Thursday, April 16, 2020

Quarantine Dangers - Conspiracy Theories

"Conspiracy is the myth of the modern age."

Today begins a series on the dangers that are facing us in a quarantine age.  Beyond the virus, the dangers we are creating for ourselves, informing how we respond to this crisis and how we interact with those around us.

These are dangers that are growing via social media, in particular.  We're at home, we are generally connected for far too much of the day, and we are looking for ways to explain what we are going through.

Think about it, myths existed to explain the world around us.  They told how the world was created, why it rained, how the sun rose and where it went, etc.  They even explained why bad things happened, either as a punishment from the gods or as a result of a god's actions.

When we feel powerless, when we feel out of control, we come up with an explanation for it.  And the most obvious way we explain the world around us today is through conspiracy theories.  The "Men in Black."  Deep-state government.  George Soros.  The Koch Brothers.  The Clinton Assassinations.  The anti-vaccination movement.  9-11 was an inside job.  And so on, and so on.

All based on emotion rather than fact.  All selectively choosing information, ignoring other facts and science, and reacting based on what feels correct.  What fits the narrative that they have created.

Right now, conspiracy is running rampant.

The coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab and was leaked or intentionally released.  Bill Gates created and released the virus so he can profit from the vaccine he is creating.  The future vaccine for this virus will contain a microchip that will be the Mark of the Beast.  The virus deaths are being exaggerated and the media is lying to us regarding the severity as part of a deep state plot to perform a test run of taking over the country and subjecting us to martial law and stealing our rights.


Some of these take the smallest piece of fact and stretch it to the maximum extent possible. They then generate an often outlandish tale of good and evil.  That's really the thing - conspiracies help us make things orderly.  They get there in an overly complicated way, but they are generally very orderly.  This person, this group does this for money, for greed, for power.  It clearly delineates good guys and bad guys in stark black and white terms.

Real life is messier.  People screw up.  They act against traditional motivations.  They play against type.  It doesn't follow a straight line.  "Good guys" do bad things with the best intentions.  "Bad guys" do good things for the wrong reasons.

Further, any conspiracy involving the government gives them too much credit for efficiency.  Just look at how long it took them to come together to approve the stimulus and then to delay it so that our dear leader could sign it and make sure he got his attribution.

Conspiracies require groups of people acting in concert and keeping things secret for far longer than people are actually able to do.  Few people will die to protect the truth.  None will die to protect a lie.

In the current situation, each of the Coronavirus theories above has much simpler, more fact based explanations.

The WHO has found no evidence that the virus was created in a Chinese lab.  Coronavirus, generally, is a very common naturally occurring virus.  This one just mutated to affect us, and some of us greatly.

Bill Gates had the foresight to see that a viral pandemic would be possible in the future and has been working on eliminating malaria for a long time. It would seem natural, given his philanthropy, he would be working to find a vaccine.  And he will be taking a loss in the process.  We should promote this kind of action by billionaires.

Any future vaccine will be necessary to stop the spreading.  No one will take the Mark of the Beast unknowingly.  If you believe that, you need to re-read Revelation.  To take the Mark of the Beast, you will know that you are being required to worship the Beast.

The discussion of the exaggeration of viral deaths is part conspiracy and part misinformation/gaslighting.  It's relying on anecdotal evidence based on a specific location to extrapolate it to the world. "It's not affecting me, so it can't be that bad."

It's our job to combat this.  It's our job to check sources.  To verify the news agency's bias.  If you are getting information from Breitbart, it is less trustworthy than NPR or the BBC, regardless of whether you want to believe this or not.

If you are a Christian, it is especially vital, as we are to be ministers of truth, not conspiracy or misinformation.

I get it, we may not like the truth right now.  We may feel powerless.  We may feel out of control.  But we gain nothing by spreading useless conspiracies. In fact, we risk minimizing people's losses and pain.  We risk actively making the situation worse, by ignoring the actual sound advice we have been given.

Let's focus on the truth, on reality for a while, and promote efforts that bring us together.

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