Skeptics of a Feather

Skeptics of a Feather June 23, 2014

I happened across a document reflecting mythicist claims and views recently, and was struck when I noticed where it was hosted.

The blog is “Citizen for 9/11 Truth.”

It is not a coincidence that fundamentalist Christians often accept conspiracy theories about the government and uncritically accept as “news” things that could be easily debunked with a little research. Once you have accepted the view that you should reject what secular experts have to say, not even when they agree but especially when they agree, then you will need to posit conspiracies to account for their consensuses. (Here’s a recent example of someone who draws on both young-earth creationism and ancient aliens).

And it is likewise no surprise when Bill Maher’s “skepticism” leads him to question the consensus on vaccinations as well as the historicity of Jesus, or when a 9/11 truther also embraces Jesus mythicism. When you believe that all you need to do to get at the truth is poke what seem to you to be holes in what experts say, then you will find that you can do that with just about anything.

Pay close attention to where various kinds of skepticism lead people, or rather, how the tools of skepticism are used by people to conveniently draw the conclusions that they wish to, without that skeptical examination ever being turned inwards upon their own views and assumptions.

This is a point at which my Christian faith and my role as a scholar seem to converge. Unless we turn our critical gaze inwards to examine the beam in our own eye and not primarily the splinter in someone else’s, it is unlikely that we will ever see things clearly.

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