Being the only rational person in a family sucks. I’m surrounded by bad thinking and the worst sort of logic. Studies show that religious people are more likely to accept conspiracy theories as truth.
There are many TV shows I like to watch with my mother, though I can usually parse out the difference between TV land and reality. My mother can’t do that, it seems. When I point out that conspiracy theories are usually wrong, she says I’m being too trusting or credulous when that’s exactly what she’s doing. Notice how the good guys in most mainstream TV shows nowadays are conspiracy theorists uncovering some diabolical plot by the government? Ever notice the networks that propagate this garbage? I used to be able to just enjoy these shows for what they are: a fanciful, fictional romp through a make believe world with predictable characters and tired ass tropes. Even the shows that have blatantly obvious religious analogies for the bad guys she dismisses as being “cults” and laughs along side me when I point them out.
I still can enjoy these shows on some level, but it’s way more difficult now that I’ve gained a skeptical worldview and I can see what effect it has on viewers like my mother who need conspiracies to uphold their beliefs. Scientists are a group of lost people seeking to destroy your religion because they are more susceptible to the wiles of Satan. Christmas traditions are being stolen by pagans determined to undermine the scripture and take Christ out of the holiday. The Founding Fathers of this country were believers, and the heathens of today’s society are trying to bring the country to ruin and upset God’s plan. All of these things need to be true to the standard Christian believer. They must feel like the minority when in fact they make up most of America. The classic underdog story will unfold when Christ returns and “shows us all” and we weep and accept him as Lord. Theatrical, fictional, conspiracy, nonsense.
My older brother traded Christianity for Alex Jones. Any evidence for a conspiracy theory, is evidence of a conspiracy theory. Any evidence against a conspiracy theory was planted by the conspiracy theory deniers, so is evidence of a conspiracy theory. Any lack of evidence for the conspiracy theory shows that the evidence was removed or is being hidden, so it’s evidence of a conspiracy theory. If anyone speaks out against a conspiracy theory then they’re in on it, so it’s evidence of a conspiracy theory. . . You can see the problem. No amount of evidence to the contrary will ever change this person’s mind on anything. He’s skeptical, but he’s gone too far and is skeptical of everything, especially authority, to the point of cynicism.
“Be open-minded, but not so much that your brain falls out”
In both cases, doctrine rules and rationality is tossed aside. I’m fortunate to have found my way out of this loopy-ass world of confirmation bias and base my views on evidence and reality.
I ask you only to ask questions