It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Religion of Conspiracy

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 8 2012 @ 02:27 PM
link   
I'v been a member of ATS for a while now but haven't been active for a number of months.
I've always been interested in truth. With that being said, I've also never liked blind belief, ignorance, or worse, WILLFUL ignorance.
Unfortunately, I've found ATS to be rife with just these sort of things.
It's one thing to discuss a topic and share information. It's another to discuss a topic as if it is an absolute truth or fact without having real, tangible *proof.
Now, obviously, "tangible proof" and "the unknown" don't exactly go hand in hand, but that is my point. Without proof, we cannot say for certain that something is true, be it The Roswell Incident, the JFK assassination, or Reptilians, et al.
We can theorize. We can discuss. We can share. But we can't say "Yes, aliens did crash in Roswell and the government covered it up.", "Oswald didn't shoot Kennedy, it was the CIA and the Mob." or "George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth are Reptilians!". Instead, we can say "Through research and what information we have, we can discuss the possibility that there may have been a crashed Extraterrestrial craft.", "Through research and what information we have, we can discuss the possibility that Kennedy was shot by the CIA or the Mob, etc." or "Through research and what information we have, we can discuss the possibility that George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth may be Reptilians.".
There's a huge difference between the two. That difference being that, in an educated, critical, and skeptical manner, we can discuss and perhaps uncover whatever truth or non-truth there may be to any and all questions/theories we put forth.

ATS shouldn't be about your beliefs.
That's where this site and the "conspiracy community" as a whole becomes more like a "cult" than an arena of information, discussion, and truth.
We all have our beliefs. I'm not advocating that people should disregard their personal feelings and thoughts. But i am advocating that those beliefs do not belong in the discussion.
(As an aside, I understand many people have had personal experiences and that those should not be dismissed out of hand either. But for the sake of the discussion, those too need to be framed as a personal experience and not as a fact.)
I can believe in Santa Claus but that does not make him any more real. The same goes for any subject. You may believe all of the World leaders are, in fact, reptilians. However, you're personal belief does not inform the discussion nor does it stand as proof or fact.

When I visit ATS and read through the headlines, invariably I see things stated as fact that are anything but. Or, if i do happen to click on a topic and read through the post and it's replies, I find that people respond as if certain ideas/theories/statements are FACT or TRUE. This disheartens me greatly. Instead of engaging each other or discussing the possibility of something being true, we instead get a lot of communal reinforcement and replies that begin with "of course...", "as we all know...", or "I know...". What I mean here is that, not only are people practicing a sort of communal reinforcement, they are also practicing a type of "Confirmation Bias".
People have a set of beliefs and those beliefs are reinforced by others in the community, or they take so-called "evidence" and reinforce those beliefs.
Theories and ideas are stated as FACT or as a given.

I think ATS (and similar sites) are a wonderful tool for people to learn new things and explore ideas. I also believe that these sites can be extremely dangerous.
Why dangerous? Because too many people in this world are ignorant.
When I say ignorant, I don't mean "stupid" or anything like that. I mean it more in a general sense; gullible? Willing to believe?

ESOTERIC KNOWLEDGE. It's the bread and butter of the "conspiracy community". This idea that there is this knowledge or truth known only to a few.
That sort of thing is very attractive to your everyday person. It's what attracts people to religion and, in many ways, "Conspiracy". "Conspiracy" is a religion of sorts.

As I said before, people have beliefs. Most people in this community have a set of beliefs, whether they believe in Aliens, Bigfoot, Ghosts, or any number of conspiracies. They have invested themselves and their identity, to a degree, in these beliefs. They are members of the "Religion of Conspiracy".
Read through the site and imagine that, instead of talking about the New World Order, 9/11, Chem-trails, et al, they are talking about religious beliefs. Not in the "what" but in the "how" they are talking.
There is a cult-like quality to the community as a whole that makes me feel a bit queasy.
People argue about their beliefs as if they are 100% true, the same way someone defends their religious faith.
To me that is scary stuff.
The very nature of "conspiracy" is that the truth is purposefully obscured or hidden.
When people start telling me that something is a FACT yet have nothing to back it up but their personal belief I cry foul. If these things were so readily proven they wouldn't be "conspiracy THEORIES".
They are, indeed, "Theories".
Theory: a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

and that's where i find the problem. somewhere in there the "theory" part of "conspiracy theory" has been dropped. ATS (and it's kind) have degenerated into a place of BELIEFS over THEORIES.

BELIEF: 1. Something believed; an opinion or conviction.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof

As i said, I think people SHOULD have beliefs. We cannot help doing so, it's in our very nature. But those BELIEFS do NOT inform the discussion or further the goal of learning the truth.

If people are going to share their beliefs, i think they should explain that that is what they are. The line between "theory" and "belief" has become so blurred as to be nearly unrecognizable. The unfortunate outcome of this is that you get a lot of people who aren't able to distinguish between the two. Sadly, I find that to be most people.
Nothing should be taken at face value. We should approach everything as skeptics and with a critical eye. That's our job as "conspiracy theorists". We are trying to uncover the TRUTH. We aren't here for FANTASY. We aren't here to treat it as a RELIGION.
I urge you, ATS members, to practice skeptical thinking. I urge you to not let your beliefs become a hindrance in the search for truth. There is so much we could do and truly accomplish if we approach things in a more SCIENTIFIC manner and not a religious one.
I, personally, have many THEORIES but very few BELIEFS when it comes to the topics on ATS. And that's how it should be. There needs to be clear line drawn between THEORY, FACT, and BELIEF.

I am interested in TRUTH.
i understand that, by their very nature, conspiracies (of all types) aren't exactly easy to prove and that evidence is hard to come by. But it's for those same reasons that one should not blindly believe in these same theories. We should discuss, we should search for the truth, but in the end, blindly believing in something is a dangerous thing.
BE A SKEPTIC.
BE CRITICAL.

Here is a list of SKEPTICAL TERMS that one should keep in mind while reading/discussing/posting:
www.thealmightyguru.com...

edit on 5/8/2012 by tothetenthpower because: --Mod Edit--All Caps




posted on May, 8 2012 @ 02:30 PM
link   
Its true people are religiously devoted to this site as well as certain topics. When someone, gives a different opinion of that topic. They go haywire!



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 02:35 PM
link   
reply to post by jjf3rd77
 


That's the problem.
I find it funny that, with all the talk about the MSM, the population at large, and the so-called "sheeple" that believe everything they are told that so many people who engage in "discussion" on ATS are behaving in exactly the same way if not worse.
It's why i stay away from most "discussions" on this site and choose, instead, to do my own research of the topic.
there IS a "Religion of Conspiracy" and you can see it for yourself all over this site.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 02:41 PM
link   
I agree that "wording" statements correctly is important.

People also don't understand the difference between "Fact" and "Scientific Fact", as one is a general consensus theory. Throw in Religious beliefs, propaganda, and left brain indoctrination, and you get a hodge podge of people like you find here on ATS.

I can also argue what "Proof" can really mean.
Can you prove your parents love you? If they do, how can you prove it? Their words could be hollow false statements, where is the proof? In the actions? How can loving actions constitute hard evidence of fact? Sometimes you just know, and you don't need to prove it. Other times, you definitely have to provide proof of wild claims.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 02:43 PM
link   
well it depends because the ATS sheeple think everything they find on YouTube is "proof" Even though Google owns YouTube which is also part of the MSM...Ironic?



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 02:48 PM
link   
reply to post by MuchTooSerious
 


ATS shouldn't be about your beliefs.


Why are you telling us what it should be about..? Regardless of your intent, you seem like someone that just realized the movie you're watching is a comedy/drama rather than a true science fiction movie. Buyer beware...


ATS is the way it is because of the very members you are categorizing...this shouldn't be news to you, but it appears it is. And you seem to forget about the entertainment factor...


I also believe that these sites can be extremely dangerous.


So are scissors in the hands of the mentally challenged...but both comments are subjective fodder, aren't they?


This rant is a no-go...





posted on May, 8 2012 @ 03:48 PM
link   

Originally posted by facelift
reply to post by MuchTooSerious
 


ATS shouldn't be about your beliefs.


Why are you telling us what it should be about..? Regardless of your intent, you seem like someone that just realized the movie you're watching is a comedy/drama rather than a true science fiction movie. Buyer beware...


ATS is the way it is because of the very members you are categorizing...this shouldn't be news to you, but it appears it is. And you seem to forget about the entertainment factor...


I also believe that these sites can be extremely dangerous.


So are scissors in the hands of the mentally challenged...but both comments are subjective fodder, aren't they?


This rant is a no-go...






I'm not TELLING anyone to do anything. But I'm hoping to inform the discussion.
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. It seems you wanted to get off a couple of witty remarks, though I don't find them particularly witty myself.

I'm not here to argue, but expressing a view point. This site's motto is "Deny Ignorance". That's my thesis. If the mission of this website, and the members thereof, is to "Deny Ignorance" It seems I made some rather valid points.

It seems you take issue with that in some way. I'm curious as to why? What is it about my so-called "rant" that bothers you? Is it that I think "belief" has little or no place in the discussion?

How is it that I'm like "someone that just realized the movie you're watching is a comedy/drama rather than
a true science fiction movie."?

I know what ATS is and what it is, purportedly about. I suppose that i should just sit back and continue to watch every discussion devolve until it's the equivalent of a Weekly World News op ed? To see every topic become little more than a joke?
Perhaps it's ok that the discussions come off like the ignorant, crazy ravings of a paranoid schizophrenic and discredit any legitimate research and information that exists. I guess the "entertainment factor" trumps the denial of ignorance.

What place does the "entertainment factor" have in the discussion? As far as I'm concerned, NONE.

My saying that a site like this can be dangerous is in no way analogous to a "scissors in the hand of the mentally challenged".

how either is "subjective fodder" is beyond me. That statement is asinine. neither thing is subjective.
But i can see you're more into the argument than the subject.

I don't believe the site is, in itself, dangerous, but the actions of it's members can be. Not purposefully, perhaps, but when we allow the discussion to be based on BELIEF and not fact or evidence, we aren't denying ignorance we are fostering it.
Too many people believe what they read and don't do the research. they hear something and run with it. Therein lies the danger; disseminating BELIEF as FACT. Ignorance is always dangerous. This is what leads people to doing things like not vaccinating their children or selling off all they have because they think the Rapture is coming or that they need to head for the hills with their families. that attitude and behavior is so like religious fanaticism. In fact, they are one in the same. That's why I called it the RELIGION OF CONSPIRACY.
People are gullible. People are willing to believe all types of silly things with little or no proof.
We, as a community, need to be better than that. We should, truly, deny ignorance. I take issue with the "Religion of conspiracy" and it's adherents. Too many people are being converted, if you will.
Being an ATS member doesn't make you somehow smarter than other people or less susceptible to believing outright bull&$#*. Those supposed "sheeple" out there are well represented on ATS and they buy into things here just as much as anywhere else.
I've actually heard people say "Did you know that the Mayans are going to kill everyone in 2012". That's the result that some of these "BELIEFS" have on people. Ignorance is alive and well on ATS.

My wish is for people to THINK. Approach every subject as a skeptic and with a critical mind. If you take issue with that then I'm not sure what to tell you. you obviously aren't here for truth or to deny ignorance.

Again, i'm not sure what, exactly, you take issue with. I know plenty of people make their living off of the "Religion of Conspiracy" through books, websites, lectures... or selling goods (food, weapons, security systems, etc). Television makes a great deal of money off of it (Ancient Aliens, et al.)
If we want TRUTH and to be taken at ALL seriously we need to weed this garden and tend it carefully. If you're content with how things are, so be it. I guess if it's all a matter of the "Entertainment Factor" then none of what I said matters.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 03:57 PM
link   
reply to post by MuchTooSerious
 





The Religion of Conspiracy


Wow!! What a rant!

S&F for your time and effort to put it all together!

Yeah, maybe the more deeply devoted conspiracy theorists could be said to follow a religion... or cult, as it were. But... in my ever-so-humble opinion, I think the drive to places likeATS and such are less about fulfilling inner needs than feeding our natural, human curiosities that are spurred on by things that happen that defy logic and common sense.

For instance... how does one set aside million... tens of millions of UFO sighting and encounters by people from all walks/ Do we latch on to the official story of denial or do we say... hey, how do this many people make the same mistake over and over again? In a court of law, some of the eyewitness accounts would be part of official record. But under the header of UFO... they are ignored.

Same goes for a hundred others... 9.11 doesn't add up. It's not that people WANT to distrust their government...but, damn! When hours of video and certain evidence is still being held from the public record, you have to wonder why.

So, no. A religion it is not... at least, for most of us. It may be a hobby, could be a pastime... might even be a life calling for research. But there is no real faith involved. I believe in God based on my faith... but I distrust my government based on experience.

Nice work... hope your comments come in as good debate and not as gladiatorial combat.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 04:03 PM
link   

Originally posted by JibbyJedi
I agree that "wording" statements correctly is important.

People also don't understand the difference between "Fact" and "Scientific Fact", as one is a general consensus theory. Throw in Religious beliefs, propaganda, and left brain indoctrination, and you get a hodge podge of people like you find here on ATS.

I can also argue what "Proof" can really mean.
Can you prove your parents love you? If they do, how can you prove it? Their words could be hollow false statements, where is the proof? In the actions? How can loving actions constitute hard evidence of fact? Sometimes you just know, and you don't need to prove it. Other times, you definitely have to provide proof of wild claims.




Comparing proof of "love" to the sort of "proof" I'm talking about is tenuous at best.
I'm not saying that every claim should be tossed out if there is no proof. But people should understand that, without proof, all we have are THEORIES and not FACTS. If we don't have any FACTS then there really is no basis for BELIEF.
If you DO believe, despite the lack of any proof, that becomes a matter of FAITH. That FAITH is then more akin to a RELIGIOUS BELIEF than it is any sort of TRUTH.
Of all the various "conspiracy theories" out there, very few have any proof. What we do have is circumstantial at best and a lot of BELIEF. I take umbrage with people saying something IS a fact or discussing a subject as if it is fact when it isn't. For instance, when people talk about "The Gray aliens" or the "Annunaki" as if it is a fact and not just a theory or an idea. (That goes for any number of topics. That was for example only.)
While I have some issue with the History Channel's 'Ancient aliens' program, i do like that they say "Many Ancient Alien Theorists BELIEVE...". They don't put it forth as FACT or TRUTH but as a BELIEF. (though the actual people being interviewed state their beliefs as facts far too often.). the show and channel are careful to couch their statements as beliefs and not facts. That is all I want from the members of ATS. A recognition of the difference and an effort to frame our discussions in that way.
We must remember that 99.999% of the topics discussed on ATS ARE, indeed, THEORIES.
When there is proof, then highlight the proof. If not, then discuss the theory. But we should refrain from making absolute statements about things that have no basis in reality or on any real fact.
Aliens MAY exist. Here is my theory.
9/11 MAY have been an inside job. Here is my theory.
The Annunaki MAY have created human being to mine gold. Here is my theory.
Planet X/Nibiru may exist. Here is my theory..
None of it is fact. None of it is PROVEN. So we need to stop taking these things as a matter of fact and making absolute statements.

Yes, proof could, in some ways, be subjective, but it needs to be definitive.
We can't keep using phony argumentative techniques to bolster claims.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 04:23 PM
link   
reply to post by redoubt
 


thank you for appreciating, at least, the work.
I understand your point and agree with you.
Skepticism works both ways. We should be skeptical of what we are told and skeptical of what we tell others.
I'm all for research and the quest for truth. If there is a conspiracy or there is something unexplained, we should be digging anjd digging until we find the truth.
My issue only comes at those that, without proof of any kind, or even some circumstantial evidence, make proclamations about subjects. One cannot definitively say that "bigfoot" exists, that ghosts are real, that the Annunaki created man, that there are UFOs... We simply don't have the proof. Circumstantial, yes. If you choose to believe, then go right ahead. I think you should if thats what you feel. But that belief does nothing to inform the research and the truth.
I, personally, believe in ghosts. I've had experiences, yet I'm not going to say that they are, in fact, real. I have no real proof. It's a belief, but a belief in and of itself is not good enough.
People putting forth BELIEF as PROOF only hurts our collective cause. It makes us look, well, crazy.
Everything is a theory until proven.
I encourage belief. But I think that belief can cloud the subject. It's hard to have a real discussion if things that aren't fact are given as such.
Some people will swear up and down that certain things are true. For instance: There ARE UFO's at Area 51. None of us actually KNOW that yet it's a widely held BELIEF. The belief, though, doesn't make it any more true.

When I come to ATS and start reading I'm almost immediately turned off. People are so wrapped up in their beliefs here, more so than fact. They talk about things as if they are known FACTS and just "how it is". And I understand that. I tend to be interested in the paranormal based on my experiences. And there is a time and place to share my personal experiences, but again, they are in no way proof. I believe Ghosts haunt many places and i believe i've encountered these spirits on numerous occasions. But i can't say "These are the spirits of deceased people and this is why they are here." I just can't. I have nothing to back that up. i have theories, but thats all. We can't take a theory as a truth or a fact. We can research it. Discuss it. Try to find proof. But to say it's an absolute is silly.

Why I call it religious is because, in many ways, it is like a religion or a cult. Not in practice but in idea. People have these beliefs. And, to them, thats good enough. You dont need proof. But whatever bolsters your belief you accept and if it contradicts it you shun it. Either way they tend to be very personal and, no doubt, people get angry when those beliefs are questioned.
All I want is for people to be skeptics. Use their critical thinking skills and approach these subjects as a researcher and not as a "believer".

Anyway, sorry for the long reply.
I couldn't write a short reply if I tried.

If this site wanted to truly deny ignorance they should get rid of the S&F.




top topics



 
2

log in

join