Worldviews and Scams

Sunday, Feb 5, 2023
Jim Sutton

The past few days I have been reading articles and posts regarding scams – of which there appear to be many - no surprise there! Juxtaposed with scams is the idea that people use the label of “conspiracy theory” when they think something is out of the realm of possibility. How are these related? Let me attempt to unpack the bond between these two concepts.

In a post on Next Door Neighborhood, someone was alerting others to individuals that came to buy his car, but the offer was refused. What the person found out later is that the people poured oil in his radiator while he was not looking as a “parting gift” for refusing their offer. Result: expensive car repair, and a motivation to alert others of the scam. In politics, scams exhibit themselves as cronyism, extortion and profiteers. Even though I live in Texas, there are rumors that “scams” still are evident in some of our Legislators actions and proposed bills. One example: the wind turbines that have undercut our ability to generate electricity during harsh weather events. Who is scammed? Obviously everyone who believed that wind turbines would perform to the same level in all circumstances as our current coal and natural gas electrical generation plants.

This is where “conspiracy theory” enters in. Some people believe that the claims against wind turbines are a “conspiracy theory” if their knowledge is deficient in an area, like electric power generation. When someone counters the public narrative that wind generation is the wave of the future, that person is labeled as someone who believes in “conspiracy theories”, which ends any discussion or further investigation of the claims. By deficient knowledge, I don’t mean that they are ignorant necessarily, it may mean that “they know so many things that aren’t so” as President Reagan would articulate.

Going back to the person who now has an expensive car bill to pay, we might learn how our worldview keeps us believing things that scam artists, whether they be petty thieves, politicians, religious figures, social activists, corporate executives or whatever want us to believe instead of the reality that does exist. The car buyers offer a service to come to your house and sell your car at a price they will provide. Why would a person use a service like this that has no apparent business license to operate? I can think of a few reasons:

  1. They distrust car dealers
  2. They don’t want to expend the effort to sell their car, they want others to serve them at their convenience for what they consider a lower priority for how they want to spend their time
  3. They are an invalid and have no other options, like having friends that can help with the sale of their car
  4. They think they can scam someone else to buy their car at a higher price than what a more established business would offer them

Each of these options can be analyzed from a “what is the root worldview in operation here” perspective. For someone to distrust car dealers, they may have had an experience at one or more car dealers that didn’t go the way they expected, so a stereotype was formed in their mind and dictates how they will think about anyone in the car dealer category of life. Analyzing further, would it be too much to say the person is making a hasty generalization logical fallacy that because I have experienced “X” at “Y” businesses, all “Y” businesses are scammers? Going one step further, could it be that the person has chosen to make premature judgments on some or even most of their relationships, because they don’t want to make the effort to investigate something they are not familiar with, and take the step to dismiss it so that their minds will not trouble them with thoughts of unfinished business in regards to thinking about what was said? The mind is an incredible asset we are given, how we use it may indicate where our values and core beliefs really are, as opposed to what we may try to convey to others through our conversations and actions.

Our worldviews filter our ability to discern or understand the reality of the world we live in that God created, just like a camera filter can change the actual picture in the frame into something totally different. For that reason we should be concerned with understanding and investigating our own thoughts when we are quick to label something "conspiracy theory", acknowledging our own responsibility to discern our personal worldview that enables us to attach "conspiracy theory" to something we want to believe is balderdash. There is a saying that has been going around since the exploitation of the COVID narrative by "official" sources, the difference between conspiracy theory and truth is now down to less than a year. What are the scams you’ve been dealing with in your own mind that you have labeled “conspiracy theory”?