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Conspiracy Roadtrip


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Hi. I recently watched an excellent documentary on the BBC called Conspiracy Roadtrip. It basically took a group of 9/11 conspiracy theorists from the UK to the US to see the locations of the attacks and see the evidence against their position. Though most of them remained unconvinced, one of them did actually have a major change of mind by the end of the trip. For a while I just watched it, fascinated. Then it hit me. I felt like I was watching me. Even though I've never been a conspiracy theorist for anything, including 9/11, I recognized myself big time in the ways they would express themselves and protect their beliefs from external shock, from my life as an utterly convinced and evangelistic Christian. The parallels were uncanny, to the point where I basically came to the view that religion IS a conspiracy theory. Each of the people has a unique character, which is also interesting because they correspond to different types of people you might find within the Church. My favourite conspiracy theorist is Charlotte. She talks a lot about research and evidence but also seems to recognize the part that emotions and feelings play in her beliefs. She says things like: "It might be a conspiracy but there are hundreds of thousands of people that believe it." Ring any bells?

 

I'd highly recommend checking it out if you haven't seen it already: http://youtu.be/uVnQPGE36P4

 

Did anyone see it? What do you think about the links between the concept of conspiracy theory and religion?

 

One thing that bugged me a little, was the realization that though there are many parallels, there are also differences, such as how these people and their beliefs were treated. They were considered weird, crazy people with totally unconventional, fringe beliefs, that deserved to be ridiculed and needed to be countered and debunked, they were in some sense a danger to society. Yet religion is in my view EXACTLY the same, why do we treat these two groups of people differently, one with respect the other with derision?! At one point in the documentary the presenter compared their insistence on maintaining unsubstantiated claims about 9/11 to a belief that Santa Clause exists because it can't be proven that he doesn't. Again, why is religion any different?

 

I look forward with alacrity to the day that the BBC make a documentary in which they take 5 Christians on a tour of the evidence against their position, and the presenter treats their beliefs as they justly deserve to be treated, with mockery and contempt.

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I think the disparity in treatment of the two groups is simply due to the numbers. As a religion in America, Christianity is respected while Scientology is the butt of jokes. Even most Christians speak negatively about their own minority of brothers who handle snakes. Any deeply held religious belief, political stance or prejudice is automatically defended internally by our brains. It takes some effort to be rational.

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One thing that bugged me a little, was the realization that though there are many parallels, there are also differences, such as how these people and their beliefs were treated. They were considered weird, crazy people with totally unconventional, fringe beliefs, that deserved to be ridiculed and needed to be countered and debunked, they were in some sense a danger to society. Yet religion is in my view EXACTLY the same, why do we treat these two groups of people differently, one with respect the other with derision?! At one point in the documentary the presenter compared their insistence on maintaining unsubstantiated claims about 9/11 to a belief that Santa Clause exists because it can't be proven that he doesn't. Again, why is religion any different?

 

I look forward with alacrity to the day that the BBC make a documentary in which they take 5 Christians on a tour of the evidence against their position, and the presenter treats their beliefs as they justly deserve to be treated, with mockery and contempt.

I haven't watched this video but from just casually surfing the net I have seen 9/11 conspiracy websites where some theories are seen as fringe relative to the others and are mocked by the "normal" conspirators. What doesn't really happen is everyone mocking themselves. They can only go so far. Likewise religion. They can see how absurd the fringes of beliefs are but the mainstream is safe from assault. These things do not appear so strange while you are in them. Mainstream religions. "Mainstream" 9/11 conspiracies. None of them. Only those things that are further away from your position, in most any direction, can be viewed with any perspective. But it's not always an accurate perspective.

 

mwc

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I think any beliefs that deviate from whatever is "normal" within a given society or culture could be thought of as "fringe" or "nutty", whether it's belief in religion, conspiracies, ghosts, bigfoot, UFO's, etc.

 

Heck, when I was a Christian I was led to believe that Islam was a crazy fringe cult - that was until I discovered it was almost as big as Christianity and was only 2nd in the world in number of followers. Yet Islam is a crazy fringe cult - and Christianity isn't? :Doh:

 

Now, I am an atheist. Think there might be a few Christians out there who think atheists are a bunch of extreme whackos who deserve nothing short of complete and total mockery and ridicule? Probably. :HaHa:

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I think any beliefs that deviate from whatever is "normal" within a given society or culture could be thought of as "fringe" or "nutty", whether it's belief in religion, conspiracies, ghosts, bigfoot, UFO's, etc.

 

It was pretty weird seeing how hard the US media tried to make sure everyone in America saw 9/11 conspirasists as 'anti-American' and wacko-crazies. Now it's just a given that if you ask questions something is wrong with you.

 

I don't think it's very fair to the 'wackos', considering how the towers fell. Anyone with common sense can notice how perfect they fell, like a demolition. It was so perfect and clean, it looked planned to me when I was watching it live, before there was time for any conspiracy theories. To me, saying they're stupid is a group-mentality, not a rational-individual thinking. The group mentality against 9/11 conspiracy theorists in the US is so strong, it's like fundamentalism. That's just my observation, I don't believe any theory because I don't know.

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The whole 911 conspiracy theory ideas do have me wondering. I'm in no way convinced because all I have are what other people report. Yes I did see the events unfold as they happened but I was in such shock that I didn't take notice of any details at the time. Since then I have been reading and researching here and there and have found some pretty interesting stuff.

 

However, with religion I find myself in reverse from how I see things now. Because the more I research and study religion, the less I believe in it. Well, actually at this point I don't.

 

Look at how conspiracy theorists are portrayed in movies, Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory, Woody Harrelson in 2012, even David Duchovny and "The smoking gun" crew in the X files. The media portrays them as nut cases, even though they are usually right, they are still not someone you would want your children around. I feel the media has portrayed anyone non-xtian in the same light. They are usually rude, arrogaunt, drunks, dopers, or anti-social. Most of the time the only way they can make it through a movie or show is at some point in time come across a christian who gives or restores their faith.

 

A lot of what people believe here in the U.S. is typical media stereotyping. Blacks are gangbangers. Blondes are dumb. Guys named Chip or Buzz are members of Alpha Chi Omega and drink tons of beer and beat up guys named eugene. Think about the way you stereotype when you first think of someone and ask yourself why. When I hear the name Lonnie I immediatly think of a large breasted blonde. Why? Because I grew up in love with Lonnie Anderson watching WKRP in Cincinatti.

 

Another reason Christians look down on atheists is because their God stands for everything good and moral in their world. Satan goes against God and is evil. Thus by being athiest we are going against God therefore must also be evil by association.

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