the consensus schools of thought AND their opponents.

The history of religious criticism must surely demonstrate to people like the atheist podcast host how absurd it is to rely on numbers and this fabulous idea of ‘the consensus’ to prop up one’s preferred side in a debate. How so?

Until fairly recently, atheists and believers all were of one opinion concerning the Old Testament patriarachs. Moses and Aaron, and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph existed. The Bible was a reliable history text as far as these stories went. Except that, eventually, the consensus did an about-face and, now, believers and atheists both tend to the view that none of these men existed. But that’s only the one example, right?

Wrong. The Gospels used to be regarded by atheist and by confessional scholars as more good history. Using things like the Criterion of Embarrassment, it was possible to scrape and away the miracles and patently impossible events and, there on the dissecting table, would be the teeny-weeny real life story of Jeebas. Except that today, believers like Randel Helms, and non-believers, tend overwhelmingly to view the Gospels as mere fictions, as allegory and parable and attempts to out-Testament the Old Testament. Worse, from the point of view of the old consensus, most scholars now view the Gospels as just one Gospel, that of Mark, anonymously re-hashed over the centuries in ways we barely understand. Okay. Two about-faces. But only two. Right?

Wrong. Next, we have biblical archaeology. Again, the consensus view was once that the House of David and Solomon and the walls of Jericho coming tumbling down were descriptions of historical events. The consensus said so. Until, of course, mid-20th century archaeology finally got down to some real digging and found that the evidence hardly matched the Old Testament stories in even the tiniest details. But that’s only three examples of Consensus Man eating his words, right? There won’t be a fourth, or a fifth. Right?

Mythicists may find it difficult to get tenured positions in universities and religious colleges. They are outnumbered hugely by the often confessional [i.e. completely biased and anti-scholastic] men and women who adhere to the consensus view. But will they be derided as ‘conspiracy theorists’ and purveyors of ‘pseudo-history’ forever and ever, amen. Will there come a day when the mythicist view is the consensus view and when people who believe that in a book made up mostly of miracles and fairy tales you’ll find the biography of a non-magical, non-entity called Yeshua? People have to do what the podcast host failed to do and read up on this for themselves and make up their own minds. It’s certainly nothing whatsoever to do with the numbers.
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08-12-2016, 06:27 PM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(27-11-2016 03:29 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Through the many long years of being a conspiracy theorist, I have made many attempts to try and convince others that a conspiracy took place and yet it is like the words fall on deaf ears.

I am at my wits end right now, for I have failed so many people. Yet even now I try, and I am going to continue to try I have not necessarily tried on here so much because past experiences have shown me the futility of the approaches I've already used, using an approach that doesn't work regardless of how many times you use it, still won't work. So I ask, what would it take to convince you?

And before you say to bring evidence, that has never worked for me, not ever, no matter how much evidence was supplied. It never worked. Never. Not once. Not a single time, despite the multitude of evidence. There is nothing that will convince people (evidence wise) short of a confession or people getting caught in the act. Which is not how conspiracies work, conspiracies work because people have a cover story already planned out.

So don't say to bring evidence, that is the one answer I will not accept.

You can show a creationist fossils and evidence for the theory of evolution all day long, doesn't change their mind one bit. So do me a solid. Just assume hypothetically that you're being irrational and no amount of evidence would convince you. How would I get to you then?

You don't. The Conspiracy Theory "culture" is based on nothing but the sheer lack of evidence; it is therefore impossible to carry a conversation with you.

Do something better with your time. Learn how to grow Strawberries. Eat the Stawberries. Profit.

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"Don't answer that. A rhetorical question."
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