Is it worth it

Okay, this a poll, I’d appreciate your votes.
Background. A lot of my time on forums like this is purely for my own enjoyment, even if it looks like I’m investing a lot of emotion in it. I’ve questioned the value of this. That is, until Trump. Then I realized what social media had done to democracy. We democratized truth. We (the human race) have put ideology back in control instead of data and evidence and logic (which never quite had it’s day). So, we have things like people shooting up a pizza parlor because of a conversation on Reddit or people harassing a pastor, saying his daughter that was shot by a mass shooter, never actually existed. If you haven’t seen a “false flag” or “crisis actor” YouTube, check one out they’re wacko.
What I haven’t seen are debunking responses. I’ve seen some really good ones on the fake moon landings or flat earthers or 9/11. The conspiracy videos rely on me not knowing about thermite or the challenges of filming on the moon, so they break it down and destroy the conspiracy.
For “false flag” shootings, anyone who puts their mind to it can respond to every stupid thing these people put up. You don’t even need to look at the details, ask questions like, is Parkland a real school? Are those real teachers? Did they get taken to real emergency rooms? If not, someone in the area would be able to expose the charade with almost no effort. This makes me think the reason you don’t see these debunking videos is that it is so obvious they are total nut jobs making them. The problem is millions of people are watching them, and they are growing in popularity, and those people vote.
The question then, should a debunking of these be done? And I don’t mean an academic version, I mean a version that would attract the same kind of people, with random video clips, and an emotional appeal, and cheap graphics, or whatever it is that makes these things go viral.
Edit: There are plenty of people out there calling these guys “stupid” and “crazy”, but that’s feeding them what they want. They want to be considered out of the mainstream. What I don’t see is someone responding without that baggage, essentially using the same language as these theorists, saying, “make up your own mind”, “I’m just presenting evidence” or “I’m just asking these questions, you decide”.

I have posted a topic here about so called “Gender ideology hoax”. Its sort of false flagging by christian conservatives, while the tactic is use a lot in South America and in some part of Europe.
I actually put real study effort into finding out whats behind it, who was the source and how it originated. The thing is that it was 1995-2003 before social media, so there is enough printed material (real books) which are attributed to authors and there was a lot of real material to study and eventually disprove. In every case I was able to provide link to the book i was citing, and givng my own opinion on citations.
With social media and hoaxes which spread like fire I follow certain rules, which were best described by James Randi - everyone can be fooled.

  1. What is the source of the information.
    A renowned news agency?
    News agency which has been already catched lying? On multiple occasions? And did not put any apology, or stated its just a matter of opinion?
    A random web page, or a random blogger? Random Reddit post?
    Feel free to ask about the source.
  2. Does the information serve any apparent purpose?
    Says something negative about person or information?
  3. Is there any substance to the claims?
    Lets say that Vatican claims that there is a conspiracy of gender feminists who are controlling organizations of U. N. and i am making such claim about Vatican.
    How can i prove it?
    Lets check an article called “Gender” by theologian Jutta Burggraf:
    https://godeeper.weebly.com/uploads/3/6/1/1/3611854/gender-burggra.pdf
    Citation from page 2:"
    To obtain universal acceptance of these ideas, the promoters of radical gender feminism
    try to achieve a gradual cultural change, the so-called “deconstruction" of society,
    beginning with the family and the education of children.5
    Referencing to point 5:
    PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, Familia, matrimonio y unions de hecho (26 July 2000), 8.
    Gender feminism has been well received in a good number of important international institutions, among
    which stand the United Nations. And some universities are also trying to raise Gender Studies to a new
    scientific rank.
    Article “Gender” is part of Lexicon On Ambiguous and Colloquial Terms About Family Life and Ethical Questions
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/01/italy.sophiearie
    Which is a publication by the Vatican Council for the Family. (Yes, Mrs. Burggraf cited her bosses)
    Claim of the Vatican about Gender Feminism being accepted by the U. N. is on the other hand not based on any substance, as Mrs. Burggraf used as her source just opinion of the clergy.
    Debunking of these claims (as in my case with “Gender ideology”) needs as much study as possible and requires at least to disprove the claims at best to prove they are false.
    Also the other thing is that debunking has to be as simple as possible. The problem is, its not worth of putting too much effort into debunking a fabrication.
    If there is someone who already wrote about the topic and is a scientist, its good to put his opinion for reference:
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/12/gender-trouble-in-france

As soon as you say “James Randi”, you’re assuming an audience that wants to be rational. Randi had some tricks where he pulled back the curtain on a few people, but he was hated for it. Debunking the crisis actor narrative is actually extremely simple, but if you say that, you insult the person who believes it, you’ve already lost the audience. People who are rational and understand how to evaluate facts don’t need much help in deciding if something like the Boston Marathon bombing was real or not. The challenge is to come up with a presentation that has the look of a home grown journalist examining the facts and leads the viewer to a place where they are actually examining the facts.

As soon as you say "James Randi", you're assuming an audience that wants to be rational. Randi had some tricks where he pulled back the curtain on a few people, but he was hated for it. Debunking the crisis actor narrative is actually extremely simple, but if you say that, you insult the person who believes it, you've already lost the audience. People who are rational and understand how to evaluate facts don't need much help in deciding if something like the Boston Marathon bombing was real or not. The challenge is to come up with a presentation that has the look of a home grown journalist examining the facts and leads the viewer to a place where they are actually examining the facts.
In business where you are about to uncover someone's lies, you will be hated. Thats a matter of fact. I actually dont assume an audience which wants to be rational, but even a rational person has its own delusions. Thats why i made my own examination of the "gender theory" phenomenon and published it on my blog. People who might dislike me think i am not important enough because "its just a blog". Yet in this case I have one important advantage. There is just one another person who examined the topic, but it went largely unnoticed. So in sense you can get yourself into similar position as Randi was doing in "his second career". For most of the time he was saying "look, its looks like a harmless fun, but its actually a deceit. You know it, you just dont want to believe it". In fact everyone knew he is right, just the emotional and rational sides had to settle it. It might sound silly... nobody has same conviction as I do - or at least not publicly on certain topic - but it may slowly change those who were silent, because they were not able to see the harm it actually causes. Its important to care enough to finish the work on bringing all the facts, bringing explanation and making as logical statement as possible. But also its important to be not attached to it emotionally too much. You have to stay cool and simply maintain your position until you will get a rational counterargument (that may happen, but its very unlikely). That is actually why I admire Christopher Hitchens. His combination of stoicism, speaking harsh and well confirmed facts without any respect to the lie which he was targetting - not even if it should cost dignity of his oponnent in discussion. Like to call someone a liar or a demagogue. When you look at Matt Dillahunty, Aron Ra, and Hitchens you can be perfectly sure its worth it. And to prove it... This is me, giving translated letter of a slovak exorcist to Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. The poor guy was accusing one of the most openly atheist band in the world of satanism. https://youtu.be/SPNydhCKG3o?t=20s I just recovered from a sickness, i was pale, felt weak, and was nervous on top of it :D. It was a dream turning into a nightmare, but it was worth it :D
Its important to care enough to finish the work on bringing all the facts, bringing explanation and making as logical statement as possible. But also its important to be not attached to it emotionally too much. You have to stay cool and simply maintain your position until you will get a rational counterargument (that may happen, but its very unlikely).
And of the items I see out there, The Young Turks, Anderson Cooper, even Fox News, they don't actually bother with facts, they present it as so ridiculous that there is no need to point out that Parkland School is a real place or 9/11 calls were really made or people were treated in a real hospital. They just call them conspiracy theorists and question their mental capabilities and say, "David Hogg is a real person" in a sarcastic voice indicating that doesn't need to be said. When I presented these facts to a friend who recently crossed over into believing this stuff, he did not respond to my points or questions. Instead he said "well, we just see the world differently", then switched to asking me who I thought shot JFK. This was not evidence, he was asking me a test question, to see if I belonged in his tribe or not. I asked him how that was relevant and how the secret government he believed shot JFK could be the same secret government operating under Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama. He gave a lame answer to that too.
Its important to care enough to finish the work on bringing all the facts, bringing explanation and making as logical statement as possible. But also its important to be not attached to it emotionally too much. You have to stay cool and simply maintain your position until you will get a rational counterargument (that may happen, but its very unlikely).
And of the items I see out there, The Young Turks, Anderson Cooper, even Fox News, they don't actually bother with facts, they present it as so ridiculous that there is no need to point out that Parkland School is a real place or 9/11 calls were really made or people were treated in a real hospital. They just call them conspiracy theorists and question their mental capabilities and say, "David Hogg is a real person" in a sarcastic voice indicating that doesn't need to be said. When I presented these facts to a friend who recently crossed over into believing this stuff, he did not respond to my points or questions. Instead he said "well, we just see the world differently", then switched to asking me who I thought shot JFK. This was not evidence, he was asking me a test question, to see if I belonged in his tribe or not. I asked him how that was relevant and how the secret government he believed shot JFK could be the same secret government operating under Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama. He gave a lame answer to that too. That was also described by James Randi as we make an assumptions on a daily basis - such as we dont check whether the chairs are not going to break when we sit on them daily, else we will be catatonic. In such situation the question is "why are you even asking". And i do believe that is the case. But i will ask clearly and simply. Do you believe that this shooting happened, or not? And please answer yes or no.
Do you believe that this shooting happened, or not? And please answer yes or no.
Whoa. What? Are you asking me? Clearly I accept what I see on the news in mainstream media. That's a "yes". Or are you suggesting I ask that question of my friend? He would either say, "No", or more likely he would make a much longer plea that he has the right to ask questions and that his questions are valid. He would not answer directly because that would end the conversation and the whole point is to keep it going, to keep getting attention and to get you to respond to the next irrational connection of two disconnected pieces of data.

When you start mentioning such things, people will became slightly alarmed, as they immediatelly cant tell who they speak with.
That happenned to me when I wanted to discuss the topic of “genderism” and the other person had too few data so she started to make assumptions (and she believed for a second I might be one of the guys who think world would end because of gay people). You have to state clearly your position at first. Re-read your first post, and try to imagine that someone who does not have access to your mind, might understand that post. Focus on its ambiguity.
The point is that debunkers dont get much attention, because its like giving the myths and hoaxes screentime, attention and in the end importance… For the TV presenters you mentioned, its their daily work and they do a lot more of things more “mechanically”.
Its way easier to say “look, we presented facts” and in most cases they are right from their own point of view. They are actually in information business for years, have a lot of experience a lot of work behind them and exactly know how to verify an information (well, aside from Fox news which do promote too much of their own narrative). Thats why they do a lot more assumption in the said field, and thats why Randi had so much work with scientists.
Try to assume a position that you are “translating” something between two persons, but you have to be sure you do understand both worlds. The questions like “is there any such school?” are honest (and try to ignore if its stupid), and they deserve an honest answer even in manner “yes there is, you can find it here and here”. We have a lot of electronic satellite maps…
If its already a rhetorical question and he is something implying, answer to it anyway (i love doing that). But make clear, that he is not asking - he is claiming or implying and to prove something is now his job. If he makes more claims instead of providing proofs, point towards it and stop the discussion.

No, I don’t see what you are saying about my OP, and people are often not convinced by facts.

No, I don't see what you are saying about my OP, and people are often not convinced by facts.
Give it a week and re-read you OP again. You will see it in a bit different way. Well, what i proposed is form of emotional approach. But you have agree that a lot of people wont get convinced by facts, nor by emotional approach. Randi had such experience like that with Popoff. People came to JREF and thanked him for debunking Popoff, and that they are now giving their money to father SoAndSo. In my case I was lucky because often i am facing politicians who might have in fact good grip on reality, but they like to say certain things to their supporters. When i took cold and cruels approach while citing laws and mentioning that they might end up in jail, if they would continue accusing various people of satanism and calling for discrimination. I didnt wanted them to end up like that way (they were good people, who had family). Believers, who honestly believe to literally anything, cannot be convinced by facts. They might be presented alternative emontional way, or alternative belief system. However they see logic and rationality as just another belief system, which is the main problem.
The point is that debunkers dont get much attention, because its like giving the myths and hoaxes screentime, attention and in the end importance.. For the TV presenters you mentioned, its their daily work and they do a lot more of things more "mechanically". Its way easier to say "look, we presented facts" and in most cases they are right from their own point of view. They are actually in information business for years, have a lot of experience a lot of work behind them and exactly know how to verify an information (well, aside from Fox news which do promote too much of their own narrative). Thats why they do a lot more assumption in the said field, and thats why Randi had so much work with scientists. Try to assume a position that you are "translating" something between two persons, but you have to be sure you do understand both worlds. The questions like "is there any such school?" are honest (and try to ignore if its stupid), and they deserve an honest answer even in manner "yes there is, you can find it here and here". We have a lot of electronic satellite maps... If its already a rhetorical question and he is something implying, answer to it anyway (i love doing that). But make clear, that he is not asking - he is claiming or implying and to prove something is now his job. If he makes more claims instead of providing proofs, point towards it and stop the discussion.
You're talking about mainstream media not giving them attention, and they shouldn't, you're right. But that's because you and I share the background knowledge you mention here, we agree that CNN and MSNBC verify facts and check their work. It's not their job to debunk conspiracy videos. That's the problem. That takes away the bridge between this world of pseudo-science and the real world. These people believe mainstream media is in on the conspiracy. The "translating" is from a place where what you and I consider a rhetorical question is not rhetorical at all to them. I took a course on futurelearn.com recently and it was explained like this: Some people say there is a bucket where we put all the things that are proven to be true and another bucket where things are not proved. It's easy to question anything and find something about an established fact that can be doubted. So these people move everything from the "proven" bucket in to the "unproven" bucket. This allows them to say any question is legitimate and any unanswered question is used to say we don't know anything at all. Science does not use these buckets. Nothing is ever 100% true. There is a scale of probability. The conspiracy theorists are actually thinking this way, but they are not adding up their questions and facts and determining where things are on the scale, they are just denying facts and adding doubt and claiming that is good enough. So, in the end, it is about presenting facts, but they need to be presented in a way that doesn't force them to draw a conclusion or even to concede anything. That will bring up their defenses and send them back into their self-reinforcing loops.
The "translating" is from a place where what you and I consider a rhetorical question is not rhetorical at all to them. I took a course on futurelearn.com recently and it was explained like this: Some people say there is a bucket where we put all the things that are proven to be true and another bucket where things are not proved. It's easy to question anything and find something about an established fact that can be doubted. So these people move everything from the "proven" bucket in to the "unproven" bucket. This allows them to say any question is legitimate and any unanswered question is used to say we don't know anything at all. Science does not use these buckets. Nothing is ever 100% true. There is a scale of probability. The conspiracy theorists are actually thinking this way, but they are not adding up their questions and facts and determining where things are on the scale, they are just denying facts and adding doubt and claiming that is good enough. So, in the end, it is about presenting facts, but they need to be presented in a way that doesn't force them to draw a conclusion or even to concede anything. That will bring up their defenses and send them back into their self-reinforcing loops.
Therefore you have to present the information in a way as the question is not rhetorical, without stating that its a stupid question. Sometimes even i do ask twice something which is apparenlty self-evident, just to ensure there is no misunderstanding. I use to say that there is no common sense, but mainly when speaking about important technical details of something. Its a way how to mine for bit more information and ensure that everything is as it should be. a) present the information b) If he questions your motives for the statement, or say you have an interest in presenting information that way, turn his suspicionsness against him. This is how it can be done, depending on how much distrustful he is towards you. - simply say you believe thats the truth, and provide proof or additional information to prove it. - ask him what kind of proof except his opinion is available. His opinion when challenged may move this to the "unproven" bucket. - if he is more specific like "you are member of XY organization" ask for any proof for that - move the burden of proof on him. Ask him if he is used to accuse strangers or friends of being bad people (specify if needed) - mention what kind of benefit you should have from stating the fact, maybe even mention you dont like the fact, but it does not make it less true or accurate. If he mentions stuff like "you are all paid by Xy or George Soros (very popular in Hungary these days), again ask for proof.
- ask him what kind of proof except his opinion is available. His opinion when challenged may move this to the "unproven" bucket.
We're starting to reach some agreement here. But you might be missing an important point. The primary tool of a conspiracy theorist is to keep everything in the "unproven" bucket. The more evidence you present, the further back into the dark they will move what you need to address. Eventually, they will say that if you get close the truth, you will be killed, and they will have a story of someone who was getting close and died under mysterious circumstances. They will say that no one, except their YouTube, has the truth. The government lies and the journalists repeat the lies and the people they interview lie, so you can't know the truth, but somehow they do know, or they are smart enough to know something is going on.
- ask him what kind of proof except his opinion is available. His opinion when challenged may move this to the "unproven" bucket.
We're starting to reach some agreement here. But you might be missing an important point. The primary tool of a conspiracy theorist is to keep everything in the "unproven" bucket. The more evidence you present, the further back into the dark they will move what you need to address. Eventually, they will say that if you get close the truth, you will be killed, and they will have a story of someone who was getting close and died under mysterious circumstances. They will say that no one, except their YouTube, has the truth. The government lies and the journalists repeat the lies and the people they interview lie, so you can't know the truth, but somehow they do know, or they are smart enough to know something is going on. They actually need to have a constant on which is based their belief. Thats something that has to be challenged. There is a claim they made, simply ask how much they can provide, except opinions. Its fine to have opinions, but to convince others they need to have a proof. However the level of distrust you describe - nothing is proven - then it can be a mental illness - paranoia of some sort.
They actually need to have a constant on which is based their belief. Thats something that has to be challenged. There is a claim they made, simply ask how much they can provide, except opinions. Its fine to have opinions, but to convince others they need to have a proof. However the level of distrust you describe - nothing is proven - then it can be a mental illness - paranoia of some sort.
Well, exactly, but you can't lock them up for it. And if you label them with that, you've lost the conversation. The kind of presentation I'm thinking about here is like one you make to a person who lives on the street by choice or thinks that they chose to be a prostitute. Very few people make that choice rationally, but they are convinced that they did. I have had more than a few conversations with people where I went very methodically through the scientific method, step by step, and they agreed with each step along the way. Then we got to applying it to their wacko story and they went right back to saying I was arguing from authority and they did not have the burden of proof and their anecdotal evidence was valid and the simple fact that they had a number of questions proves something and that because I couldn't answer one question that proved all my other answers were invalid and every other logical fallacy you can think of. BTW, pointing out logical fallacies gets you nowhere.

Regarding your OP, the analogy that comes to mind, trite but true, it moving a wet noodle up hill. And in this case the noodle is a million miles long and in the age of ubiquitous information (false and otherwise) the noodle is that much more slippery. Point is, all approaches are needed but don’t expect to make that much of a difference in the short term. Personally I think the root cause of most of our troubles is religion. The more that slowly fades out, and more and better education fades in, the more the world will progess. The hard part is we all want results in our own lifetimes, and that just isn’t how things works, in general. Sometimes of course progress is made within a lifetime, but as a society, even just in the US let’s say, that’s usually not the case. MLK’s the arch of history comes to mind.

Regarding your OP, the analogy that comes to mind, trite but true, it moving a wet noodle up hill. And in this case the noodle is a million miles long and in the age of ubiquitous information (false and otherwise) the noodle is that much more slippery. Point is, all approaches are needed but don't expect to make that much of a difference in the short term. Personally I think the root cause of most of our troubles is religion. The more that slowly fades out, and more and better education fades in, the more the world will progess. The hard part is we all want results in our own lifetimes, and that just isn't how things works, in general. Sometimes of course progress is made within a lifetime, but as a society, even just in the US let's say, that's usually not the case. MLK's the arch of history comes to mind.
Yeah, that's about how I feel about it. As I mentioned, one friend in particular, when confronted with unanswerable questions about Parkland school, switched to JFK. Yesterday he moved on to another YouTuber who says all the governments are now forming a "Fourth Reich", essentially legalizing all the things the Nazis did. Of course, it's easy to find individual cases where legalized murder is occurring, so he just makes the leap to believing it's a worldwide cabal. On religion, I'm afraid it's just another part of the wet noodle. Hopefully I'm wrong. Eliminating worldwide organizations that teach people to NOT think is a good thing, but like Medusa's hair, they are slithering off and forming smaller groups that support each other in having their own version of the truth. They become astrologists and pagans and meditate on aliens who can communicate across time.
They actually need to have a constant on which is based their belief. Thats something that has to be challenged. There is a claim they made, simply ask how much they can provide, except opinions. Its fine to have opinions, but to convince others they need to have a proof. However the level of distrust you describe - nothing is proven - then it can be a mental illness - paranoia of some sort.
Well, exactly, but you can't lock them up for it. And if you label them with that, you've lost the conversation. The kind of presentation I'm thinking about here is like one you make to a person who lives on the street by choice or thinks that they chose to be a prostitute. Very few people make that choice rationally, but they are convinced that they did. I have had more than a few conversations with people where I went very methodically through the scientific method, step by step, and they agreed with each step along the way. Then we got to applying it to their wacko story and they went right back to saying I was arguing from authority and they did not have the burden of proof and their anecdotal evidence was valid and the simple fact that they had a number of questions proves something and that because I couldn't answer one question that proved all my other answers were invalid and every other logical fallacy you can think of. BTW, pointing out logical fallacies gets you nowhere. Not logical fallacies. Factual fallacies. I give you an example: "Sexual education can cause mental disorders, specifically gender dysphoria". The statement above was made by psychiatrist and pediatrician oncologist. It wasnt very apparent, but it was done because of conjoined political and religious reason. When i asked why they believe so, they argued it may cause homosexuality or transgenderism when children grow up. Authors of specific Sex Ed. book were to be blamed for promoting this wicked "gender ideology". This week found another very similar article in USA, with similar claims. So i looked upon "gender dysphoria" to found out that it had been diagnosed on children as young as 3... Long before any sort of education was provided to the children. The claim they made is now completely uprooted. Logical fallacies are one thing, factual... Different league. Now its them who is in defensive, because they start to question the information I provided. they would jump on it because "it was said by american doctors, and they are all members of tha conspiracy", but that the most I can do. But now they have something to deal with, and it would be really really hard.
Not logical fallacies. Factual fallacies. I give you an example: "Sexual education can cause mental disorders, specifically gender dysphoria". The statement above was made by psychiatrist and pediatrician oncologist. It wasnt very apparent, but it was done because of conjoined political and religious reason. When i asked why they believe so, they argued it may cause homosexuality or transgenderism when children grow up. Authors of specific Sex Ed. book were to be blamed for promoting this wicked "gender ideology". This week found another very similar article in USA, with similar claims. So i looked upon "gender dysphoria" to found out that it had been diagnosed on children as young as 3... Long before any sort of education was provided to the children. The claim they made is now completely uprooted. Logical fallacies are one thing, factual... Different league. Now its them who is in defensive, because they start to question the information I provided. they would jump on it because "it was said by american doctors, and they are all members of tha conspiracy", but that the most I can do. But now they have something to deal with, and it would be really really hard.
You choose a difficult example. If you have the time, research how homosexuality was a disease 100 years ago and if you were a psychiatrist who said it wasn't, then you were considered unable to practice psychiatry and your license was revoked. This made it impossible for them to have an open debate about it. The doctors who wanted the diagnosis removed from the DSM had to lie to beat the system and get it changed. We live in a world of rapidly changing science. You can find a study that says just about anything. I argue with a guy who refuses to accept that a study has been retracted. He says that is part of the conspiracy. So if you say "the results of a study are facts", but then that study gets retracted, you have amend your definition of "fact". When you start talking about needing multiple repeated studies and the need for a consensus, you can lose a lot of people. Once you say that there is no such thing as 100% certainty about anything, a lot of people retreat to their fantasy worlds and make up comforting pictures of the universe for themselves. For some, they deal with evil in the world by believing there is a powerful hidden force behind that evil. It's not magic, it's just well hidden using propaganda and lies. This makes them feel better than the possibility that the odd guy living next door could be the next mass murderer. It might even be their way of dealing with their evil thoughts. This psychology can be dang difficult to penetrate.
You choose a difficult example. If you have the time, research how homosexuality was a disease 100 years ago and if you were a psychiatrist who said it wasn't, then you were considered unable to practice psychiatry and your license was revoked. This made it impossible for them to have an open debate about it. The doctors who wanted the diagnosis removed from the DSM had to lie to beat the system and get it changed. We live in a world of rapidly changing science. You can find a study that says just about anything. I argue with a guy who refuses to accept that a study has been retracted. He says that is part of the conspiracy. So if you say "the results of a study are facts", but then that study gets retracted, you have amend your definition of "fact". When you start talking about needing multiple repeated studies and the need for a consensus, you can lose a lot of people. Once you say that there is no such thing as 100% certainty about anything, a lot of people retreat to their fantasy worlds and make up comforting pictures of the universe for themselves. For some, they deal with evil in the world by believing there is a powerful hidden force behind that evil. It's not magic, it's just well hidden using propaganda and lies. This makes them feel better than the possibility that the odd guy living next door could be the next mass murderer. It might even be their way of dealing with their evil thoughts. This psychology can be dang difficult to penetrate.
I actually had to spend few weeks by examining and comparing how catholic theologians speak about homosexuality, and so called "gender ideology" and compare that with scientific examinations, and even with philosophy of feminism. I did not mentioned topic of homosexuality, rather a mental state which in some high percentage leads to transition to other gender in adulthood, or if not to 3x suicide rate or may disappear in 40-60% of cases... Homosexuality was mentioned by people who came up with the claim in my previous post, and it was the answer they expected me to believe it, without further questioning. They stated that with combined scientific and religious authority - for me that is a warning sign I should look it up, and form my own opinion afterwards. They made a claim that education can cause homosexuality, or gender transition, and that all this is officially supported by slovak government. I looked it up, found out that the claims are not true. In best case extreme exagerration due to specific point of view on the topic (tons of misunderstanding and misinterpretation), in worst case an intentional lie. The latter opinion was enforced when I found out that the pediatrictian oncologist was a candidate for PM for Christian Democratic Party, same party which had no problem to dub me a satanist and attempted to limit my rights on this base... Walks like a duck... All and all I barely scratched the surface. It was enough to form my own opinion on certain topics - primarily that some people are pushing their own political and religions opinions as a scientific proof - which I now consider to be quite vicious form of lying.