Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lies, damn lies and 'counterknowledge'

"We do not normally think of creationism and maverick physics as conspiracy theories; but what they have in common with Loose Change is a methodology that marks them as counterknowledge. People who share a muddled, careless or deceitful attitude towards gathering evidence often find themselves drawn to each other's fantasies. If you believe one wrong or strange thing, you are more likely to believe another. Although this has been true for centuries, the invention of the internet has had a galvanising effect. A rumour about the Antichrist can leap from Goths in Sweden to Australian fascists in seconds. Minority groups are becoming more tolerant of each other's eccentric doctrines. Contacts between white and black racists are now flourishing; in particular, the growing anti-Semitism of black American Muslims has been a great ice-breaker on the neo-Nazi circuit."

Damian Thompson, Daily Telegraph, 12/01/2008
I fear this book is getting more and more important every day. Conspiracy theories is clearly the new religion, even for non-religious people. It suits both theists, agnostics and atheists that have complete disregard for reason.While the rest of us go were evidence takes us, the conspiracy theorists use selected facts to build a case around their twisted worldview.
Atheists need to treat this like any other religion, even when it poses like critique of religion, like the hapless Zeitgeist movie. (Any person that actually suggests that Jesus was born 25th December, year 0 or that this is even so central to Christian beliefs that the position of stars that night are of importance - need to have his or her head examined.)

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