Intrinsic Unlikeliness of Conspiracies

Discussion in 'Conspiracies' started by exchemist, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,911
    Not only that. The seeds of Greek polytheism were already planted in the Torah by the influence of Alexander the Great's armies long before the first five books of Moses were adopted into the religious canon of the Christian bible. When the Hebrew text was translated into Greek, it is likely even more of that influence crept in. Later books about Apostles, Saints, and other Holy personages, as well as the mistranslation of the import of the Holy Trinity eventually became the equivalent of polytheistic religious cannon as well. Opposing such influence would have been viewed as heresy or sacrilege, and punished severely. Monotheism became polytheism all too easily by a church leadership craving the devotion of its followers as if they themselves spoke and wrote only the inspired wisdom of deities themselves.

    And this doesn't sound like a conspiracy to you? "An effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who attempt to conceal their role (at least until their aims are accomplished)." Wrapping delivery and import of your sermons in the scripture your church hierarchy has crafted to support the status of religious leadership would easily qualify. The motives are clearly conspiratorial in the same mode as any crime syndicate. The sale of indulgences was enough for Martin Luther to see through the conspiracy, and call the Vatican on the carpet for them. It isn't as though at least a few people didn't see through the conspiracy of lies. Concealing pedophilia in the church is another easy one that fits the description. Do you really need any more?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,818
    Ah OK, that's a a bit different. I can live with the notion of the founders of a new cult doing what you say. It was the supposed link- or identity - with Mithraism that I could not follow.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,818
    Good so we leave the Mithraism thing, then? Fine.

    Actually no it doesn't like conspiracy to me - and nothing at all like a crime syndicate. It sounds a lot like the processes by which ideas develop as scholars and theologians read the works and thought of others and take on board ideas that sound good to them. An evolutionary process, in fact. I'm sure that has gone on throughout the ages, without any "conspiracy", and is quite a good thing on the whole. Take as an example the way the doctrines of the church have been adapted to take account of science. It's a reaction to the weight of scientific evidence, but it's a bit much to call it a conspiracy.
     
    danshawen likes this.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,911
    A powerful group that is very interested in the demographics of belief systems is the ultimate conspiracy, as far as I am concerned. That goes for science as much as religion.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    Once the cult is established, it has its own ... rationale, I suppose. It attracts sincere advocates and practitioners, as well as those with other interests - particularly economic and political - and all different motivations. The conspiracy can be shed as early as one generation after the scheme takes off, if it has enough momentum.

    Mind you, I'm not saying that's what Christianity was. Not exclusively, anyway. There were several independent forces and trends at work. But the document forging and opposition snuffing were definite factors.
     
    danshawen likes this.
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,818
    Oh sure, it is indisputable that there have been conspiracies in the history of Christianity (the donation of Constantine being one famous one and there were certainly many others.). But to describe the whole religion as a conspiracy would be rather a sweeping and immoderate judgement, in my view.
     
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    But I can still describe it as a pyramid scheme, right?


    I assumed it was meant as an example of a conspiracy that may have taken place at some time in history, but so long ago that it cannot be proved. Even though pieces of evidence can be brought to light, they are too old to fit together. And, in any case, the original conspiracy was so successful that its lies are now established fact. (by infallible papal decree, or expertly authenticated documentation. or just because nobody would dare)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,818
    No I think that too is unreasonable. While you can reasonably make the case that Christianity is rubbish, the fact that its ideas became more and more influential does not make it a "pyramid scheme". Consider the phlogiston theory of combustion. That, too became more and more widely adopted for quite a while, in spite of being misconceived. But nobody would call that a "pyramid scheme".

    Or what about Marxism? That too became so widely advocated and influential that it was adopted as a way to run many societies, in spite of having now been shown to be fatally flawed. Was that too a "pyramid scheme"? Most people I think would say that dismissing Marxism as a "pyramid scheme" does not do justice to the pervasiveness and attractiveness of the idea and its ability to gain adherents, with or without active deceit on the part of its evangelists.
     
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    I wasn't referring the spiritual concept or the mythology surrounding it, but to the organization of the church. To some degree, all political organizations turn into the same kind of hierarchical structure, but the Abrahamic religions included an infallible chieftain from their very inception. Commandments come down; tithes go up.
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,818
    Almost all organisations have a pyramid structure.
     
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    Yes. In the case of a religion that claims what the Christian doctrine claims*, that's the epitome of fraud. All that mandated, expensive, elaborately ornamented, punitive and rigidly formal priestly intervention between man and god is the direct opposite of what their figurehead is supposed to have preached.
    *1. each human soul's intimate and loving relationship with the god, as exemplified by prayer in seclusion; 2. each human's personal responsibility to exercise free will according to the god's requirements, through 3. loving-kindness toward his fellow man and trust in the guidance of his conscience, 4. simplicity of living, avoidance of wealth, trust in providence 5. the saving of each soul through the sacrifice of a personal saviour, through whom 6. each soul thus redeemed will return to his maker.

    To Jesus, every cathedral would have been anathema, every synod an opportunity to wield a rolled-up robe, and what he would say about the Vatican bank's forays into venture capital - well, let's say, I'd love to be a fly on that wall!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,818
    Yes yes, all good stuff. But all you are saying really is that the church should not have an organisation. The fact that it does have an organisation does not make it a "pyramid scheme", it seems to me. But we've probably taken this about as far as it worthwhile, now.
     
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    What makes it a typical pyramid scheme is 1. the fraud perpetrated on the marks and 2. the vast quantities of money sucked upward by the structure.

    Neither of which characteristic is necessary to all organizations or any way related to spirituality.
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,195
    A possibly relevant quote, from the economist Adam Smith: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

    The sincere "conspiracy", or mutually beneficial and enforced small group delusion, would include everything from entry barriers for professions to racial prejudice. Rpenner's excellent link is not applicable.
     

Share This Page