Conspiracy, evil, and the slippery slope

It’s bad enough that religious people think that their fairy tale is real. This lack of a grip on reality should be disturbing enough. That the majority of elected officials in the country have the additional belief that they have an imaginary friend that validates their hateful ideas is frightening. But like religion itself, it gets worse.

The worse thing is a severe victim complex, and the constant fighting against fake oppression.

Have you noticed everything oppresses the majority of people in the US? If you don’t say “Merry Christmas”, you are oppressing them. Now, a normal person would laugh at such a stupid idea. But no, I assure you that many Christians get wildly upset, may I say inappropriately upset, over this almost ridiculously mundane greeting. Fuck, we greet each other almost every day with the question “how are you”, while never actually expecting a legitimate answer. It’s more reflexive than demonstrable of legitimate, human compassion. But don’t slip up and say “Happy Holidays!” The wrath of GOD will be brought to bear on your destruction!

Like any wildly inappropriate and out-of-context anger, the real issue has nothing to do with the stated issue. Instead, it is some deeply held belief, upon which the actual action has merely bumped against. And Christians really believe at their very core that they are fighting a constant war against those that wish to destroy their way of life, by way of telling them that they have a stupid belief.

You see, when you live your whole life looking through a lens with a specific worldview, it is hard to see the world in any other light. This is why formerly religious atheists frequently use language like “the wool being pulled from their eyes”, or the ability to “see clearly”. Having never seen the world from any other viewpoint, the religious people see an attack on their stupid beliefs as an attack on their entire way of life. They can’t even conceive of a world where their religion doesn’t exist or isn’t real. Nothing would make sense to them anymore, since they always looked at things from just that one viewpoint. They married for their god, got a job for the glory of their god, saw their god in the trees and their children, acted in the best interest of their god, and gave their god all the credit. Stupid and with blinders on, they fear what would happen if they considered other ideas, so they label them “evil.” And if the ideas are “evil”, then they are both easily dismissed without consideration AND make fighting the idea a moral imperative. They don’t understand it, but they know they hate it!

And once you “know” you hate something, it’s pretty easy to assume the worst. A Muslim elected official? The entire country will be ruined! Gay people getting married? Society will crumble! Legal abortion? God will smite us!

I know, it sounds ridiculous. How will letting gay people marry crumble society? Those are barely related ideas! Yet through the magic of the slippery slope fallacy, all you have to do is assume if something happens, then necessarily it means the results will be the most catastrophic outcome possible. Here is the thought process, or at least the emotional reaction: Gay people marrying means straight people won’t care about marriage meaning children will all be born out of wedlock meaning children will be raised without a family meaning they will be raised without love and in horrible conditions meaning they won’t grow up to care about laws meaning the future will just be rape, theft, murder, and tribalism which means society has crumbled. Classic slippery slope, and classically fallacious.

And if you think this slippery slope is ridiculous when the starting point is a real thing, imagine how crazy it gets when the starting point is completely made up! Conspiracy gullibility is prevalent in religious circles. After all, conspiracy theories are beliefs, without evidence, of covert but negatively influential plans and actions. It’s just the flip side of religion which is belief, without evidence, of special knowledge that is positively influential. And hell, their religious beliefs almost REQUIRE conspiracy theories. If their religion is true, then there must be an evilness somewhere screwing thing up. And since the real world rarely has villains in masks trying to kill everyone, they have to invent something to account for their god’s apathy.

Certain politicians and businesses, aware that there were stupid people voting stupidly, made the conscious decision to court them. So suddenly, abortion is a political issue. And now one party owns the religious vote. And since that party is the “good” party, the other party must therefore be “evil.” So now everything the GOP wants becomes good, even if it is completely backward from the teachings of the religion. Meanwhile, a politician that fills every moral requirement they say they want in a candidate is derided as “evil” merely for being in the wrong party. So evil, they probably secretly traffic children and eat babies! Seriously. They believe that.

The end result of all of this is we have a large voting block that believes in the craziest conspiracy theories, believes one side of the political aisle is evil and the other side are saints, and considers policy issues to be moral imperatives. Any policy position relating to guns, Covid masks or immunizations, gays, renewable resources, global warming, religious monuments in public spaces, immigration, saying “under god” in the Pledge of Allegiance, teaching evolution or critical race theory, or taxes are not mere policy proposals to these folks. No, they are attacks on freedom, and if they give an inch the “evil government” will try and take a mile, and that mile will be a move to Satan.

This is why religious voters speak, act, and vote stupidly. They are convinced and concerned about made-up things, they are fighting evil, and failure to fight this evil will result in the downfall of humanity. That’s quite an epic battle for something as mundane as safety wear. But it is a battle they are willing to over-react for.

The Spartan Atheist

3 thoughts on “Conspiracy, evil, and the slippery slope

  1. Dear thespartanatheist,

    I commend you for your effort in highlighting the threats of religion-driven extremism.

    It is going to be a very tall order for the Biden presidency (or any presidency for that matter) to turn things around. It would have been much easier if some Republican senators had been far more honest and incorruptible, for they have been very greedy, uninspired, cowardly and lack criminal, moral and political accountabilities. It is all quite a big mess in danger of getting bigger still.

    2021 is more than 85% gone and the GOP is still on trial and has fared no better and seems to be getting (much) worse.

    I have attempted to sum up and reflect deeply the state of affairs in my extensive and analytical post entitled “💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 🦠“, particularly in the last section named “Denouement: Democracy, Education, Legislation & Sustainability“.

    The age of Anthropocene could indeed be a very short one, as humanity seems to be plunging headlong into creating and facing a ghastly future, as explicated in my said post, which you can easily locate at the Home page of my website.

    Wishing you a productive weekend doing or enjoying whatever that satisfies you the most!

    Happy November to you soon!

    Yours sincerely,SoundEagle

    Liked by 2 people

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