Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

James Foley, and the moral bankruptcy of the conspiracy theorists

Every time I think the conspiracy theorists can sink no lower, they outdo themselves.

Not that it's easy.  These are the people who think that everything from the Sandy Hook massacre to the Boston Marathon bombing were "false flags" to distract us from what the Evil Government is doing, or else outright hoaxes staged by "crisis actors."  They've dogged the footsteps of bereaved parents who have lost children to school shooters, desperate to prove that their child never existed, thereby ranking even lower on the Great Chain of Being than the members of the Westboro Baptist Church (who fall somewhere below slime molds themselves).  They spread their fear messages amongst the gullible, turning jet contrails into toxic "chemtrails," fluoridation of water into a campaign by the government to convert us all into mindless drones, and vaccination programs into a plan by "Big Pharma" to give our children autism, ALS, and lord alone knows what else.

And now they have latched onto the brutal beheading of James Foley by the butchers of ISIS as the latest target of their poisonous nonsense.

The flag of jihad [image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons]

We have the conversation over at the r/conspiracy subreddit claiming that ISIS is an arm of the CIA.  Worse still, from the site Epoch Times comes a claim that the execution video itself is a fake, and that the head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is actually an Israeli Jew named Elliott Shimon who is on the payroll of Mossad.  Other claims are floating around various social media, suggesting that Obama operatives staged the execution (or possibly carried it out for real) to distract us from the riots in Ferguson or the illegal alien crisis or the ongoing non-scandal surrounding Benghazi.

(And just for the record: though I provided links to the r/conspiracy thread and the Epoch Times article, I am actively recommending that you don't click them, unless you really enjoy experiencing outrage at near-aneurysm levels.)

But to the people promoting these ridiculous claims, I have only the following to say:

Have you no shame at all?

A man died, for fuck's sake, slaughtered in the desert with less dignity than we accord cattle in an abattoir.  His executioner's blank eyes are the face of true human evil, and the cause he belongs to is representative of the worst human nature can do.  I am by nature and philosophy a pacifist, but reading about Foley's horrifying last moments (I refuse to watch the video, and so should you) makes me roundly in favor of tactical strikes to wipe every last member of ISIS off the face of the earth.  These subhumans deserve no better.

And you dare to bend this story to fit your twisted little view of humanity?  You have only proven your own moral bankruptcy, if there was any doubt of that left.  Your lies are nearly as sickening as the brutal jihadist message of ISIS itself, because you, like they, have no apparent regard for the life and dignity of a human being who (by all accounts) was a kind, courageous, intelligent man whose death should be mourned in peace by his family and friends, not used as a means for bolstering a warped worldview.

It shouldn't surprise me by now.  You people are willing to lie about damn near everything else, why wouldn't I expect you to lie about this?

But it always does, somehow.  I always think, "This, at least, is beneath even the conspiracy theorists."

And I'm always wrong.


  1. The video is probably a fake. That's not a video of a man about to die.

    1. Curious but how is a man supposed to act before he's about to be executed?