Saturday, December 18, 2010

Religion as a Conspiracy Theory

The Mafia killed JFK. The moon landing was filmed on a backlot in Hollywood. Bush planned 9/11...

Why are conspiracy theories so much fun, and catchy? The more elaborate the plot, the harder they stick, and cold hard facts rarely serve to dissuade it's believers. Arguing with conspiracy theorists is much like playing Whac-O-Mole, no matter what you say they'll pop up with something else, and still believe what they want.
Sound familiar..?

I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, they're fun to think about, and make you feel like you know something that no one else does. But at a certain point you have to come to the realization that the government is not testing chemical weapons on us with Chemtrails...

The problem with conspiracy theories is that, by definition they require too many loose ends to be held together. For any one theory to be true, hundreds - if not thousands - of people would have to be involved in planning, coordinating, carrying out, and then covering up the whole operation. That means that for the rest of their lives, none of these people could ever (even accidentally) utter a word about any of it.
Then there's the issue of outsiders getting wind of what's going on, now we've to start making people "disappear" so they don't blab, and on and on...
The other problem with conspiracy theories is Occam's razor, while it's a lot more exciting to believe that there are Aliens and flying saucers in Area 51, the simpler explanation is that the government tests, and builds experimental aircraft there. But who wants to here that? That's so lame...

Which brings me to religion.
Much like conspiracy theories, religion is full of great stories, complicated plots, twists and turns, and an answer for everything. But when you starting looking closer, things make less and less sense. The difference is that we snicker at people who believe certain whacky things - like conspiracy theories - but respect them for believing other whacky things, like religion. maybe it's time we stop being so accommodating, and tell people how we really feel when they tell us they believe in a talking snake, or that the earth is six thousand years old.

Just a thought...

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