I recently posted an article about conspiracy theories (CT’s) and religious beliefs. There are similarities in the two belief systems. Both are based on beliefs that are not founded on facts or evidence. They both offer “evidence,” in the form of hearsay, exaggeration, misrepresentation, and sometimes outright fantasy. Hardly credible evidence. Consider the “eyewitness” accounts of Biblical miracles that happened a few thousand years ago. The word-of-mouth stories were written down by ignorant and superstitious people, then translated multiple times…and now, they are treated as rock-solid factual evidence by believers. The best response to such claims is: “Is that the best ya got?” If the Christian god exists and participates in the everyday life of every believer, shouldn’t there be some recent, and verifiable evidence? And puhleeze don’t give me the old saw: “Your existence, and the existence of the Universe is all the evidence you need.” That is a paraphrase of the “argument from ignorance,” a logical fallacy. Because we cannot explain everything about the origins of the natural world does not justify attributing it to God.
Conspiracy theorists do the same thing. Without any evidence, they postulate the existence of evil organizations that are trying to destroy us, or seize global power and establish a New World Order. The culprits vary. Sometimes it’s our own government. Scientists are often a target, accused of vast international plots to form a despotic world government and take over the world. The global climate crisis is often portrayed as such a conspiracy. Again, there is no evidence to support the claims, but their believers are as adamant and devout as any religious believer.
Fact-free belief is not the only common characteristic of religion and conspiracies. The most prominent evildoer is a mysterious group called the “Illuminati.” Their purported conspiracies often involve Satan. This is a really clever ploy by the inventors of CT’s, because religious believers are receptive to any suggestion that includes stories of Satan’s evil doings. Thus, the two belief systems have become intertwined.
Many CT’s deal with religion, especially with the Catholic Church. Some are amusing, some not…because there might be some truth in them.
Omigod! Am I becoming a CT believer?
Here is a link to an article that describes 15 wild ones.