Home > Uncategorized > An Atheist’s Perspective: The Difference is only in the Godhead

An Atheist’s Perspective: The Difference is only in the Godhead

The defining feature of conspiracy theories is the insertion of intent into world events. Events which may be the result of a single individual, a large group, or a series of coincidences; are given an over-arching narrative voice by which the expression of the intent is the direct result of the will of an individual or cabal which wishes to have no obvious presence in the world. This means that the world, as we understand it to be, does not regard us with the indifference that it actually does. Every individual has some kind of part to play, some matter of importance to overall plan–whether its being a cog in the wheel, or the space between the cog (I have no idea what that is called but I’ll bet it has a name, probably a Dutch name). This is because whatever it is that it is running the show needs to pay attention to everyone so that the plan can come to fruition.

Despite the nefariousness that is usually posited by conspiracy theorists the difference between religious thinking is not here. Anyone believing in the various religions believes also that no matter how small the various person may be in their relationship to the world they still have a place of importance within the divine plan. The role of intent still plays a vital role in the events of the world. Nothing can happen without the invisible hand of the divine (or at the very least, it’s tacit consent). The divine in this case special attention to the believer, who for good or for ill believes that they can act in accordance with this attention.

In all cases the believer can only have a belief in the wishes of the master(s) of the world. They can have books, arguments, authority figures, etc. all giving the nature of what the will may be; but this is all regarded as a matter of faith. There is no direct evidence of what the overlords or gods of the world want, at best all we have is second hand knowledge. Ultimately the problem of both is that they can do nothing but proclaim judgments on act-types, as either being part of the conspiracy or a sinful act, but when pressed about the present, only vague ambiguous declarations can be made. The gods and the conspiracy masters are never more advanced than the people which follow/create them.

I’m not sure who would be more insulted by the comparison, especially considering there is significant overlap between the two. But I get the impression that the average religious person would be more insulted being lumped together with what they might perceive as the enemy. Conversely, it would be easy to see a conspiracist upset about being lumped in with a Catholic or member of some religion which they perceive as being part of the grand conspiracy.

Is there a consistent commonality between the two? Yes, the primary differences between them are accidental. The chief difference being, that with religion one is seeking to gain the favor of the world’s master while the conspiracist seeks to thwart it. As I can see it, this is the chief difference. What they both have in common is much more essential to both; the belief of an omnipotent power controlling the world’s activities, more so the tragedies  rather than the boons of mankind, this power’s unlimited authority and ability both fall into the epicurean dilemma and the Agrippan trilemma. The proof for both relies on loose connections, second hand evidence, hearsay, as well as the reliance on the physically impossible and absurd. In some ways we could switch the two without much trouble. The day to day behavior would not be much different–minus the devotion to the supernatural. The conspiracist at least believes in the power of the human intellect to run the world, and it must be enslaved to the laws of the physical world.  No matter what, the two believers posit an omniscient force that cannot be thwarted, no matter what the set back it all is revealed as being part of the master plan. If the particulars are removed perhaps the major cleaving between them is that the world masters of conspiracism have to take a much more active role in the world then the divine powers asserted by the religious. Otherwise in belief and act of the believers the two have much more in common than they have apart.

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