The Ethics of Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories, a recent article emphasizes, are not harmless self-delusions: In an important sense every conspiracy theory comes at some moral cost. To offer a conspiracy theory is to make an accusation. The accusation may be amorphous (‘shadowy forces run the country!’) or highly specific (‘Prince Philip ordered MI6 to kill Princess Diana!’) but by [Read More…]

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X-Files 10.6: My Struggle II

Last night’s episode of The X-Files was the finale of the current mini-series, yet it ended on a cliffhanger which left us with the hope that there will be more. The episode left me feeling as though I was finally getting a sense of the big picture of what The X-Files had been about from [Read More…]

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Left Behind and Right Wing Conspiracy Theories

Fred Clark recently posted on the connection between the Left Behind series and Right Wing conspiracy theories. The two overlap extensively, with the non-religious leaving out the Rapture, but overlap in many other particulars, such as that the United Nations is a bad thing, and so too would world peace be. This while various news [Read More…]

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A Strange Mix of Narcissism and Paranoia

A nice quote from the Alison Bernstein, better known as “MommyPhD.”   [Read more…]

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Governments and Conspiracy Theories

Neil Carter shared the image above, and wrote a whole blog post on a topic which is summed up well in this tweet of his: “It’s not that I trust the US government, it’s just that Truthers seem to have a MUCH higher view of what they can accomplish than I do.” I hesitated to [Read More…]

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Mythicism, Creationism, and other Conspiracy Theories

I was made aware of a post by John Anthony Dunne, asking whether there is any parallel in Judaism for what Richard Carrier and other mythicists claim that Paul believed, namely that a celestial being died in the celestial realm. Presumably the closest Carrier can offer is his claim that Adam was buried in the third [Read More…]

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Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories

Commenter Bilbo raised an excellent question about what distinguishes a conspiracy from a conspiracy theory. There have been real life conspiracies, and people conspire together for all sorts of reasons on a daily basis. How do we distinguish this mundane phenomenon from the kind of conspiracy theory that is deservedly treated with disdain? Clearly there [Read More…]

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Proving the Illuminati is Real

This video offers a great treatment of how conspiracy theory thinking works, and has a superb punny ending. Enjoy! [Read more…]

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Conspiracy Theorists

A conspiracy theorist is someone whose circumstance has conspired to make fantasy preferable to reality. They are unlikely to abandon their alternate reality until we can show them some alternate to the reality they’re fleeing — something better than the powerlessness and the meaninglessness that made the fantasy game seem like a more attractive choice. [Read More…]

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Obama’s Texas Invasion Plans Revealed

Greg Carey made this image and shared it on Twitter, and a lot of people have found it entertaining. And so I thought I would share it on the blog for more people to enjoy. There is actually serious irony to several of the arrows. Climate scientists invading from Alabama? Evolutionists from Kansas? I suppose the anti-gay [Read More…]

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Americans – Prepare for Nonsense

Did you see the above advertisement in today’s USA Today? This quote from an article by Quassim Cassam on conspiracy theory thinking: It is in the nature of many intellectual character traits that you don’t realise you have them, and so aren’t aware of the true extent to which your thinking is influenced by them. [Read More…]

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