Here is another quote I happened to stumble across today, and I wasn't even searching for it...it just appeared in my news summary links...
[Conspiracy theory: Is there someone pushing ideas to me to read and understand this information through covert means? Are unseen forces pointing me in a direction where I can figure this out like Tom Hanks did in Angels and Demons? Is the devil tempting me...or are angels guiding me with promptings? ....or is it randomly happening because people are thinking about this stuff right now?
...or are cookies in my browser bringing about what look like coincidence? ...I joke...but still...
...isn't that kinda what happens when we peek down the rabbit holes looking for answers that catch our eye?]
But here is what one person stated as they were going through a personal crisis and started reading medical stuff online to search for answers to their predicament:
...in the context of ambiguous and terrible events like 9/11 or the Sandy Hook shooting, conspiracy theories increase perceptions of control. Such narratives typically point to the existence of secret plots by powerful actors working behind the scenes, either to cause the horrible chaos or to fabricate it. The anger we then feel toward these “powerful actors” is accompanied by a feeling of efficacy (confidence in one’s ability to effectively navigate the world), hence increasing the likelihood that we will take action — by engaging in political participation, protest, or, in the case of a loved one’s medical situation, maybe filing a lawsuit.
That's kind of an interesting point to me...right, wrong..misguided or not...people seek meaning during times of crisis so they know what action to take. Sometimes the conspiracy theory in the face of so much unknown is a better alternative than just sitting and wallowing in doubt and fear that no action is taken. Blaming and taking anger out on things seems to follow.
If we blame the devil for things...maybe we think about what we need to do in order to not be caught in his snares, and to be more righteous, and to do God's will...and we then have a path forward to do some good actions. Even if grounded in fabricated assumptions.
Is that necessarily a bad thing?
I found the author makes a very good point:
Today, when I look at social media, sure, I see a few people sharing Covid-19 conspiracy theories, but what I see more of is people creating feelings of control and peace in more functional ways: sewing masks, helping neighbors get food, scheduling Zoom happy hours, gardening, and expressing gratitude for health care workers. These actions signal a healthier approach to chaos and trauma — not one anchored in either anger or fear but rooted in presence and gratitude, and echoing a profound tolerance for ambiguity.
In our religion...I think this would translate to having a more functional way to motivate people to do good...ministering visits because you care and serve instead of because you fear for your eternal worthiness in front of a God who will judge. Or taking a calling to serve others and grow individually, instead of receiving keys of authority to an organization so you can thwart the evil sinister plans of the devil in your family or community.
I guess whatever moves us to good action can be better than nothing, but if we do it blaming evil unseen forces the results may be short term and unfulfilling, and also eventually become something that leads to cognitive dissonance.
There are positive and functional ways to practice religion, without so much secrecy and conspiracy behind the plan of salvation.