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As athiest/agnostics we're already pretty skeptical. Would you consider yourself a conspiracy theorist? Do you find it common to meet a lot of athiest/agnostics that believe in really "out there" ideas?

If you have met someone with really out there ideas, what were they?

Alexandra96 3 Feb 22

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I believe organized religion is a conspiracy.

JimG Level 8 Feb 23, 2018
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It's funnny you should ask actually, I just watched a doc about ancient alien visitors apparently helping the ancient Egyptians build pyramids with outlandishly superior tech. This seems silly to me, but who am I to say anything differently ? I would say something like "where's your proof", but the same question could be asked to me in response to me claiming the opposite. but the root of it seems to be "who the hell cares anyway".... my life is rich and rewarding to me regardless of whether or not I believe or don't believe these cockamamie theories

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No.

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I generally do not buy into conspiracies but I know some who do. They even have a convention for them. I know, I gave it the name they currently use.

BUT

I was in the military and was at a couple of places that most people have never heard of and never will. And while I have known some shit, I also know that what I knew was nothing compared to what others knew and know for which I have no 'need to know'. I was in the military during the Iranian hostage crisis and was involved in a related military operation.

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A good friend of mine, may he RIP, was a really "out there" conspiracy theorist. What's worse, he didn't seem to have a grasp of the concept of proof. The best example of this is a conversation he and I had one day about chemtrails.

I don't remember how the conversation started, but I probably commented on something he posted on FB. His assertion was that you can tell chemtrails from contrails because contrails dissipate and chemtrails don't. I told him that makes no sense because if someone wanted to disperse chemicals, and it worked, then the trial would dissipate. I further told him that planes create contrails all the time and they sometimes persist. He insisted that is impossible because their engines aren't powerful enough to create persistent contrails. (I did not get into it with him about where contrails come from and that it has little to do directly with the engines.)

A few days later, it just so happened that I saw a commercial jet flying almost directly above me, and it was flying into and out of pockets of air that were, apparently, drier and/or warmer than the surrounding air. The effect was that it would leave a persistent contrail, then for a while the contrails would initially be visible but then dissipate, then persistence again, etc. It created a long contrail, with gaps. So I snapped a photo.

I showed my friend the photo and explained to him what I had seen, and he was befuddled. However, he was adamant that chemtrails exist and showed me a "study" that "proves beyond a shadow of a doubt" their existence. Trying to be open-minded, I looked at his proof. It was nothing of the sort, although he couldn't understand the problem.

Essentially, chemtrail conspiracy believers would take samples of soil from the ground below where they believed they had seen chemtrails. They then would have this soil analyzed for pollutants. Many of these samples were, apparently, collected near airports. Nearly all of the samples came back as having been contaminated with one thing or another, and this was supposedly proof that chemtrails exist and the government is using them to poison the American people.

We went around and around about this, and I tried to explain that there is no direct correlation between what was seen thousands of feet in the sky and what was found in the soil below. I told him it was possible that the samples around the airport had been contaminated by aircraft exhaust, but that didn't prove anything about chemtrails. He insisted that I was simply refusing to see the truth, and that I must be a statist for thinking the government is so benevolent.

I am no statist, and I trust the government about as far as I can throw the Capitol building. However, I don't believe that chemtrails are a thing, nor do I believe most of the conspiracy theories out there. The way I see it, the only things most people think they know comes from the idiot box in their living room (or the Internet,) so they don't know as much as they think they do. It's no real surprise that there are conspiracy theories out there. As for me, I am as skeptical about conspiracy theories as I am about the mainstream media's news coverage (which is primarily ratings-based and therefore akin to entertainment.)

Don't believe everything you hear, don't believe everything you read, and don't believe about half of what you think you see. None of us really knows what the hell is going on.

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I disagree that atheist and agnostic are skeptical. Organized non believers might be a little more. I was just at an meeting with a non believer group this weekend and a member was talking to me about astrology and other such thing. I have atheist friends tell me that science is bullshit. I just don't know how people justify the idea that non believers are more rational.

JeffB Level 6 Feb 22, 2018
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Some here are “out there”

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There are a lot of things out there that are fun to believe in. All you've got to do is switch your brain off. I've also noticed that a lot of conspiracy theorist are mean spirited people. Especially those you believe for example that the Sandy Hook School killings are fake. It demonstrates a total lack of empathy to anyone. And that's actually evil, to use a religious term.

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Depends...I tend to think the NRA is a terrorist organization. Does that count?

I'm not sure what you mean by "out there" but as an agnostic I feel is absurd to discount any possibilities because the evidence is not in. Don't get me started on that!

I also find it absurd so many want to argue the unknowable while theists destroy the world through their wars, climate change denial, support of the current US administration's social injustice and propagation of "alternative facts",...in my opinion, we have far bigger fish to fry than ceaselessly debate whether pantheism is a possible "god theory".

I understand why a lot of people don't like the NRA. But you believe the NRA is using terror tactics to scare the public for political end?

That and financial gain, though the "terror" is convincing simpleton theists we're trying to take their guns and overthrow democracy. Did you see their president's speech this morning?

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