Church of Conspiracy: the Fauci Patents

As many have experienced, the COVID disinformation engine has jumped the shark. It has become nearly impossible to talk to friends and relatives about medicine and science. Those categories have been replaced with the mislabeling of “politics,” which is bizarre when the state of scientific knowledge remains unchanged whether we are standing among Democrats and Republicans in the US, or in a completely different political landscape in Europe or Asia. I’ve tried to engage and generally met with failure. The experience has been oddly similar to interfacing with young-earth creationists. The disinformation crowd has gone full fundamentalist, mingling misunderstanding with belligerence and brimstone.

This article is an adaptation from an email I sent to some of the anti-vaxxers I know. That dialogue has been long and unhappy, and it has since lapsed. But I was encouraged by others to post some of the content (of which there is a great deal), in the hopes that it might help a reader or two. I’m not sure how much energy I will assign to this effort, but at the least, I’ll put forward this installment…

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Disavowal Day – for My Still-Trumper Friends and Family

Trump supporters storm US Capitol

Hopes and Fears of 2016

I have friends and family members who voted for Donald Trump in 2016. There were a range of assumptions behind their various ballot choices. Some felt he would be good for business. Others that he would gain them ground in the courts. Some believed he was brilliant, playing three-dimensional chess at a level not understood by the press or the government apparatus.

Because I spend quite a bit of time studying history, and because I listened carefully to what Trump said, I believed he had the makings and the yearnings of an autocrat. In my profession, I’ve known and worked with too many actual geniuses to arrive at the miscalibrated conclusion that Trump was even close. And I was born and raised in a household of political extremism, conspiracy theorizing, and firearms fanaticism, so I’ve never had any illusions about the cult following that was drawn to his banner.

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Christian Agnosticism & Touching Earth

English: Arabic Question mark 한국어: 아랍어에서 사용하는 물음표

I have recognized a repeating pattern from my past conversations, both in person and online, which I believe lies at the very bedrock of believer’s objections to investigative discussions regarding belief, Christianity, and the Bible. Once evidential discussions have run their course, and once a retreat is beaten from that battlefield, believers will very often default to the inner keep of last resorts:

You cannot evaluate the truth of Christianity with analysis or reason or rational argument: you must either believe it on faith or not at all. It is about belief. It requires faith.

I have come to call this a “retreat to grey”, the falling back to a proposition that faith knowledge is different by category from other knowledge – as different as living organisms and dead stones. Things of the spirit cannot be interrogated by the same means as other truth claims. At bottom is an agnostic claim: we simply cannot “know” things in this realm, nor prove them, and certainly not disprove them, by any path of critical thinking or evidence.

But why do we think this? [Read more…]

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Michael Seidel, writer

Science fiction, fantasy, mystery and what-not

cas d'intérêt

Reflections of a Francophile

Two Wheels Across Texas

My Quest to ride through all 254 Texas Counties

She Seeks Nonfiction

Be curious. Be skeptical. Be humble.

Uncommon Sense

I don’t want to start a class war; it started a long time ago and, unfortunately, we lost.