Author Topic: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories  (Read 771 times)

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Offline JohnKurwa

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Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« on: June 15, 2012, 08:20:04 AM »
Hi,

I had some thoughts in my mind:


First, I think it is useful to describe my point of view:

I do not believe that i.e. 9/11 was an inside job. But I think that there are some contradictions. As far as I am informed, there is no scientific evidence that proves that 9/11 was an inside job. If I am wrong here, please tell me where I can find these infos, because then I would need to make up my mind.

All I hear about conspiracy theories is like, "yeah once this architect said that it had to be an inside job because george bush phoned this guy and then they put bombs in it and stuff...". "Yeah, but hey, watch this youtube video, it proves that there were bombs!"


For me these are not 'scientific evidences'. It is the same with religion. "yeah once this guy moved this mountain and then he was called by God and he made him resurrect and stuff". "Yeah, but read the bible, it's the word of god"...


Do you out here, think that there are similarities between religion (not just christianity..) and conspiracy theories?


Because for me it looks like the origins are quite the same, we do not exactly know everything, so there must be something god/inside job/or kind of "destiny" in my way of thinking.

EDIT: typo
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 08:27:11 AM by JohnKurwa »
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Offline Nick

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 08:22:36 AM »
George Bush was not smart enough to put his pants on by himself.  He could not have planned something like this.  I don't think even Cheney could have though he probably would have liked to.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 09:30:39 AM »
Do you out here, think that there are similarities between religion (not just christianity..) and conspiracy theories?

Yes.  They are both intellectual black holes.  Those are ideas or ways of thinking that are wrong or in error but are extremely difficult to think your way out of once you buy into them.
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 09:58:51 AM »
Quote
Do you out here, think that there are similarities between religion (not just christianity..) and conspiracy theories?

I that people make baseless claims and then try to use your own ignorance to use conveniences or psuedo-evidence (or even psuedo-science) to their advantage and may even attempt to appeal to emotion and woo you to their side? Then ignore all evidence you throw at them. We've even had conspiracy theorists on this forum and I've engaged them and I'd say it felt like I was arguing with some of the Christians we have here. The guy I am speaking of was a nice guy and to a degree he tried, but we have rules about discussion and debate and he pretty much broke the same ones many Christians end up breaking, which is why he was eventually banned (which I didn't want to happen). I can see if I can dig up one of his threads:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,14832.0.html

This is probably one of his better ones, where he tried backing up his claims and I think we accepted them to a degree, but read how he makes his arguments. But this is just one conspiracy theorist out there, interesting that the guy was also an atheist, but being an atheist doesn't mean you're necessarily reasonable. ;)

So I would say based on my experience, the reasoning used by the two can often be similar.


[offtopic]
Also, I noticed Operator_B01 has a female avatar in that thread and is identified as female. I do not remember doing that to my profile, lemme guess, this was Agga's idea of a 'leaving present'?
[/offtopic]


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Offline eye over you

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 10:15:55 AM »
Do you out here, think that there are similarities between religion (not just christianity..) and conspiracy theories?

Yes.  They are both intellectual black holes.  Those are ideas or ways of thinking that are wrong or in error but are extremely difficult to think your way out of once you buy into them.

     This is true. I have friends who buy into the 911/inside job theory. They have their minds made up and they are running with it. They won't even consider any evidence against it. Just like religious believers.
     They claim that a missile hit the Pentagon, not a plane. I even showed them a picture of the wreckage at the site that was obviously a plane, engine and all. They said, "well, the CIA dressed the missile up to look like a plane."
     They also like to use all the embarrassment and damage control tactics that the government officials used as a signs that their conclusions were correct.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 10:23:57 AM »
They said, "well, the CIA dressed the missile up to look like a plane."

At this point the only thing that can help them is a sharp blow to the head.  They are lost.

Screwtape Sr. is convinced the Iraqi wmds were moved to Syria or Russia.  Right, Dad.
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 10:38:52 AM »
I think the term 'conspiracy theory' has been turned into a blanket purjorative, similar to terms like 'socialism' or 'atheist', that serves the purpose of shutting off critical thinking when people are discussing or debating. 

History is full of conspiracies that actually occured and are well-documented.  The assassination of Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln are both historical conspiracies.  The crimes of Enron were conspiratorial.  Rupert Murdoch's reporters conspired to obtain personal information illegally. 

The rich and powerful in the world collude and conspire all the time to manipulate or to attempt to manipulate events, with varying degrees of success.  When they conspire together, they don't call it a 'conspiracy,' however...they call it a 'meeting' or a 'teleconference,' or something similar. 

History is full of many events that are not the result of conspiracies of course.  Many events are the result of chaos and accident. 

The Official Story of 9/11 is, in a literal sense, a conspiracy theory.  The US govt. tells us that a bunch of Saudi Muslims in some super terrorist organization called 'Al Quaida,' plotted, planned and conspired to crash passenger planes into buildings to achieve a terrorist objective. 

The US govt. never bothered to have a trial for the alleged leader of the conspiracy, not even one in absentia, which would have been possible.  This is curious, since a criminal court is usally the way one proceeds when one wants to prove who committed a crime. 

In the case of war crimes, there is an precedent, the Nuremburg and Tokyo war crimes trials after WWII.  Those were multinational efforts, and conducted with deliberation and without haste.  The people who arranged those trials wanted the historical record of the war crimes to be very clear. 

The US govt. resisted an official inquiry into 9/11 for many months, and when the govt. finally agreed to an inquiry, the panel was packed with insiders, people who had vested interests in the status quo of the US govt.  When the president and vice pres were interviewed, they were interviewed together, and no recording devices were permitted...I can tell you, having been a professional investigator who has prepared reports for the cops, that interviewing two witnesses or suspects together is a very, very unsound method of investigating things!  You would not interview witnesses or suspects in a shoplifting case in this manner! 

When the US govt. finally allegedly caught the alleged mastermind of 9/11, he was summarily executed, and thrown into the ocean for the fishes to eat, without so much as a 3rd party objective autopsy. 

Going back to the day of 9/11, there are some astounding anomalies, such as an alleged perpetrator's passport being found near one of the attacked buildings, intact, despite the alleged perpetrator and everything/everyperson on the plane being incinerated.  And the astounding luck of scheduling the attack when a US defense exercise created confusion and delayed a response to the incident. 

I am not saying 9/11 was an inside job.  I lack the information to make this assertion. 

But I am saying this: The Official Story of 9/11 contains a lot of assertions that have never been subjected to any decent objective 3rd party scrutiny.  IMO, since the US govt. never put OBL on trial so as to guarantee a full examination of the crime, and since the US govt. conducted its own inquiries and allowed its own inquiries to be seriously contaminated by faulty proceedures, the Official Story is no better than many 'conspiracy theories.' 

But the purjorative use of the term 'conspiracy theory' is a wonderful tool of the ruling elite.  Someone starts to ask embarrasing questions, you just tell them  'We don't have any time for your Conspiracy Theories!'  If it doesn't shut up the questioner, it does immediately prejudice everyone else in the room to think he is a crank on par with UFO enthusiasts. 

We allow the usage of the term because it helps us avoid frightening or unpleasant possibilities. 

Would members of a national govt. ever fake a terrorist attack so as to create a pretext for war?   Well, the Nazis did it with Poland to make an excuse to invade in 1939.  It was called the Gleiwitz Incident, and the USA didn't know the truth until the Nuremburg Trials:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident

Citizens of the USA tend to avoid the thought that the govt. could do the kinds of terrible things govts. throughout history have always done.  The USA depends upon the citizens having an unspoken and unchallenged view of themselves as being slightly morally superior to other nations.  And yet LBJ used radical misinformation regarding Gulf of Tonkin Incident to radically escalate the Viet Nam war, a war against a nation which posed no threat to the USA. 

It saddens me that on a forum where the participants pride themselves on critical thinking that we mindlessly repeat the 'conspiracy theory' meme.  Why do we want to short circuit our own thinking? 

Note: I am not saying that 9/11 was an inside job.  That is highly quesionable.  But the Official Story is also, IMO, highly questionable.  There are many possibilities as to how the crime occurred, and I think the US govt. effectively closed many possible roads of inquiry. 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 10:41:52 AM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline eye over you

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 10:55:58 AM »
I think the term 'conspiracy theory' has been turned into a blanket purjorative, similar to terms like 'socialism' or 'atheist', that serves the purpose of shutting off critical thinking when people are discussing or debating. 

    I agree with this statement. I do agree that  there are alot of things surrounding 911 that are worth questioning. I am just not ready to conclude that it was some kind of CIA false flag operation.
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 11:02:40 AM »
I also am not ready to assert that it was a false flag or CIA op. 

I do think either thing is a possibility.  But many other possibilities exist, including the possibility that it really was just a bunch of happy-go-lucky terrorists from Saudi Arabia out on joy ride.  Or maybe a 'Let It Happen On Purpose' thing.  Or some kinda combination of elements. 

I do think the 9/11 Commission began with the unspoken directive that investigating an inside job or a Let It Happen On Purpose scenario was off the table...unspeakable, undoable.  An example of Noam Chomski's 'Limits of Thinkable Thought.' 

The US govt. wants certain possibilities to be beyond the scope of thinkable thought the way the Church wants the idea of true atheism, the simple lack of belief in Yahweh, to be outside the range of thought.   Or the idea that the Church might cover up and abed crimes like pedophilia as opposed to confronting the allegations head on. 

In the USA today, the perjorative concept of 'Conspiracy Theory' is a meme which favors the ruling elite, much as churches use similar memes to undergird their own intellectual architecture. 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 11:04:19 AM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline screwtape

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 11:36:06 AM »
In the USA today, the perjorative concept of 'Conspiracy Theory' is a meme which favors the ruling elite, much as churches use similar memes to undergird their own intellectual architecture.

what would you prefer we call crazy ideas that people have that involve conspiracies for which they have absolutely no evidence or wrongly interpreted the existing evidence and steadfastly refuse to move past?
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 11:52:34 AM »
In the USA today, the perjorative concept of 'Conspiracy Theory' is a meme which favors the ruling elite, much as churches use similar memes to undergird their own intellectual architecture.

what would you prefer we call crazy ideas that people have that involve conspiracies for which they have absolutely no evidence or wrongly interpreted the existing evidence and steadfastly refuse to move past?

If one is going to call an idea crazy, one ought to be prepared to specify why the idea is crazy.  If one can explain why an idea is false, one might not need to resort to perjoratives. 

In science, the term theory is used only when one has 'proven' a concept by the accepted standards of the discipline.  Like the Theory of Evolution. 

 I don't like the way the non-scientific world uses 'theory' as a perjorative...as in 'Climate Change is only a THEORY!' We have seen in our own lifetimes the way this perjorative usage has degraded the respect of science...a lot of Americans think a Theory is just stuff you make up.

You speak of the concept of the Intellectual Black Hole, which has some merit...

Here is another concept: Intellectual Razor Wire.  As in, to surround an idea with a punative barrier so as to discourage entry. 

In practical terms, however, conspiracy theories are not all intellectual black holes.  If one studies the JFK assassination, one can learn all sorts of essentially hidden history of the USA that would otherwise be inaccessible, such as the USA's secret attempts to whack and unseat Fidel Castro. 

Some proponants of conspiracy theory do impose a false certainty upon their own view of events, similar to the manner of the religious mind.  And yet many people have a knee jerk reaction to conspiracy theories for a similar reason...the theory bumps up against their own certainty of events which are actually quite dubious. 

Intellectual shorthand does have its uses, however.  Perhaps we can call them 'crackpot history,' mythology, woo-woo, or something else. 

But the term Conspiracy Theory, used as a perjorative, degrades 2 legitimate terms that have good usages in respectable discourse. 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 12:13:18 PM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2012, 09:24:51 PM »

Do you out here, think that there are similarities between religion (not just christianity..) and conspiracy theories?


The gospel is a conspiracy theory. Throughout the narrative, there is a continual story of how the Jews are plotting to kill Jesus, even when there is no plausible reason to do so. In the gospel, Pilate represents Lee Harvey Oswald, or Osama; a character who clearly did the deed, but has to be exonerated, to blame the Jews.

I see the gospels growing in exactly the same way as conspiracies.

An initial story is put up, and then detractors pick holes in it. The story changes, to address the issues, and is put up again, in a more convincing form.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline jetson

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2012, 09:35:44 PM »
I have never thought about the books of the Bible being any sort of conspiracy idea.  It just seems like a whole load of hogwash cobbled together to instill fear in the masses and control them.  And Christianity, well, that was simply a blatant ripoff of the OT into what might have been considered a slightly more palatable religion compared to the God of the OT and all of his killing and sacrifices.

Although, the ultimate story of Jesus dying for everyone was quite brutal, we all know that a god cannot really suffer. 

The whole thing is mythology.  And very poorly written as a canon.

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2012, 07:51:18 AM »
I doubt it was an inside job because of one simple fact: Bin Laden said he did it. Why not believe him?

Is the government capable of such an act? Certainly. They have done similar things before, on smaller scales. There was in fact a plan at one point to fly remote control planes with fake cuban markings into American buildings to drum up American support to attack Cuba. Sound familiar?

However, why would Bin Laden admit to it if he didn't do it? That's the main reason I don't buy into the conspiracy. I take him at his word, as I have no reason not to believe him. We know they hate us and we know they've done stuff like that before. Now if the guy said he was innocent and being framed by the the US government I would definitely have taken a closer look at the conspiracy claims.
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2012, 12:47:05 PM »
Preface: I am not saying it was an inside job.  That is unknown, IMO.

But did OBL say he did it?

Well, we have a grainy tape of a guy said to be OBL talking about it like he did it.   So maybe.  But we don't know if that tape is real or if it was manufactured as false evidence by somebody else.  It's not like OBL had a press conference with a bunch of journalists.  If that tape were submitted to court as evidence, OBL's lawyer could have cast a lot of doubt on its authenticity.  So the evidentiary value of that tape is low, especially considering the magnitude of the crime. 

It is common after high profile crimes for there to be false confessions, usually from fruitcakes.  It is common after terrorist incidents for more than one group to claim credit.  It's often a difficult job for law enforcement agencies to figure out who really did it. 

Which brings me to another 9/11 anomaly:  At 7AM EST, the USA had no fricken idea whatsoever this could happen.  Totally caught with our pants down.  But by afternoon, on the basis of a grainy tape delivered by mysterious sources, depicting a bearded guy who no one has had a verified sighting of in years....suddenly the USA intelligence services are all 100% sure it is OBL. 

Plenty of psuedo-science in many conspiracy theories that is for sure.  But I think conspiracy theories exist, and are derided by so many, because humans crave certainty and fear ambiguity. 

The US gummint, at the moment when the trauma is at its rawest, puts up a picture of an ugly Muslim boogie-man and it's human nature to crave the certainty of saying 'Yes! That's the muthafucka what did it. ' And anyone who might cast doubt upon that certainly is going to be get some hostility in return.

Religion exists because people have fears and crave certainty.  Those who doubt religion are often treated with hostility.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 12:48:46 PM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2012, 12:57:42 PM »
One more thing:

Regarding those of us who have some doubt regarding the Official Story of 9/11, I have noticed that people have a tendency to want to think one of 2 ways about the crime...

A) The Official Story is mostly accurate, with the usual amount of govt. BS thrown in for fun.

B) Dick Cheney and George Bush personally masterminded and executed the whole thing, and afterwords they and Paul Wolfowitz celebrated afterwords with a circle-jerk while Condoleeza watched.

There are literally hundreds of other possibilities here.  An easy example is the Let It Happen On Purpose scenario, which has happened in other historical incidents...let the 'enemy' attack you on purpose so you have a pretext for war. 

Yet because we are conditioned or predisposed for dualistic thinking, highly vulnerable to the fallacy of false opposites, it's hard for us to imagine that there could multiple possible scenarios for an event as huge and complicated as 9/11. 

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2012, 02:40:37 PM »
I think the term 'conspiracy theory' has been turned into a blanket purjorative, similar to terms like 'socialism' or 'atheist', that serves the purpose of shutting off critical thinking when people are discussing or debating.
 

Quote
  The assassination of Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln are both historical conspiracies.
Let us not forget JFK.

Quote
The Official Story of 9/11 is, in a literal sense, a conspiracy theory.  The US govt. tells us that a bunch of Saudi Muslims in some super terrorist organization called 'Al Quaida,' plotted, planned and conspired to crash passenger planes into buildings to achieve a terrorist objective.
This is simply not true. The CIA knew full well that what you describe was not the nature of Al-Quaida.

The media, in an attempt to dumb down the details gave so much false information out, that, at times I despaired.

Quote
The US govt. never bothered to have a trial for the alleged leader of the conspiracy, not even one in absentia, which would have been possible.
Try dead men? Are you serious? 
Expose what you know and also thus expose who your operatives are? Tell me you don’t mean this!

Quote
The US govt. resisted an official inquiry into 9/11 for many months, and when the govt. finally agreed to an inquiry, the panel was packed with insiders, people who had vested interests in the status quo of the US govt.
You sound aggrieved that you were not asked personally. Do you not grasp that the expertise lay with those chosen for their expertise? 

Quote
When the US govt. finally allegedly caught the alleged mastermind of 9/11, he was summarily executed, and thrown into the ocean for the fishes to eat, without so much as a 3rd party objective autopsy.
I take it that you never bothered to read the stuff that was found on his computer, etc?

Quote
Going back to the day of 9/11, there are some astounding anomalies, such as an alleged perpetrator's passport being found near one of the attacked buildings, intact, despite the alleged perpetrator and everything/every person on the plane being incinerated.
Was that his passport or a false passport? Did he board with a forged document? Did he need a passport then to travel in the US? Did he ditch it to prevent the CIA from tracing his identity back and thus discovering his contacts? Or did it simply fall out his pocket – things like that happen…
Quote
I am not saying 9/11 was an inside job.  I lack the information to make this assertion.
I entirely agree but you are not making an effort to find out. All the points so far have been answered by your government.

Quote
But I am saying this: The Official Story of 9/11 contains a lot of assertions that have never been subjected to any decent objective 3rd party scrutiny.
Interesting – can you name a few people who you would trust – and who would be trusted by everyone else?
Quote
IMO, since the US govt. never put OBL on trial so as to guarantee a full examination of the crime,
Just a minute!!! You believe that the evil overlord would stand up in court and give every intricate detail of his crimes? You believe that? Seriously? Do you not know that these characters refuse to speak (please see 5th amendment)

At this stage, I will stop, all you are saying is, “I don’t understand it therefore something’s wrong.”

Well, yes… it is “you don’t understand it.”

Think for a moment what you are asking – literally tons of papers, evidence, witnesses, experts all have to satisfy you.

How many times have you examined the facts of a drugs bust – just to make sure there was no “conspiracy”? How often have you worried whether someone’s fine for speeding in Okeefenoke was just and proven?

I’ll tell you – never. But suddenly here is a government conspiracy!

Do governments tell lies? Yes. Do governments always tell you everything? No. Have you got the time and patience and knowledge to benefit from “everything”? No.

Live with it and do something useful.

I hope this helps.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline stuffin

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2012, 10:07:04 PM »
Do we ever really know the the complete truth about anything?
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2012, 07:26:32 AM »
Good point; probably not if there is any complexity at all to the event.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2012, 09:26:04 AM »
bm
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all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline JohnKurwa

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Re: Religion <--> Conspiracy Theories
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2012, 06:32:35 AM »
Interesting..

Religion exists because people have fears and crave certainty.  Those who doubt religion are often treated with hostility.

Very good point IMO. Often in our history if something was not really clear an explanation was needed for the people. If it could not be explained by what was know at that time, people assumed it to be some kind of supernatural because it did not make sense for them as they did not knew as much as we do today. For me this makes perfect sense.

I doubt it was an inside job because of one simple fact: Bin Laden said he did it. Why not believe him?
[...]
However, why would Bin Laden admit to it if he didn't do it? That's the main reason I don't buy into the conspiracy. I take him at his word, as I have no reason not to believe him. We know they hate us and we know they've done stuff like that before. Now if the guy said he was innocent and being framed by the the US government I would definitely have taken a closer look at the conspiracy claims.

This also causes me to think. Why would he not deny that he had planned these attacks? Maybe you can bring up the argument: They have been paying him money to shut his mouth. IF al qaida is actually a terrorist group (which I assume) it would not make any sense to me. They could take the money and although say it was an inside job. This would give them the shush money and would cause a bad reputation to the US government. But these are just assumtions and subjective thoughts of mine... no evidence..


At this stage, I will stop, all you are saying is, “I don’t understand it therefore something’s wrong.”

Well, yes… it is “you don’t understand it.”

Think for a moment what you are asking – literally tons of papers, evidence, witnesses, experts all have to satisfy you.

How many times have you examined the facts of a drugs bust – just to make sure there was no “conspiracy”? How often have you worried whether someone’s fine for speeding in Okeefenoke was just and proven?

I’ll tell you – never. But suddenly here is a government conspiracy!

Do governments tell lies? Yes. Do governments always tell you everything? No. Have you got the time and patience and knowledge to benefit from “everything”? No.

Live with it and do something useful.

I hope this helps.

Could be associated with this:

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/misleading-vividness.html

Just because something is very dramatic or vivid it does not necessarily mean that it should get more attention than other events. Espacially, that it is so big and dramatic will cause people to do more research than normal thus it would be even more difficult to hide evedinces of an inside job.

Do we ever really know the the complete truth about anything?

Good point; probably not if there is any complexity at all to the event.

Good input stuffin, very good.. Mostly we don't know everything, as you say, the complete truth, if you take 'the complete truth' or else said 'everything' literally.
practice what you preach!