Category Archives: Religion and Modern Politics

World War Real – Part I

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My apologies.  I realize that this piece paints a very dark picture, but as I see it, this is a world photograph.  A very real and animal world that needs an aware population.

Things were much simpler when survival and some sense of fulfillment arose from simplistic successes.  Some species became expert defenders and food source specialists.  Other species found successful survival through will, size, strength, and might.  Humans ended up somewhere in the middle, but it is strongly theorized that our ingenuity, intelligence, cunning, and complex social dynamic developed through necessary measures linked to our survival just as any other apex species.

Today, the humans stand at the height of success in surviving the throes of reaching contentment in our attainment of necessity.  Many of us enjoy the comforts of security, but not all of us.  Unfortunately, even the apex predators of the world face danger, and naturally, mortality.  In the face of such odds, ideals of peace are not much more than curling whisps found in the dissipating vapors of hope.

Typically, apex hierarchies do not display cannibalistic behavior, but all threaten other members of their species.  For example, male lions challenge other males for the rights to their pride.  At times, this fight ends in death. If the challenging lion defeats the pride male, he will kill all of the cubs in the pride and prime the females to bear his offspring. This sounds gruesome, and, it is, but it is not much different than a human war.

1) Infiltrate the territory.
2) If successful – eliminate all potential threats.
3) Assume possession of the territory’s resources.  

The primary difference here is that the opposing forces are equal in many respects, and this is one on one combat.  Human tribal conflicts may have once been as simple as a lion taking a pride, but today, the tools of war have taken far different shape.

Illusion, Misinformation, Social Inequality, and ultimately, Enslavement are much more effective tools for conquering a territory with the aim of utilizing all of its resources. Instead of mindless lines of people running into each other with swords and shields, modern warfare is largely psychological.  We have evolved – to “kill” one another.  How does this invisible war work?

Misinformation instills a mass illusion creating social inequality, and thus establishes ranks of enslavement.  

I fully understand that the above sentence is both confusing and a mouthful.  However, we can demystify with basic concepts taught in critical thinking.

Think on this – Misinformation:

First, let’s dissect the word misinformation: In simple terms, it denotes obscured information.  Modern technology offers up a myriad of media, sources of information, and can mast disassociated authority as a beacon of truth.

Disassociated authority is a form of authority that cannot be substantially accounted for and is the source of misinformation.  It may be difficult, but think about the influence of your parents when you were a child.  How long did it take you to question what they taught you?  Have you ever questioned an authority?  Yes, we’re going back in time to Easter Bunnies and the benevolent, husky Santa Claus.  Take it a step further and ask how people eventually debunked this mythology.  Did they set up tests, traps, or hide silently in the dark with cameras?  Were they socially shamed/pressured out of their beliefs? Or – were they simply told by the same people that spun such tales that the stories weren’t true?
We gather information constantly.  How much of that information is discovered?  How much of what we learn about the world around us is told to us?  What constitutes as evidence?  What is logical?  How are we to decide what to believe?

More importantly, why does it all matter?

Simply stated – Information dictates action.

Example Scenario: If you believe (key word) that you’re heading South on Interstate 5 when your destination is South, you will not take action to travel North.  However, do you accurately know that you’re headed South?  Before, you were simply following signs, but now that you’ve demanded more evidence, you pull out a compass.  The needle indicates you’re facing North.  Now, faced with opposing information, what is the proper response?

It is time to examine the authorities consulted.  Interstate signs or compass?  Troubleshooting is most efficient when the simplest hypothesis is tested first.  Rather than investigating the inaccuracy of all the interstate signs, it would be much simpler to stop at the next gas station to find other compasses to compare yours to, speak with locals, or seek out landmarks that may indicate direction.  If the compass is found to be broken – the problem is rapidly resolved without incident. What if the compass were right, though? Would you be more likely to question the Earth’s electromagnetic field or all state and government signs along the interstate?

An area of misinformation has been discovered, and the North versus South conflict demonstrated above explains to a certain degree, how information dictates action.  More importantly, this explores the disassociation connected with authority.  Unfortunately, most people never learn to critically think on this level, or are too afraid of the conflict it may involve. This makes one highly susceptible to authority figures and/or subservience. This is not to say that authorities are wrong. Making appeals to authority is the only way to gather information on things we cannot experience for ourselves.  Despite any amount of conviction, personal experience is very weak, in itself.  In effect, our own senses can be deceitful for many reasons.

 

…to be continued in four following parts.

 

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The Relative Variable III: Exploring the Nature of Knowledge

Fore note – This blog is part of a working series:

Relative Variable I

Relative Variable II

The feedback on this modal has pointed at the necessity of explaining it in simple terms and values. So, here it goes:

Relative Variable Dynamic

1) The IHK section represents the core of all human knowledge. That is, all knowledge first extends from the individual. The IHK field is ultimately representative of subjectivity.

2) The knowledge is then passed on to cumulative human knowledge, or, CHK, when it is agreed upon with another individual. Eventually, if accepted by a society, and furthermore, accepted Trans-culturally, the case in point may be revered as a universally consistent truth. CHK represents objectivity. This is why I would personally like to see objectivity understood as a cumulative subjectivity.

3) Estimated human knowledge (EHK) extends beyond basic comprehension and verifiable measures. Yet, EHK has value in principle. A fine example of EHK is the concept of infinity. It is not easily dismissed, nor is it easily conceived. However, it can be used in philosophical and mathematical fields as a logical underpinning. This particular knowledge field has no need for variable set points because it exists on the fringe of the realism dynamic. That is, it is reaching outward – toward the unknown.

4) Absolute Reality (AR) Represents the unknown, and, by extension – Realism. Every thinking mind on the planet can agree on the fact that there are things we don’t know, or possibly, ever know.

Relativity Dynamic:

I. The Relative Variable – This (refer to arrows on the right side of the model for clarification), in my opinion, is the most important function in this dynamic. The variable set points enable the boundaries of human knowledge to flex as the respective fields of understanding evolve due to either new information, change of belief, and/or perspective(s).

II. The Relative Absolute – In this dynamic, RA is marked by the oval/circular lines. These boundaries are subject to change. Absolute in the moment, but may restructure as respective fields of understanding evolve due to either new information, change of belief, and/or perspective(s).

Matrix01_01

…and then…Knowledge was power.

Feedback is appreciated!  Thanks!

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Behavioral Software: End Game

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The fear, loss of control, and the posturing for an agreeable social position (both socially and subjectively designed) – all, while wielding a pre-conceptual schematic entailed with strategy, or, schema –  Is –  Ultimately, indicative of the ‘Social Conflict Theory‘ endgame.

The endgame in this case – is a kind of ‘Cerebral Real Estate.’ The cognitive identity is vulcanized by both extrinsic and intrinsic variable derivatives – inherent in-group aggression and out-group presets

Throughout cross-cultural and trans-cultural history, people continue to display the same behaviors spawned from old patterns. Social psychology doesn’t change often or quickly. Age old group dynamics remain consistent – and the human species remains resistant to change. Unfortunately, violence hails among these trends prevalent within the human nature, and war is international practice. The motives of leaders may vary, but the outcome shows an unchanging paradigm.

Several ideas have been consistent in social research focused on group aggression. A common theme coined as “chosenness” is typically a fundamental aspect of group based aggression (Eidelson & Eidelson, 2003). “Chosenness” reflects a hierarchy dynamic, posturing its members as superior to others. Typically, such a group is united by assigning itself a task. This conviction provides a feeling of cohesion and kinship within the group. Positioning itself against outsiders, the group tends to form a justified grievance in regard to another group or type of person. Naturally, this can quickly spur negative ramifications. Group violence or war is atypical of this behavior. In example – certain member(s) may perceive an external threat and legitimize aggression in the name of defense. Needless to say, the situation can quickly become hazardous.

Offensive violent proceedings are often justified as preventative measures. At times, aggression is viewed as the only option by the group and violence is a common symptom. Groups of this nature are polarized by a perceived motivational stimulus. A hierarchal group model could have one to possibly several figureheads, or, leaders. Gangs, and other aggressive aleigences may be based on a peer structure. The group may have a loose hierarchal system, or operate without a figure head at all. Positive leadership serves as a prevention in group aggression, but little else has proven effective.

The Social Learning Theory of Aggression is based on the premise that violent groups sustain a correlative relevance to first observing another assault-based model, thus reinforcing any prior violent leanings. Therefore, the behavior is not necessarily inherent – rather, it is learned. Social influence easily takes root in early childhood development. (Bandura, 1973). Higher rates of propensity toward violence have been identified in sub-cultural frameworks that condone and/or reward competitive members. Social scientist and Social Learning Theory of Aggression advocate, Albert Bandura, identified other violent cultural models portrayed in the media (television, video games, movies, sports…etc.), family, and sub-cultures as a key influence in perpetuating violent behavior.

Prejudice and Discrimination are either products of the group or found pre-existing in cultural models. Prejudice targets race, creed, political ideology, religion among other cultural schemas based on counter identities or beliefs. Discrimination extends from behavior, acting on prejudices. It is comprised of similar methodology and roots.


Realistic Conflict Theory provides a historical description leading to the roots of prejudice and discrimination. This model is competition based and reflects the primal nature of men. In example, this conflict is theorized to have been the cultural landscape during the co-existence of Neanderthal and Homo-sapien. Resources were jealously guarded and the competition was so extreme that it eventually led to the extinction of Neanderthal. Later on, this group dynamic was evident among American natives and European settlers.

Prejudice may also arise from the natural segregation societies use to divide up the world into distinct social categories. This is the derivative of the primary violent group models, as it creates the “us versus them” paradigm. The newly adopted mentality results in a binary effect. The “in-group” is the aggressor. The “out-group” is defined by the in-group.

The Social Cognitive Theory suggests that aggressive attitudes and a propensity toward violence is a trait adopted just as easily as any other social behavior and/or attitude. Social cognition is the process through which social information is adapted to mental processes. A familiar social cognition is “stereotyping.” A stereotype represents broadly shared views (typically negative) about another group, subculture, or race processes.

It can be said in several different ways.  It can be held up to the light, and the spectrum may be revealed.  However, if people do not reach for positive goals in resolving conflict, there is little hope for our future.  This may eventually prove to be the end of the game for us.

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Mind Blade: Philosophisiticeral Violence

Mind Blade Assassin

Mind Blade Assassin

The word ‘philosophy’ is among the more abused terms in the English language.  Philosophy is primarily an umbrella term, and not for social linguistics.

There are five core divisions under the philosophy umbrella: Metaphysics, Ethics, Aesthetics, Epistemology, and Logic. Each study branches out into a myriad of primary cores and sub-division. Every thought can be traced to a study of thought. Philosophy, quite literally, encompasses every aspect of human existence. There are branches for every study, as well. Physics, Mathematics, Science (general), Art, Linguistics, The Mind, Biology, Culture, Psychology, Anthropology, Evolution, Technology, History, Politics, Life (general), Education, Religion, Economics, Legal, Naturalism, Environmental…are a few counted dimensions, among many, of modern thought. Each area, is an official designation of philosophical study.

Many put a high price on its head, expecting it to simply be this or that. It must be done this way! Or, it may be shrouded in mystery, as if dense mists move within and around it in easy, obscure flows – stowing away its secrets. Some may present it in hard edged deductive constructs. Others may envision vast landscapes, with low lush green valleys and high mountain ranges, whitened with fresh snow – Each crag and crack hinting at its mysterious process of formation. Theists have shown various shades in staking claim to it. Some were named among the pioneers such as Immanuel Kant, or the literary artist – Ralph Waldo Emerson. However, on the current cultural front, rationalism, reason and logic are noble steeds driven fiercely into deep pools of muck in jockeying for position.

Cultural storms have been crashing and brewing since the first culture rose from the soils of sentience. Informal and formal practices of debate have spread out amongst a much broader range of social discourse with the modern age of the internet. Anyone with a computer and a network connection can chime in, and sign their name to, their own unique propaganda. Many don’t realize that they are on the frontlines of culture war when they are etching their piece of mind onto a computer screen and sending it adrift in cyber space.

Religion and politics are keystones of societies, handed down by tradition. Puppetry and magic are the sources of passionate argument in open discussion, though hearts beat rapid and anger clouds clarity. Hard heads collide, as one is set upon cracking the other. These regions of the social jungles are dark with desire and rich with snakes. These topics are entangled with emotion, and furrowed brows casting shadows upon the looking eyes. Old ghosts of times lost are still held high by their bumbling followers and gallant knights. Each side screams their battle cries as they dig their heals in and push it deeper. The divide threatens and they dare not slight, sheath their swords, nor compromise; and rarer still – an apology.

Over discussion, they split each hair – And, I say welcome to…culture warfare. Through their words bare gnashing teeth and bloodshot eyes. Maturity has brought me the kindness and calm. I wonder now, what they fight for. It has been so long – I can’t see it anymore. I am lost in the gun smoke, fire and clashing steel. Wandering and wondering, my heart opens out. The scene is obvious; the cultures war.

History reminds me about these pains and plights. There is little good born by it, mostly rising tempers and misuse of the written word.  Pens are sharp and wits can dance around slower minds. Societal cancer chews away, but there’s no blood on the ground. Rhetoric is rendered , but no lives are lost, I cannot help but imagine that this is actually progress.  Maybe it is a move forward, and that is difficult to imagine. A few minds here, and a few minds there.  In this arena, the brain rises above the brawn. Thoughts playing at conflict, but this could the answer to physical violence.

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The Far Reach

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The cultural landscapes of the world today are much like continental shifts.  The original continent, known as “Pangaea,” rose from the ocean as a single uniform mass.  The processes of time, erosion, volcanism, and gravitational forces eventually fractured Pangaea in several areas, sending the pieces adrift in all directions.

Here we sit today, galvanized by cultural and continental division.  In a sense, the human species is no more connected than the continent of Pangea.  Not far behind, our ancestors also set out on their own continental divide and drift, and, in effect, genetically altering future generations of their offspring through environmental acclimation. The people today are as different as the continental regions their ancestors settled on.  Heliocentric determinism racially defined our species based on exposure to, and distance from, the sun.  Those that settled nearest the equator, adapted darker shades of skin pigmentation than others further removed in relation and/or exposure to our sun.  Colder regions dawned vastly different versions of our species with pale skin and unique body hair densities to shield against freezing conditions.

I cannot help but reflect upon the universal consistencies, fluid but bound, in a vortex, spiraling out – into this fractal expansion.  From the atom to the galactic front.  Hurling through the space-time continuum, we are the very die cast by probability.  And, from probability, our species’ propensity for conflict is as evident today as it has ever been.  As the planet builds to a flashpoint with each of our seven billion sets of hands awkwardly scribing in the sum of our ignorance.  Across the planet, egocentrism urges on the notion that violence may be an unsurpassable obstruction to peaceful coexistence.  Cross-culturally, humans have shown that they are the most prolific and ardent conspecific killer to ever arise from the depths of life’s potential.  Out of a seemingly limitless labyrinth of choice, the majority repeat patterns of destruction resulting in a moral erosion – ever outshining any other conflict in existence.  We kill, separate, hate, destroy, waste, take, and consume with a tone of vampirism.  Chaos seems to pull us into its gravitational fields and currents of a looming cultural abyss. Archaic systems of spiritual guidance and political governance are often applied in place of progress, and compassion has become an endangered enlightenment only preserved by the tears of those who care to listen to the wisdom of their hearts.  Let my tears be counted among them.  Let my eyes not weaken as I continuously choose to clear and tune my vision.  I will count each dove that falls and each injustice my heart will carry as my own.  If I can bear it, let me hold the suffering upon my back.  Let me not call for help or cast guilt ridden stones.  This is my choice because it is the conceit, the gluttony, and the measure of an intelligent heart.

If this condition of the world is woven in the acclaimed plan of any cultural god or gods, they are gods to the negligent and equally slain by a heart brandishing intelligence.  Robbed, are these old high path steps, and found devoid of any relevance.  Bow in reverence to the ruins of cultures time has forsaken and lost and be consumed be the height of self deceit.  These false idols will continually finance war and cut its adherents from herds of the apathetic masses of the weak.  The higher path’s beauty and peace frail hearts and minds will claim to know by their ancient master’s preach, but have no more understanding of a light by existing in the dark of shadow.  Many will begin this trek, only to retreat in fear.  Attracted to the light they once sought to know, but blinded are the eyes that have not been enlightened by their tears.  Self centricity is the Sifu of the dumb heart – barred from the high roads, passing too hurredly to bear its beauty, and peace, to the deaf – is rendered silent.  Fervently, many winding masses seek, but the true light dims to those barren of a heart’s tears, like a mirage in a desert or a ghost of time.  The eye of this needle may be forever narrowing in its closing for those afraid of what is within.  A calloused heart is a crippling self infliction, and traveled by billions – apathetic rote practice of empty teaching.  See this torch held,  and not lost in following.  Chasing personal gods lay bare their pursuit as a selfish wish in signs only ever echoed back by the author’s reflection among the chasm called by us, universe, whilst the hand shake the pen in the weary trifling.

Scribbled lines mar the message as knots only untangled by the far reach.  Pulls from within ring tones of truth, and your heart may break, yet strength it flexes in the heal.  The path shirks the weak, as the legend of its rare passengers is seen.  And…I will fear no evil because the strongest hearts align with me. See yourself in another and lift the illusory mirror smoke magic.  Rise and stand at the foot of this mountain, lest, in your heart, you see a mad man.  Anger begot compassion in tilting the heart’s table, and the mind begot a word in this refraction.  If this god is love, beware any hell that fallacies teach – or, this path lose any passage rite in fiction and fable.

Hatched from the extrapolated vibrations sounded by the hums of chaos – We are the anomalies of sentience. Beneath the atomic glue that engages us into this spiraling structure, our faces are the shape and product of chaos.  From possibility, to potential, to probable, and onto algorithmic determinism – the heart each have written is bound to form. Stand strong as the intelligence of hearts begins to feel, else escape, a turned back, returning to the card house of fear.

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Shaman

A Native American shaman trots in tradition around a smoldering fire pit.  His eyes glint, and the wrinkles in his weathered face deepen as if guarding the very secrets of time.  The man chants formulas passed on to him from ancient tongues.  His hand reaches up and pulls at the sky.  His arm then rapidly whips down to the fire-less pit.  His hand delivers lightning from the sky and a fire rages up upon his touch.  This above is based on the character of a famous medicine man my parents knew.  According to them, and many others, such accounts are factual.  More powerful than lightning, a shaman can control belief.

In every culture there are representations of shamanic ritual, tradition, and practice.  In every culture there are representations of shamanic leadership.  In more primitive cultures, these figures are often spoken of as witch doctors, healers, among other titles shrouded in mystery.  Currently, there is a vast ocean of role models to choose from.  Typically, shamanic positions represent tangible connection with deeply intangible lines of logic.  It was a person granted with a shamanic role that once ascribed gods to natural phenomena.  Shamanic practice is the mother of ritual and superstition, yet has traditionally provided cohesion within communities through carrying hope and belief with it.

Naturally, the various roles of the shaman, along with mankind, have evolved.  Some shamans wear animal relics, others, a simple, understated, shirt and tie.  Some draw symbols in the sand, others draw from allegorical metaphor.  The role of the shaman, has always stood, as if in marriage, along the leadership dynamic in a group or society – if not the primary component of it.  This is the finding of trans cultural analysis.  Despite the apparent confusion of the idea, people, not need, but should have, great ideals and the mysticism of the unknown driving and furthering their intention.  Yet, mysterious inspirations should never be held as truths themselves – else, they be as ever changing as the particles beneath the fine structure of matter itself.  The authority of the shaman commands, and speaks for, belief.  This kind of prowess could cage or free a people.  That is the power it possesses.  Belief can wield the destruction of human kind.  However, inspiration, is born of the same branch.  Reason has not always rescued us, but it gains promise.

Inspiring ideas fill our intellect.  Reasoning filters it.  This is our compass – and, the only one we’ve ever known.  This compass does not point to true North, but truth itself.  Bruce Lee’s studies in philosophy are barely known, but highly useful here.  More than a chiseled martial arts master, he, as all masters of discipline, was a philosopher.  Lee spoke of two ends of a person – one, he called the “mechanical man,” the other he coined “the unscientific man.”  On one end, man is not much more than a series of conditioning, or, rote memorization.  His individuality, nonexistent.  In conflict, “the unscientific man” is the apparatus of imagining.  When creativity is taken to the extreme, any information it derives can become independent of empirical identity.  Yet, when these social behaviors are tuned in balance, each builds and connects the other.  The result is a symphony of a very evolutionary nature.  Science needs imagination to expand its empire – and imagination is meaningless without the structural identities of science.

The two human constructs gallop in tandem.  Each create the other’s design.  In realms of dreams, the shaman has served society on many levels.  Yet, the role, or – the archetypal schema, must always be represented by symbols, beings, or ideas.  In modern culture, ancient shamanic masks evaporate as society’s awareness of other cultural ideologies grows.  Like the species of its origin, the shamanic roles evolves with time.  Today, it seems, these cultural icons appear before us as magicians, scientists, rebels, charismatic, ominous, or, the most common role played – sacred.  In modern civilization, communities have been replaced by mobs.  The role of the caring shaman has been abandoned amidst the chaos.  So, who will save us from our very human insanity now that the shamans are fading mirages in the distance?  We ultimately write our own truths.  I write mine with the golden realizations those before me have found and left behind.  In poetry, art, music, film, philosophy, writing, etc… I feel that I can gauge truth for myself.  When the sparks of enlightenment are spoken by another, they are only ever recognized by one’s own measure.  The catalyzing charge released by the very seeds of our ideas is, and always has been, the magic of the shaman.  With this push from our cumulative genius, human consciousness expands into the unknown as the universe itself.

Trudge on…

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The Burden of Proof

 

This is a very common argument in creationist circles. Hence, a perfect example for my demonstration.

First let’s examine the official burden of proof argument…

1) A skeptic, by definition, is one who challenges a claim – not a person who presents one.

2) A believer of anything, i.e. religion, space, time, bananas…ect. asserts a claim is indeed a valid one, and thus owns the responsibility to provide some kind of conclusive evidence for their belief to pass from subjective knowledge to objective knowledge to establish a Commonality between the two perspectives (subjective vs. objective).

Therefore, the burden of proof lies with the ‘believer.’

Furthermore,

Between the two parties, there are generally two different schools of thought on how life began:

1) Atheists/Agnostics/Skeptics may postulate evolution and scientific fact/theory.
However, you will not catch many people in this category claiming to have THE ‘truth’ – due to the fact science does not have all the answers. The most fundamental property of this group is that they position their understanding in credible evidence. There is little or no faith involved due to the fact that assertions on this side can be placed in objective reality either by physical evidence and/or logical conclusion.

2) Believers claim creation.
It is important to note that a believer’s ideas of creation belong to an extremely diverse group of people. There are over 10,000 + different religions alone (not accounting for sub-sects). Considering these numbers significantly lowers the possibility of believing in the ‘right’ religion – due to the fact that the majority, if not all people belonging to these differing variations of religions claim to have the one and ONLY ‘truth.’

Evidence – the only evidence for religion is alleged testimony of people who are typically unable to currently testify and/or teachings/prophecies/allegories passed down through history.

This evidence is:

a. Subject to alteration due to translation(s).

b. Subject to political influence(s).

c. Subject to interpretation(s).

d. Subject to questionable source(s).

Religion also must own up to the following Relative Factors:

a. Cultural Relativism

b. Moral Relativism

c. Linguistic Relativism

d. Psychologism

At this point in my demonstration comes the use of (one of my favorite tools) Occam’s Razor.

After taking all these factors of probability into consideration, Occam’s razor delivers the final death blow to religion when it is pitted against scientific analysis, logical/mathematical proof, and physical evidence. Religion does not hold even when these factors are not taken into account.

And finally:

It would be just as easy to say that of all the billions of people throughout history, none have been able to prove the existence of any deity.

This is known in philosophy as an Appeal to the Masses:

“APPEAL TO THE MASSES: One is committing this fallacy when he tries to justify a belief or action by the support base behind that action. Saying that Christianity is the right religion because it has a billion followers is an appeal to the masses. As with other logical fallacies, there is no logic behind this, just ignorance.

EXAMPLE

“There are more and more people converting to Creationism everyday. Even astrophysicists and biologists are seeing the light. This is God’s work!”

Creationists often engage in an appeal to the masses in tandem with the appeal to authority, as you can see here. In this case, they use the appeal to an anonymous authority with the appeal to the masses. If all the physicists in the world suddenly said that they Earth pulled down at 1,000m/s2 without any proof, they’d still be wrong. If all the Creationists in the world jumped off a kilometer-high bridge, would you? If you said, “Yes,” please proceed to the nearest bridge.”

Again, such arguments are dust in the realms of logic…

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