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Are conspiracy theories a branch of religion?

Ragnar
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2/10/2015 1:02:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Not trying to make a grand point, rather trying to stir interesting discussion...

I've seen some true devotion dependent on nothing more than faith from those who believe in the generic conspiracy theories. I've seen their preachers going around town babbling about JFK and aliens and how the government is always watching. That all too common belief in the all powerful government, which actually cares to watch them, pretty much seals it for me.

Of course this is not to say everyone who questions the government crosses into a religious level of devotion to those beliefs. Just like not everyone who celebrates Christmas once a year really believes in Santa Clause (or Jesus Christ, or Odin, or any other faith tied to that seasonal celebration). Conversely, not every Christian goes to church, not every Muslim prays five times a day.

So what do people think, do conspiracy theories count as religion? If not, what test of religion do they fail to meet?
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YassineB
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2/10/2015 1:45:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 1:02:50 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Not trying to make a grand point, rather trying to stir interesting discussion...

I've seen some true devotion dependent on nothing more than faith from those who believe in the generic conspiracy theories. I've seen their preachers going around town babbling about JFK and aliens and how the government is always watching. That all too common belief in the all powerful government, which actually cares to watch them, pretty much seals it for me.

Of course this is not to say everyone who questions the government crosses into a religious level of devotion to those beliefs. Just like not everyone who celebrates Christmas once a year really believes in Santa Clause (or Jesus Christ, or Odin, or any other faith tied to that seasonal celebration). Conversely, not every Christian goes to church, not every Muslim prays five times a day.

So what do people think, do conspiracy theories count as religion? If not, what test of religion do they fail to meet?

- I think they should at least succeed in the test of Supernatural Conspiracy to even quality as related to Religion.
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JJ50
Posts: 2,144
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2/10/2015 2:41:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 1:02:50 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Not trying to make a grand point, rather trying to stir interesting discussion...

I've seen some true devotion dependent on nothing more than faith from those who believe in the generic conspiracy theories. I've seen their preachers going around town babbling about JFK and aliens and how the government is always watching. That all too common belief in the all powerful government, which actually cares to watch them, pretty much seals it for me.

Of course this is not to say everyone who questions the government crosses into a religious level of devotion to those beliefs. Just like not everyone who celebrates Christmas once a year really believes in Santa Clause (or Jesus Christ, or Odin, or any other faith tied to that seasonal celebration). Conversely, not every Christian goes to church, not every Muslim prays five times a day.

So what do people think, do conspiracy theories count as religion? If not, what test of religion do they fail to meet?

I don't think you have to be religious to come up with a conspiracy theory, but it might help the process.
Ragnar
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2/10/2015 8:55:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 1:45:25 AM, YassineB wrote:
- I think they should at least succeed in the test of Supernatural Conspiracy to even quality as related to Religion.

Please name three popular conspiracy theories, and I will attempt to show a supernatural angle to them (now saying I'll succeed in all cases, but it should be a thought provoking exercise).
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Skepticalone
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2/10/2015 9:08:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 8:55:52 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 2/10/2015 1:45:25 AM, YassineB wrote:
- I think they should at least succeed in the test of Supernatural Conspiracy to even quality as related to Religion.

Please name three popular conspiracy theories, and I will attempt to show a supernatural angle to them (now saying I'll succeed in all cases, but it should be a thought provoking exercise).

I grabbed three at random:

1. The feds blanketed the South with fake snow.

2. The Ebola outbreak is a government plot.

3. MH370 and MH17 were the same airplane.

I just ripped these straight off a website - http://www.alternet.org... - if you need more info about them.
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Ragnar
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2/10/2015 9:15:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 9:08:19 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/10/2015 8:55:52 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 2/10/2015 1:45:25 AM, YassineB wrote:
- I think they should at least succeed in the test of Supernatural Conspiracy to even quality as related to Religion.

Please name three popular conspiracy theories, and I will attempt to show a supernatural angle to them (now saying I'll succeed in all cases, but it should be a thought provoking exercise).

I grabbed three at random:

1. The feds blanketed the South with fake snow.

2. The Ebola outbreak is a government plot.

3. MH370 and MH17 were the same airplane.

I just ripped these straight off a website - http://www.alternet.org... - if you need more info about them.

I'll try to find supernatural angles to those tomorrow after school. In the mean time, I can't stop laughing after reading a few of the descriptions in those link.
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YassineB
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2/10/2015 9:48:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 8:55:52 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 2/10/2015 1:45:25 AM, YassineB wrote:
- I think they should at least succeed in the test of Supernatural Conspiracy to even quality as related to Religion.

Please name three popular conspiracy theories, and I will attempt to show a supernatural angle to them (now saying I'll succeed in all cases, but it should be a thought provoking exercise).

- I am not really that familiar with Conspiracy Theories, but I reckon Political Conspiracy Theories would have no supernatural elements.
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DanneJeRusse
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2/10/2015 10:21:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 1:02:50 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Not trying to make a grand point, rather trying to stir interesting discussion...

I've seen some true devotion dependent on nothing more than faith from those who believe in the generic conspiracy theories. I've seen their preachers going around town babbling about JFK and aliens and how the government is always watching. That all too common belief in the all powerful government, which actually cares to watch them, pretty much seals it for me.

Of course this is not to say everyone who questions the government crosses into a religious level of devotion to those beliefs. Just like not everyone who celebrates Christmas once a year really believes in Santa Clause (or Jesus Christ, or Odin, or any other faith tied to that seasonal celebration). Conversely, not every Christian goes to church, not every Muslim prays five times a day.

So what do people think, do conspiracy theories count as religion? If not, what test of religion do they fail to meet?

I would suspect that it is more along the lines of whether people use a system of belief/indoctrination to rule their worldviews, as most religious believers do, or if the use a system of understanding, critical thinking, logic, reason, etc. Certainly, the former will lead a great deal of folks towards accepting without question conspiracy theories while the latter would have folks think them through.
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Skepticalone
Posts: 6,132
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2/10/2015 10:49:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/10/2015 9:15:43 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 2/10/2015 9:08:19 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/10/2015 8:55:52 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 2/10/2015 1:45:25 AM, YassineB wrote:
- I think they should at least succeed in the test of Supernatural Conspiracy to even quality as related to Religion.

Please name three popular conspiracy theories, and I will attempt to show a supernatural angle to them (now saying I'll succeed in all cases, but it should be a thought provoking exercise).

I grabbed three at random:

1. The feds blanketed the South with fake snow.

2. The Ebola outbreak is a government plot.

3. MH370 and MH17 were the same airplane.

I just ripped these straight off a website - http://www.alternet.org... - if you need more info about them.

I'll try to find supernatural angles to those tomorrow after school. In the mean time, I can't stop laughing after reading a few of the descriptions in those link.

Yes, some conspiracy theories are ...unusual, to say the least. I mainly wanted to provide you some fodder since I like this atypical religion forum thread. Good luck!
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Ragnar
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2/11/2015 9:40:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
From Merriam-Webster, supernatural is: "unable to be explained by science or the laws of nature : of, relating to, or seeming to come from magic, a god, etc."
And to show that I'm not cherry-picking... Google claims it's "(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature."

1. The feds blanketed the South with fake snow.
Never thought I'd see a No True Scotsman fallacy applied to weather.

This isn't a claim of some new G.I. Joe inspired weather machine, it's literally that the government planted fake snow (which may or may not be plastic) all over down there. The sheer number of invisible agents needed to do this is mind boggling, not to mention that they all need to keep their mouths shut...

As this fake snow doesn't have the properties of real snow, any snow with matching properties to the fake snow must also be the fake snow. The properties include being able to be marked by soot, being cold, and not melting easily when packed densely, plus all evidence melts in warm weather. Therefore we can safely conclude there is no real snow, all snow in the history of the world is in fact a government conspiracy, because the government is at least near-omnipotent and certainly omnipresent (has to be everywhere at once to plant the fake snow all over the world).

This takes some serious faith to believe.
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Ragnar
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2/11/2015 6:23:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
2. The Ebola outbreak is a government plot.
This one involves a lot of cognitive dissonance, and doomsday prophecies from messiah-like figures such as Rand Paul. He predicted as a part of the supernatural powers of this disease, that it doesn't need any mode of contact other than proximity (every disease on the planet needs more that that). Also quite predictably, that the evil Obama administration is lying to the public to cover up this incredible mode of transmission.

Other prophets of the conspiracy theory even outlined how the evil Obama would target US cities with weaponized Ebola; martial law, tracking chips for everyone... Do keep in mind those who deny the validity of the claims of conspiracy theories are liars with UN bank accounts (or to use conventional religious terminology, anti-Christs). Thus when I say the most basic quarantine procedures placed on by the government prevented even a mild pandemic in the US, I'm lying, the martial law and tracking chips must have happened, but government mind eraser rays made us forget it.

I admit this one isn't the highest level of supernatural occurrence, but the blind faith in it and the prophets behind it (as opposed to them being idiots to be ignored once their visions of the future did not come to pass), is interesting to consider from an indoctrination angle.
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Ragnar
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2/11/2015 8:26:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
3. MH370 and MH17 were the same airplane.
So an airliner was (without explanation) snatched out of the air, with 239 people on board who did not alert anyone to any trouble, the bodies then show up six months later looking to have been dead for days (according to another prophet of the conspiracy theories). Looking to have been dead for mere days, this means they were not frozen or otherwise preserved them until the right time, but rather they did not rot away by sheer chance; sounds pretty biblical to me.

So what's everyone think, is that three in a row so far, tied to the supernatural? Any flaws in my analysis of them?
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