Medium: Why Your Christian Friends and Family Members Are So Easily Fooled by Conspiracy Theories

I read this opinion piece at Medium with great intrigue. I’ve devoted much thought on conspiracy theories in my private journaling and public writing on this blog.

The writer explains three reasons people fall for conspiracy theories:

#1: Conspiracy Theories Make Us Feel Special.
#2: Conspiracy Theories Help Us Make Sense of a Chaotic and Complicated World.
#3: Conspiracy Theories Make Our Reality Seem More Exciting.

I recommend reading the entire piece.

It appears — at least to me — that people who are more susceptible to fall for conspiracy theory happen to also happen to carry a medium to strong religious belief system. This is not the rule, but an observation.

For example, people would rather believe that an immeasurable, intangible deity was responsible for all of life rather than the long, boring journey into science and evolution. A poofed existence is much more exciting. It makes people feel special, because they think they can communicate with that same being who magically created everything, including you. Science is a painstakingly hard, uphill battle when the brain is already jam-packed with a six-thousand-year old garden inhabited by two people with no belly buttons.

Yesterday, I was stupefied by the explosion in Beirut. If you didn’t see it, I’ll post it below or check it here. With something that large, surely conspiracy theories would follow.

I sent the clip to a few friends and family. I called one friend directly, as I was curious to get his insight. My immediate personal reaction was that it was an act of war and I felt his take on it might be interesting. Before even looking at the video, he gave me a history lecture on how Beirut is like Belgium. They are poorly run countries being overrun by fecund Muslims. Their governments are being infiltrated by them because the Christians there are not making new babies. Because of Islam, the countries are poorly governed and it shows.

There was no amount of, “I just want you to see this crazy event, then — and only then — can we discuss it.”

As the events were unfolding, tweets in Arabic were saying it was fireworks. There were certainly other jumps at conclusions. Was it a terrorist attack? Was it retribution for Rafic Hariri’s assassination? Was Israel making war not love?

Watch this and do some searching over the internet. You’ll find answers.

You can clearly see in the video above that there are a lot of smaller pops in the smoke before the large red smoked explosion. There are other views on the internet close to the warehouse where this took place that look like a fireworks explosion is going off inside.

So why did my friend, before taking 45 seconds to watch the video, declare that this likely happened because of the growing population of islam in Belgium? I may never be able to answer that question.

When my friend had watched the video, he called me back and he said, “Yeah, that’s just fireworks or munitions.” Not nearly as exciting as it being the result of Muslims fucking up the region because they suck at governance.

To which I wanted to ask, “Then why did you immediately jump to the conclusion that this was the result of the growth of islam?

Or like my friend who fell for the conspiracy theory that MeToo disappeared when Joe Biden was accused. It was simply a leftist plot targeting right-wingers. But when it targeted a leftist like Biden, it got covered up. Meanwhile, how many leftists were taken down in the wake of MeToo?

Or, like our conspiracy theorist president, who went out of his way to paint Barrack Obama as a fraudulent president, not born in the United States, a secret muslim, and all that mumbo jumbo? Just visit Breitbart on any given hour and you’ll read that their readers LOVE that conspiracy theory. And Obama lives rent free in their heads.

To my knowledge, I don’t find anything religious about President Trump. So what’s his excuse?

He went on record to say the explosion was an attack.

I’m wondering now, if my friend will start thinking it was attack, because the glorious leader said it, and renege on his observation that it was simply a stock pile of explosives blowing up.

I guess if someone could find evidence that the warehouse was infiltrated by Israelis or some enemy and purposely set ablaze … I could renege and agree that it was a terrorist attack.

But at the moment, I have to side with the idea that it was an accident. It’s what I observed and what was validated through searching the internet for more views on the explosion.

Supposedly, that might make me a conspiracy theorist? That’s what the conspiracy theorist would have you believe, because it validates their perspective that their views are no longer privileged and unique.

We all want to be seen as “right.” And that search causes great strife between opposing political parties and political opinions. People aren’t able to dissociate their politics with their personal views, and unveiling the truth on an opinion is a personal attack.

If only everyone believed my way of thinking, we’d all get along. Right? Flat earthers want to be right so badly that they will boast their views far and wide. Isn’t it much more easy to stomach Sandy Hook’s violence against children as a liberal plot generated and staged by Soros-funded leftists and hired actors to justify taking away your 2nd amendment rights?

Wouldn’t it be fun if Hillary Clinton was sex trafficking children from the basement of a pizza joint? Wouldn’t it be better to live life having direct contact with the creator of the universe?

I don’t believe any of those things, and I’m doing just peachy. I’ve written this many times, but if evolution were debunked, I would continue with my life unfazed. My so-called belief system is not founded on the theory of evolution or any other fantastical story about life. The world does not turn around my view that God doesn’t exist. He could exist. But I see no reason to accept it. Yes, sunsets are pretty. Yes, the human eyeball is incredibly complex. These ideas do not add up to: God lives in heaven, wants you to worship him, to invite him into your heart and that you’ll live forever in paradise because of it.

It should be quite telling when a person associates a disagreement as a target of their politics rather than the issue at hand. If you think MeToo disappeared but cannot back it up with evidence, just repeating what your idol Rush Limbaugh said on his entertainment show, then one needs a major rehaul of their views and opinions. But that would mean admission of being wrong.

If you think I’m attacking you, and not the problem, something is wrong.

We should all strive for excellence. That means when the pastor is making a one-way communique from the pulpit, it rests on your will to verify those claims. If God wanted marriage to be just between a man and woman, he should have taken the time to write that very thing, and not fill his book with all kinds of marriages that do not reflect that.

If God wanted to prove his existence, he could simply do it. But his followers claim God is hiding behind the gift of freewill. You’ll see when your bulb expires! That’s when he’ll show you that your freewill was fraudulent. He’ll show you in the afterlife. JUST YOU WAIT!!!

Or how about Coronavirus being a diabolical liberal plot to make the US president look badly? The Globalist leftists hate Trump’s views of making this country great again were organized by Satanic forces, manifested it into the body of a virus, and set it loose in China, to wreak mass havoc all over the earth … to hurt you, your adoration for Mr. Trump, and his cause to bring together our God-given rights to bare arms, eliminate false religions, push certain races out, divide and conquer!

Just like it’s much more fun to think 5G waves are disrupting our DNA and creating a disease within people, it’s better to think a strong man can be debilitated by a haircut, but restored to full magical strength if he prays to God.

Masks don’t work, but my invisible friend is working within me, to keep me and my fellow believers safe.

If you sit down at the table and do not recognize the fool sitting among you, you are the fool. I’m in a perpetual act of trying to prove myself wrong about God, Trump, Coronavirus, et al.

When I couldn’t find a biblical rational for man and woman, I swore off marriage. But once I saw how it benefits a person, his health, his wellbeing, his longterm game, I finally dispelled the conspiracy that marriage was a god given act to be a humanity given one.

I was shaken into that realization again last week when I was stung by a wasp. If I were alone, I might not have had the wherewithal to act appropriately or scientifically. I might have died, because I was alone.

Just last night, I talked to a good buddy in Chicago. I asked about his family and he told me that his dad’s wife suffered a stroke while his dad was out of town. It was probably far worse because he wasn’t there to help.

We don’t need to agree on politics. We only need to agree that helping one another is the best theory practiced in the entire world. Neighborliness and attention to detail is crucial to avoiding deconstructing relationships.

But, hey, I’m probably wrong about that, too.

2 thoughts on “Medium: Why Your Christian Friends and Family Members Are So Easily Fooled by Conspiracy Theories

  1. I’m adding this as a comment. It’s what the Medium author included on how to avoid Conspiracy Theories:

    Addendum I: How to Not Be Fooled by a Conspiracy Theory

    Remember Occam’s Razor: “Entities should not be multiplied without necessity,” which is often paraphrased as “The simplest solution is often the right one.” Don’t try to overcomplicate your perception of reality by falling for irrationally convoluted explanations of unexpected events. Remember, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Read boring news. Sometimes all it takes to convince someone of an inane conspiracy theory is a well-edited YouTube video or a pretty website. And most mainstream news is sensationalized garbage designed to generate ad revenue through clicks. In our home, we don’t watch or read network news (CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc). While not perfect, outlets like The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and The Economist are stellar because their articles are long, well-researched, and not interested in entertaining you. Also, AllSides.com is a great place to get a breakdown of how different political ideologies are reporting on current events. (And check out Mark Manson’s fascinating article, “Why You Should Quit the News.”)

    If you’re seeing the same video pop up over and over again on your social media feed, wait a couple of days before interacting with it. A lot of conspiracy theories spread quickly because they appeal to our vain desire to be “the first” to break the news to our friends and followers. If you stumble across something incredibly alarming and inflammatory online, it’s never a bad idea to wait until more information comes to light (or for the fact-checking websites to catch up to it).

    And, before sharing something, ask yourself: Does this worldview diminish or ignore other people’s real suffering? If the answer is yes, you probably shouldn’t share or post it.

  2. A very insightful blog. I am always astonished that people have evidence right in front of them, that their is no personal god who looks after them. Here in SA out farmers are mostly very religious, coming from Dutch Reformed forefathers. Yet they get murdered by the hundreds per year. That is just one point.
    As for conspiracy theories, the lot of nonsense that people come up with, just shows how gullible most people are. Being gullible and believing all the stories in religion, really makes you gullible to swallow almost anything.

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