'My religion/conspiracy theory EXPLAINS WHAT ALTERNATIVE THEORIES CAN'T and is CONSISTENT WITH THE EVIDENCE'


The recipe for generating a successful new religion or conspiracy theory usually involves two key components:

1. identify supposed 'mysteries' that an appeal to your preferred unseen intelligence (MIB, God, gremlins, fairies, the CIA) operating behind the scene easily solves (e.g. why the twin towers came down like that, how life began, why you can't find your keys).

2. be ingenious at explaining stuff away. Any apparent evidence against your theory can always be accounted for given some ingenuity , e.g. if you believe in young earth creationism, cook up explanations for the fossil record, etc.; if you believe in a good, loving god, cook up explanations for all the horrendous suffering we see in nature; if you believe the royal family are alien shape-shifters, cook up explanations for why they're never spotted in alien form, how they could possibly have got here, infiltrated the royal blood line, etc. Consistency with the available evidence can always, by such means, be achieved.

So, you can now (often correctly!) declare that:

(i) your new religion or conspiracy theory explains, by appeal to hidden agency, what orthodox theories do not or cannot, and

(ii) your new belief system is also consistent with the evidence!

If you think your belief system is reasonable because it ticks boxes (i) and (ii), I suggest you think again. Many utterly ludicrous belief systems also tick both boxes. That can't be the reason your belief system is reasonable, if indeed it is...

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