Fear Over Reason: Conspiracy Thinking

Indeed, one of the chief problems with more pernicious conspiracy theories is that they oversimplify world events in order to find a scapegoat to blame.Conspiracies are a part of human nature. They exist at every level of human interaction, from claims that the Illuminati was responsible for World War I to questioning wither fluoridating water is an ongoing Communist plot. Conspiracies are everywhere.

In any reasonably open society, with freedom of the press and access to historical documents, it is not hard to find out the truth, or at least enough of the facts to clear up any false theory.

In the world of conspiracy theories, however, conjecture takes the place of diligence and fear takes the place of reason. Often a particular clique of evil people is given virtual omnipotence, as if when major events, such as world wars, take place, everything happens according to some plan.

Spending any amount of time reading infamous religious hater Jeffery Augustine’s blogs or books will give you exactly this experience.

At best, conspiracy theories are a waste of time. At worst, they pander to the basest elements of human nature because the conspiracy theorist knows that to stay relevant they have to keep their audiences afraid. And if there is one thing critics like Augustine or Ortega or Rod Keller understand it’s the importance of perpetuating fear and keeping their readers in perpetual state of dependence on the conspiracy theorist to help them make sense of the world.

The best defense against conspiracy theorists like those named above is exposure and sunlight, but then that’s exactly why a blog like this exists. Stay tuned this week as we explore some of the more radical recent conspiracies.

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