Catching Up on Items from Facebook, about Conspiracy Theories and Religion

  • “If you don’t know how anything works, everything looks like a conspiracy.”
  • The conspiracy theory about Taylor Swift and the Super Bowl, which seems not to have happened, today;
  • Facebook posts about American accents, how the Bible and Quran contain only ancient knowledge, a presumptive proof of God, that Y2K statement I quoted earlier, and two absurdist takes on Christian theology.

Items from Facebook.

I’ll try linking to these posts, but some may not work, e.g. if they were directed only at friends, not the world. I’ll quote the text here in any case.

Steve Silverman, via Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

If you don’t know how anything works, everything looks like a conspiracy.


OK, here’s one that’s not from Facebook, but it fits with the above. It’s a current event, today.

CNN, 14 Feb 2024: 1 in 3 Republicans believes baseless Taylor Swift election conspiracy theory, poll finds

I’ll quote just the opening so a year from now I can remember what this nonsense was about.

About one-third of Republicans say they believe Taylor Swift is involved in a covert government effort to help Joe Biden win the 2024 presidential election, a poll published Wednesday from Monmouth University found.

The absurd and baseless conspiracy theory in question, which was popularized in right-wing media ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, alleges Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was fabricated by the government as part of a sprawling psychological operations plot. The goal of the purported plot is that the Chiefs’ victory on Sunday would present Swift with an even larger pulpit from which to endorse Biden, swinging the 2024 presidential election in his favor.

While the pop superstar endorsed Biden ahead of the 2020 election and has encouraged her fans to vote in recent years, there is no factual evidence to support the conspiracy theory that has quickly moved from the fringe into the public discourse.

My comment: most believers in conspiracy theories have *no clue* about how difficult it would be to stage the conspiracies they believe in. Because, comment above; they don’t know how the world works. Or perhaps, as I’ve said before (this is my own original thought, not something I read somewhere), it’s because conservatives, especially the religious ones, are basically magical thinkers, trained by religions to take assertions at face value — especially if they appeal to their view of who’s good and who’s bad in the world — without the least understanding of reason, or how claims should be based on evidence and plausibility.

As for this piece, is there anything new here we can conclude, boys and girls? Or haven’t we known this all along?

Finally: as of this evening, 5pm West Coast time, there’s no report of Taylor Swift being at the parade in Kansas City. Instead, there was a shooting! CNN: 1 dead, 20 shot!. How American!


Back to Facebook. Misspellings and bad grammar retained; every one of these is quoted [sic].

One of Don D’Ammassa’s Adventures in ignorance posts:

[redacted]: but you do have an accent? An American accent? I don’t know which specific one but everyone has an accent?

[redacted]: thanks but I don’t have an accent. I’m from the Midwest, we don’t speak with accents here!

[redacted]: [redacted] is right. Americans spoke a non-accented version of English in the 1700s. I believe British people spoke the same English but they decided to change it in the 1800s and developed an accent over time. So now Americans speak a more neutral form of English which is why we don’t have accents! Hope that clears it up!

This kind of thinking applies to religion, too, of course.


One of those basic truths it occurs to some of us, early on.

Ken Granderson at The Sarcastic Atheist

There is not a single line in the Bible or the Quran that could not have been authored by a first century person. There are pages and pages about how to sacrifice animals, and keep slaves, and who to kill, and why. There is nothing about electricity. There is nothing about DNA, There is nothing about infectious disease, the principles of infectious disease. There is nothing particularly useful, and theres a lot of iron age barbarism in there, and superstition. And this is not a candid book, I mean I can go into any Barnes and Noble blindfolded and pull a book off the shelf which is going to have more relevance, more wisdom for the 21st century than the Bible or the Quran. Its really not an exaggeration; every one of our specific sciences has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of scripture.


A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Charles Ernst post at The Sarcastic Atheist, quoting “Warrior Of Christ”.

Its mathematical proof of God. Tell my why water boils at 100°C and why it freezes at 0°C atheists?


I think I’ve quoted this before. This is a statement I endorse.

Steve Lieber via Chaz Brenchly

Y2K was 21 years ago. Looking back, I think the only thing we learned is that if a bunch people work really hard to stop a problem from happening, lots of other people will assume it was never really a problem.


Kevin Whiteley at The Sarcastic Atheist:

More religious logic:

I’m going to create man and woman with original sin. Then I’m going to impregnate a woman with myself as her child, so that I can be born. Once alive, I will kill myself as a sacrifice to myself. To save you from the sin I originally condemned you to. Ta dah!!!

Whereas the study of how myths arise and evolve is pretty interesting, and of course much more plausibly explains the conflation of earlier myths that has become Christian orthodoxy.


Will Hampton at The Sarcastic Atheist, alongside an image of a bloody penguin.

God can’t exist because of Eric The God-Eating Magic Penguin. Since Eric is God-Eating by definition, he has no choice but to eat God. So, if God exists, He automatically ceases to exist as a result of being eaten. Unless you can prove that Eric doesn’t exist, God doesn’t exist. Even if you can prove that Eric doesn’t exist, that same proof will also be applicable to God.

There are only two possibilities: either you can prove that Eric doesn’t exist or you can’t.

In both cases it logically follows that God doesn’t exist.

Of course this resembles many of the casuistic “proofs” of God that if God is defined as being perfect, he therefore must exist, and so on. And the teapot argument whereby if you can’t prove something (a teapot orbiting Mars) doesn’t exist, then it must. All fallacious.


Enough for now.

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