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The truth is not “out there”, but lies in rational engagement with the world

November 18, 2006

I’ve enjoyed reading Richard Sambrook’s informative blog since he went public in August, despite the mispelling of my name on his blog roll! He has a great post today on the subject of conspiracy theories.

It is a well worked article which argues that while conspiracy theories may be fun, its dangerous to take them too seriously. There is a good pass through to Jon Robson in the Guardian. However Robson makes the error of equating Dawkins latest book with rationalism . To my mind Dawkins employs similar forms of argument to those of the conspiracy theorists, but that is a post for another day!

Putting Dawkins to one side for the moment, I find the fascination with conspiracy theory very similar to the creation of salvation or millennium cults. Both seem to be aimed at an abrogation of responsibility on behalf of the propagator/believer. I have expressed good humored concern about monatomic gold and the return of Quetzalcoat before, and the fact that both of these were taken seriously by a Washington Think Tank.

Engagement with the world, also requires engagement with reality and Richard’s post if a good reminder of this need.

ADDITIONS: I made a few corrections this morning, so by way of compensation to those with RSS feeders etc who get this twice – you might like these quotations.

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