Last night my significant other pointed out something about Chemtrails. For those of you who don’t know, the Chemtrails conspiracy theory purports that mind-control agents are being tossed out of jets at high altitude. The evidence of this activity is the “mysterious” white cloud you see behind jets as they pass overhead. Whether you believe the theory or not, once you hear it, you never see contrails the same way.
But the point made was that if people really believed the Chemtrails conspiracy, why aren’t they wearing gas masks? If the mystery gas is a mind control agent or a poison, wouldn’t it behoove us to protect ourselves? If they really believed it, wouldn’t they take action? Yet they don’t. I’ve yet to see a single believer in the chemtrails theory wearing a gas mask or even a dust mask to protect themselves.
The answer is that they don’t really believe it. However, by convincing themselves that they believe it, they can accomplish some other goal that appeals to them. For the Chemtrails folks, it makes them feel good to have “inside knowledge,” or to have another reason to believe that the government is evil. By believing that the government is evil, it exonerates any number of other things the believer might do, like lying on tax returns. “After all,” the justifier may claim. “They’re lying to me, why shouldn’t I lie to them?” Belief is often just a means to an end.
So people can claim to believe things that they don’t really believe. The same holds true with religion. People can think they believe that I will go to hell when I die, but if they really believed it, and they gave two shits about me, they would be working day and night to convince me to accept Jesus as my savior.
But they don’t.
It’s not because they don’t love me (how could they not?). It’s that the actions required to really believe actually outweigh their own conviction. It’s tough to wear a gas mask day and night, and if you wore one to work, everyone would think you were a complete kook. And they would be right.
But they’d be a kook whose conviction I could respect.