Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Warren
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Sandy wrote:
fyodor wrote:I always thought this was a joke. People used to say, Oh sure there's a "society", but they don't really believe that stuff. But apparently... they do?

They say their movement is growing, as people learn the facts! Will you be next.....?

(The persecution thing in the headline isn't really borne out in the article other than that they get called "stupid" a lot.)
It may have been tongue in cheek at one point, though I suspect True Believers™ were always there, but it's definitely become A Thing because...too much spare time and easy reinforcement? Dunno.
Back in the 90's I mingled with some flat earthers. The point was to demonstrate the difficulty in understanding how you know what you know. They say something patently false, "the earth is flat" and then proceed to counter all the challenges to their thesis. It works because the earther is well prepared and his victim is starting with "that's silly". It can be a fun exercise. It can also be use in a mean way that is not at all fun. Of course there were always a few true believers. I suspect, this new "growth" is just the true believer faction can splitting off.
The opinions which are still persecuted strike the majority as so monstrous and immoral that the general principle of toleration cannot be held to apply to them. But this is exactly the same view as that which made possible the tortures of the Inquisition. - Bertrand Russell
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Jennifer
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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How do flat earthers explain tall things disappearing over the horizon bottom-first, or appearing top-first? Even if they've never lived in a coastal area and seen the stereotypical ship vanishing or appearing over the horizon, surely they've driven over flat land and seen very tall buildings appear or recede in the distance? (I've made the joking explanation it was because of lower air pressure as elevation rises, but the key word is joking.)
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Jennifer wrote:How do flat earthers explain tall things disappearing over the horizon bottom-first, or appearing top-first? Even if they've never lived in a coastal area and seen the stereotypical ship vanishing or appearing over the horizon, surely they've driven over flat land and seen very tall buildings appear or recede in the distance? (I've made the joking explanation it was because of lower air pressure as elevation rises, but the key word is joking.)
Excellent skeptical series here:

Hindu is the cricket of religions. You can observe it for years, you can have enthusiasts try to explain it to you, and it's still baffling. - Warren
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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I can't listen to audio where I am. Can you give a brief summary of the flat-earth explanation of why and how tall items appear or vanish over the horizon as they do?
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Jennifer wrote:I can't listen to audio where I am. Can you give a brief summary of the flat-earth explanation of why and how tall items appear or vanish over the horizon as they do?
Nnnooooooo please don't make me go down that rabbit hole....throw me in the briar patch...
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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I wonder if we can start a conspiracy theory that the solar eclipse on Aug 21, 2017 is actually a test of a secret CIA weapon that can put out the sun.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Interesting article about the Evangelical to QAnon pipeline
Howerton believes it’s no accident that QAnon has taken hold among evangelicals now: they are facing tremendous cognitive dissonance. “I was raised evangelical Christian Republican. There is nothing that makes sense for Trump with any of the values that I was raised with,” she says. “There’s a part of me that thinks that this is a very elaborate false narrative to explain their continued loyalty to Trump.”
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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I'd imagine believing that evolution is a lie already primes you for belief in conspiracies; if the earth is indeed only 6,000 years old, then basically NOBODY in the scientific community can be trusted.

[side-eyes Thoreau]
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

Post by thoreau »

The URKOBOLD agrees with you.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Somewhere in the past day or two I saw an article about how covid-19 is hitting especially hard among evangelicals in Latin America; the Catholics halted in-person Mass and took other covid-19 precautions but evangelicals for the most part did not, and predictable consequences ensued.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Jennifer wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 19:09 Somewhere in the past day or two I saw an article about how covid-19 is hitting especially hard among evangelicals in Latin America; the Catholics halted in-person Mass and took other covid-19 precautions but evangelicals for the most part did not, and predictable consequences ensued.
Which is, of course, theologically really ironic, since Catholicism is deep into the importance of Mass as a ceremony, while Protestantism is about the priesthood of believers and the relative lack of importance of the formal trappings.

But of course sociology explains lay behavior far better than theology does.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Jadagul wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 20:17
Jennifer wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 19:09 Somewhere in the past day or two I saw an article about how covid-19 is hitting especially hard among evangelicals in Latin America; the Catholics halted in-person Mass and took other covid-19 precautions but evangelicals for the most part did not, and predictable consequences ensued.
Which is, of course, theologically really ironic, since Catholicism is deep into the importance of Mass as a ceremony, while Protestantism is about the priesthood of believers and the relative lack of importance of the formal trappings.

But of course sociology explains lay behavior far better than theology does.
Yes, but it's not just lay sociology. Bishops have mostly been pretty clear in their messaging: Stay home, the Church will be here when it's safe again. They've opened churches in some locales, but Mass is entirely optional. Whatever the inclinations of the laity, the most ardent Mass attendees also pay attention to the hierarchy.

Also, it's quite likely that the Vatican bureaucracy still hasn't finished processing paperwork related to the Great Plague of the 14th century. We have some institutional memory here.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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thoreau wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 20:28
Jadagul wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 20:17
Jennifer wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 19:09 Somewhere in the past day or two I saw an article about how covid-19 is hitting especially hard among evangelicals in Latin America; the Catholics halted in-person Mass and took other covid-19 precautions but evangelicals for the most part did not, and predictable consequences ensued.
Which is, of course, theologically really ironic, since Catholicism is deep into the importance of Mass as a ceremony, while Protestantism is about the priesthood of believers and the relative lack of importance of the formal trappings.

But of course sociology explains lay behavior far better than theology does.
Yes, but it's not just lay sociology. Bishops have mostly been pretty clear in their messaging: Stay home, the Church will be here when it's safe again. They've opened churches in some locales, but Mass is entirely optional. Whatever the inclinations of the laity, the most ardent Mass attendees also pay attention to the hierarchy.

Also, it's quite likely that the Vatican bureaucracy still hasn't finished processing paperwork related to the Great Plague of the 14th century. We have some institutional memory here.
Yes, but on the larger general point Jadagul is correct. The Episcopal Church is every bit as focused on sacramental worship as the Roman Catholic Church and the only way people are receiving communion is on a drive-by basis. (Yes, that's right, my wife literally stands in the parking lot of her parish church and hands out consecrated communion wafers to members of the parish who drive through the lot, having posted the Eucharist, sermon included the day before on YouTube.) I'm sure I have a more expansive concept of small "c" catholicism than others here but that's what's going on in the Anglican Communion and, I think, the Orthodox Churches. Evangelical Christians simply aren't focused on sacramental ministry if they believe in it at all beyond baptism, but they're the ones packed cheek to jowl every Sunday to sing hymns and listen to sermons and drop some cash in the plate and go home. It doesn't make sense theologically.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Yeah, I'm not totally clear on the theological underpinnings of why you can't consecrate bread and wine via Zoom (despite seeing many arguments amongst all the clergy I follow on Twitter about just that topic) but the Episcopal church is on the side of "communion has to be in-person or not at all" and I'd assume the Catholic church is in the same place. And then on top of THAT, Catholicism (or at least the strain I grew up in) teaches that taking Communion confers forgiveness from venial sins, which would otherwise send you to purgatory after death, so you're supposed to be participating regularly to top off your state of grace. And you just have a lot more physical-things-being-important shit in the Catholic tradition -- like saint's relics and whatnot.

Evangelicals, meanwhile, will hand out wafers and test tubes of grape juice once a quarter if they fucking feel like it, and hold their Powerpoint services in middle-school theaters (or recently constructed churches that only look like middle-school theaters), and shout about how a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus IN YOUR HEART is the most important. But they're the ones refusing to stay the fuck home ...
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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I think the big question is what about the Protestant churches that are neither all-but-Catholic (yeah, I'm oversimplifying Episcopalians, but you know what I mean) nor full-on evangelical? Because I can construct a narrative about Catholic, Episcopalian, and Orthodox churches all being about ritual as duty and fulfillment of obligation more than the experience itself, while many Protestants actually go for the sermon (something that Catholics almost never do well), fellowship, etc. I can also construct a narrative about one grouping of denominations being more closely aligned with Team Red.

In one narrative, if the church hierarchy says your duty is to stay home, well, we might miss the Mass but we at least feel like we have been given a good excuse with official cover. But those who go for the experience itself miss it even more.

In the other narrative, while Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians are hardly uniformly Blue, and I'm sure there's a Red Episcopalian in a closet somewhere, overall they aren't as loyal to Trump as evangelicals are. Also, they have hierarchies telling them to take this seriously. A lot of Protestants have less of an organizational hierarchy to listen to. So there's just the

Maybe both narratives yield insight here. Maybe neither.

I'm also curious about Adventists. They're pretty conservative but if there's one thing they do well it's run hospitals. My in-laws aren't Adventist but some of them work at Adventist hospitals. The radiologist in-law has been reading scans from home since March and living off deliveries, and probably won't go outside without a space suit until late 2021.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Ellie wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 23:35 Yeah, I'm not totally clear on the theological underpinnings of why you can't consecrate bread and wine via Zoom (despite seeing many arguments amongst all the clergy I follow on Twitter about just that topic) but the Episcopal church is on the side of "communion has to be in-person or not at all" and I'd assume the Catholic church is in the same place. And then on top of THAT, Catholicism (or at least the strain I grew up in) teaches that taking Communion confers forgiveness from venial sins, which would otherwise send you to purgatory after death, so you're supposed to be participating regularly to top off your state of grace. And you just have a lot more physical-things-being-important shit in the Catholic tradition -- like saint's relics and whatnot.

Evangelicals, meanwhile, will hand out wafers and test tubes of grape juice once a quarter if they fucking feel like it, and hold their Powerpoint services in middle-school theaters (or recently constructed churches that only look like middle-school theaters), and shout about how a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus IN YOUR HEART is the most important. But they're the ones refusing to stay the fuck home ...
The theological underpinning is, first, that Zoom wasn't an option during the Last Supper and, second, as it is related in Matthew 18:20, Jesus said "For where two or more are gathered together in my name, I am there with them" or, you know, words to that effect. Anglican theology and thus the Book of Common Prayer requires that at least two people be present at the Eucharist, one of them being ordained to the presbytery, in order to ensure the Real Presence. It does not, as the Roman Catholic Church does, try to explain the Real Presence in terms of transubstantiation or as some Lutheran traditions do in terms of consubstantiation -- no, don't ask me to try to explain those things -- it merely asserts that Jesus said he would be present when two or more are gathered and the bread and wine are consecrated "in remembrance of" him.

I'm not sure you've got that stuff about communion conferring forgiveness from venial sins part right about Roman Catholic theology. What I can say is that the Eucharist (or Mass or Holy Communion) in the Western Church has always included a confession and absolution prior to communion. I don't know if it's possible to keep from committing any venial or other sorts of sin between the absolution and communion, but that's the nexus: confession, absolution, consecration and communion. (By the way, the phrase Hocus Pocus supposedly used by carnival magicians derives from the Latin for “This is my body,” "Hoc est corpus meum.")

Again restricting the argument to Anglican theology and the Book of Common Prayer, you need a priest to declare Absolution in Christ's name, to confer the Blessing in Christ's name and to Consecrate the host for the Eucharist: the priestly ABCs. I doubt you want me to go on to explain why the historical roles of bishop, priest and deacon divvy up theological and sacramental authority as they do or why the Roman Catholic Church played a game of moving the goal posts on the question of Anglican Orders and Apostolic Succession, so here endeth the lesson.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 00:21 The theological underpinning is, first, that Zoom wasn't an option during the Last Supper and, second, as it is related in Matthew 18:20, Jesus said "For where two or more are gathered together in my name, I am there with them" or, you know, words to that effect. Anglican theology and thus the Book of Common Prayer requires that at least two people be present at the Eucharist, one of them being ordained to the presbytery, in order to ensure the Real Presence. It does not, as the Roman Catholic Church does, try to explain the Real Presence in terms of transubstantiation or as some Lutheran traditions do in terms of consubstantiation -- no, don't ask me to try to explain those things -- it merely asserts that Jesus said he would be present when two or more are gathered and the bread and wine are consecrated "in remembrance of" him.
I don't have a dog in the fight but I feel like one could argue that a bunch of people on the same Zoom call are "gathered," in spirit and intention at least. I don't know that there's any real underpinning (or explicit rules) about it being in the same room -- because, as you say, digital "gathering" being such a new issue it didn't come up before.

I do remember in the clergy arguments on Twitter somebody bringing up an explanation about the priest consecrating only the bread and wine that he/she can see (i.e. why the priest can't consecrate all the bread in every kitchen on the block) and somebody else pointing out "but you can SEE it on Zoom..."


(somewhat tangential -- I was googling about Catholic sacraments in person or not, and was surprised to find that they don't let you do confession over the phone. A few months ago, I did the Episcopal sacrament of confession and when I asked about it on Twitter -- just on the heels of the clergy communion fight -- nobody saw any issue with me doing it over the phone. Indeed, I ended up doing it with one of the priests who answered the question there! It was very moving and lovely and exactly what I needed at the time.)
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Ellie wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 23:35 Yeah, I'm not totally clear on the theological underpinnings of why you can't consecrate bread and wine via Zoom (despite seeing many arguments amongst all the clergy I follow on Twitter about just that topic) but the Episcopal church is on the side of "communion has to be in-person or not at all" and I'd assume the Catholic church is in the same place.
Kinda. There's actually something called "Spiritual Communion" in Catholicism (and Lutheranism and Anglicanism as well, for that matter, though it's significantly more esoteric in those) that is recommended to be practiced by those who are unable to take Communion on a regular basis. The idea is that by sincerely praying on the concept of the Eucharist, God then grants the absolution that would have come as a result of taking part in the sacrament. It's usually for people who are living under persecution and who can't, as a result, get to a priest on a regular basis. It actually came up as a possible response to Covid back at the beginning of the distancing.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Ellie wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 00:54
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 00:21 The theological underpinning is, first, that Zoom wasn't an option during the Last Supper and, second, as it is related in Matthew 18:20, Jesus said "For where two or more are gathered together in my name, I am there with them" or, you know, words to that effect. Anglican theology and thus the Book of Common Prayer requires that at least two people be present at the Eucharist, one of them being ordained to the presbytery, in order to ensure the Real Presence. It does not, as the Roman Catholic Church does, try to explain the Real Presence in terms of transubstantiation or as some Lutheran traditions do in terms of consubstantiation -- no, don't ask me to try to explain those things -- it merely asserts that Jesus said he would be present when two or more are gathered and the bread and wine are consecrated "in remembrance of" him.
I don't have a dog in the fight but I feel like one could argue that a bunch of people on the same Zoom call are "gathered," in spirit and intention at least. I don't know that there's any real underpinning (or explicit rules) about it being in the same room -- because, as you say, digital "gathering" being such a new issue it didn't come up before.
I actually don't have a dog in that fight, either; I've just got a vicarious seminary education and over thirty years giving my wife a hard time with philosophical objections to theological arguments. But that's the party line in Anglicanism. I suppose the argument ultimately is that you can masturbate to pornography, too, but it still isn't the, um, real thing. I remember as a kid there used to be Roman Catholic broadcasts on Sunday mornings of "Mass for Shut-Ins," probably along the lines of Shem's comment.

Someone, maybe you, mentioned fellowship being a key part of Evangelicalism and other less liturgical brands of Christianity, and I think that's actually a driving force for them. Comedian Kathleen Madigan has a bit about being Roman Catholic and someone trying to sell her a bible, answering "We don't read the bible; the priests give us book reports."
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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I love how the revival of this thread focused on conspiracy for all of four one-to-two-sentence posts, one of which was just an Ur-Kobold callback, and then devolved into an analysis of the split between theology and practice and the minutia of consecrating communion wafers.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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It's all part of an elaborate plan to subvert the purpose of the thread.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Subvert? The Ur-kobolod shall hear of this!
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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lunchstealer wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 12:37 I love how the revival of this thread focused on conspiracy for all of four one-to-two-sentence posts, one of which was just an Ur-Kobold callback, and then devolved into an analysis of the split between theology and practice and the minutia of consecrating communion wafers.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

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Aresen wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 14:55
lunchstealer wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 12:37 I love how the revival of this thread focused on conspiracy for all of four one-to-two-sentence posts, one of which was just an Ur-Kobold callback, and then devolved into an analysis of the split between theology and practice and the minutia of consecrating communion wafers.
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Re: Conspiracy and Kooky thinking

Post by Warren »

lunchstealer wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 16:03
Aresen wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 14:55
lunchstealer wrote: 31 Aug 2020, 12:37 I love how the revival of this thread focused on conspiracy for all of four one-to-two-sentence posts, one of which was just an Ur-Kobold callback, and then devolved into an analysis of the split between theology and practice and the minutia of consecrating communion wafers.
Thread-drift is a fundamental gryll right.
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