I recently joined a web site that deals mostly with conspiracy theories. As expected, there’s a lot of posts on this site that are just so far out of the realm of reality that I find it hard to believe people actually believe them.
There was a post this morning where someone asked what each person has done to “awaken” those around them, to tell the public “the truth”. I responded saying that all I’m personally concerned about is my wife, and close friends. The world, itself, can crash and burn for all I care.
Other than that, running around spouting conspiracy theories isn’t going to get you any positive attention. I still find conspiracy theories fascinating, but I personally believe the majority is complete rubbish.
I try to approach each topic as a skeptic. That’s not because I’m hoping to disprove everything, but because I’m hoping to run into something that actually stands up to logical thought. Something where the proper questions are asked, and the possibility still exists even after the answers are found.
For example, do I believe in aliens? Ya, I’d have to say that I do believe in the possibility. To me, based on the scientific reading that I’ve done, it seems to me that it would be stranger if we are the only life out there. I think the truly amazing thing would be to find that we are the only life in the universe. For me, that would be much harder to swallow. I think this is a logical stance to have based on the information we have right now. Using that to suggest that reptile aliens are controlling our government? Ya, that’s pretty nutty in my mind, and it wouldn’t stand up to even the most basic logical questions, so I reject the idea as ridiculous.
A large problem I have with making people see “the truth” is that truth is somewhat subjective. People want to believe there’s mystery in life so bad that they will see conspiracy in the oddest places. I won’t fault people for wanting the mystery. In fact I think that’s one of the largest problems with the world right now; the lack of mystery. As science makes increasingly far-reaching discoveries, it chips away at some of the mystery that’s surrounded our lives as human beings. I worry what will happen when there’s no mystery left. Honestly, I think we might end up worse off than we are now.
The real way to change the world is to start local. By local I mean yourself, your family and friends. If you choose to “enlighten” someone, make sure you’ve asked those skeptical questions (after all, whoever you tell will ask them and put you on the spot, so better to have already thought about it and be able to respond). If a “truth” can’t hold up to the most basic questions, what you’re believing is probably false, or at least has to be rethought.
Also remember that you are still “sheep” if you blindly believe something regardless of where you learn it. Going along with popular conspiracy theories simply because many other people believe it, when you’ve done no research and asked no questions yourself, is still being a “sheep”.