Reply To: Conspiracy theory spread

  • Don Salmon

    March 27, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Ralph:

    I think I see your point. I guess I had a different take.

    Assume someone is caught up in delusional thinking. Assume one has made a correct assessment. The interesting question here, to me, is, What can you do?

    I guess I’ll go ahead and give some answers.

    Individually, there’s almost universal scientific and well researched agreement that you can’t argue someone out of a delusional state. So for example, in my group therapy session at Bellevue Hospital, I remember a woman came to the group in a florid psychotic state. She came up to me and said, “I know you. You’re my lawyer.”

    Well, all the arguing I could do wouldn’t persuade her otherwise. So I said, “Oh, I used to be a lawyer but now I’m studying to be a psychologist.” She was perfectly happy with that and was an active participant in the group (previously having been wary of revealing personal secrets to her lawyer!!)

    Similarly when talking with Christian fundamentalists when I lived in South Carolina. I didn’t say, “Well, Jesus was just one of many incarnations of the Divine, like Krishna, Buddha and so on.” I would talk about experiencing Christ in my life, and asking them what their relationship to Christ was. It enabled us to talk about a wide variety of topics that a purely rational (LH) conversation wouldn’t have allowed.

    So with climate change. People choose delusional beliefs because it serves them emotionally in some way. Just trying to give them the facts doesn’t help. Obviously WHit’s brother has the intellectual capacity to understand. If he thinks that climate change is a left wing attack on American values, for example, I can share my concerns about a changing America and my fears that my cultural background makes it hard for me to adjust to all the dizzying changes in the world today.

    This is pretty much how cult deprogrammers work. In fact, they have written books about how to deprogram society of delusional beliefs.

    Does it work?

    Not likely. Religions have promoted delusional beliefs for thousands fo years. Science has promoted the delusional belief in a dead, non conscious world – this belief in materialism is actually the primary driving force behind Iain’s 2nd book – TMWT.

    Will reading his book make a difference? By itself, I doubt it.

    But there are – I believe – subtler realities. If you believe Indian philosophers, we are all connected in a subtle field of consciousness, and we are at the end of an age of LH denomination, and all the conspiracy theories, all the breakdowns we see around us in rules, boundaries, structures etc are a sign of the shift in consciousness that’s occurring collectively. Ultimately, as we shift our own consciousness, that will have effects worldwide. If we can take steps externally to make changes great, but it’s most likely to have more wide ranging effects when we ourselves make that internal change – which gets back to what you’re saying, Ralph, that it’s ultimately the inner change that matters!