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59465Re: Beware the new religion

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  • Mary
    Feb 28, 2013
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      Bill, Jim, h...

      I think another characteristic which also fits the conspiracy believer is that strange combination of cynicism, incredulity, and naivete. Also perhaps the need to belong to something greater than themselves alone. It's a blend of thinking governments and the wealthiest control history and that no one person or small group can plan such tragedies, so there has to be some eternal plot to ruin everyone else. I'm not saying there are no conspiracies, because obviously there are. Here again it's another way of an individual seeking a large group to avoid controlling their own destiny by making decisions without that kind of certainty, a way to avoid action. Many conspiracy buffs are apathetic towards creating change but very active in their new 'religion'.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <vize9938@...> wrote:
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      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I've enjoyed reading the recent exchange between Bill, Mary and h on the question of what existentialism is and what its significance is in the twenty-first century.
      > >
      > > I agree with Mary that an existentialist must have some sort of connection with at least one of the main existentialist writers – Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and Camus – or with some of the ideas which have been passed on by or from these great writers.
      > >
      > > For me what distinguishes existentialism from other philosophical movements is its emphasis on the fact that the individual is fundamentally alone in the world and is responsible for her actions and commitments and what she makes of her life. There is a distance between each of us as we are all different, with different thoughts, feelings, values and commitments.
      > >
      > > As Bill emphasizes existentialism is opposed to group-think such as organised religion or other forms of indoctrination from above.
      > >
      > > I attended a very interesting talk on Monday by someone called Jovan Byford who was talking about the question of the difference between real conspiracies and the sorts of conspiracy theories which are false.
      > >
      > > He gave what he thought were examples of real conspiracies – Watergate, the FBI infiltration of the Us Civil Rights Movement, and the Goldman Sachs conspiracy to disadvantage small investors in the interests of large investors. His main example of a false conspiracy theory was the theory that 9-11 was an inside job by the US Government.
      > >
      > > He said a mark of a genuine conspiracy was that it was localised in time and reach with a small number of conspirators, whereas the false conspiracy theories tended to be grand-scale linking various events over time and location. In fact conspiracy theorists tended to believe that a grand conspiracy run by a powerful secret elite has been running the world for centuries. The elite are often portrayed as of Jewish origin, although the more extreme theories may involve some type of alien life.
      > >
      > > Conspiracy theories emerged in Europe – the first concerning a secret elite that orchestrated the French Revolution of 1789 – although today most conspiracy theories emerge in the US where there is a general distrust of the US Government and most US conspiracy theorists think the US Government is run or manipulated by the secret elite.
      > >
      > > Why do I write all this?
      > >
      > > Well because it struck me after listening to the talk that the growing belief in conspiracy theories was a new sort of religion, with the mind-set of the `believers' very similar to the mind-set of religious believers. The faithful have gained access to a new truth whilst the non-believers are to be pitied for their naivety in believing the official stories. Further everything that happens can be fitted into their belief system such that once a person succumbs to conspiracy theory they rarely give up their conspiracy beliefs.
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      > > In my view conspiracy theory is the new religion of the twenty-first century. Hopefully existentialists have the critical faculties and individual strength to resist this new form of religious belief.
      > >
      > > Jim
      > >
      > Jim, I too have been listening to discussions of conspiracy theorys. I write this because of the threat I see emerging to individual thought. The cop who wants to cook and eat women is the center of this circus and he is being accused of thought crime. Now I think he is quite deranged but he made no overt acts toward anyone and is being prosecuted for his conversations with others. This kind of witch hunt goes beyond the normal prosecutorial bounds and I hope it is squelched post haste.
      > I have read so many conspiricy theories and find time is often the cure. Keeping an open mind during the often prolonged span of questioning is the key. I find most are not concluded and avoiding belief becomes the proper course. In so many cases there are not sufficent facts available so the theories go in the unsolved bin. As soon as you accept belief you risk religion. It is just bad thinking that is often accompanied by bigotry or greed.
      > Good to hear from you. Bill
      >
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