The extreme right wing parties have overtaken many of the traditional conservative parties all over the globe. In Western world especially by appealing to nationalism, Christian cultural heritage and closing the borders from immigrants and refugees alike. Especially the feared Muslims, but anyone with a different tone of skin seems to qualify. Their populist policies have influenced the general political athmosphere, by appealing to a fear of the unknown, the outsider and foreigner, turning the fear of the foreigner into a more and more discussed political issue. In countries like my native Finland it has become “normal” to discuss how Finland could be made into less attractive country for immigration. This is not a very smart long term policy for a country that suffers from low birth rates even though it has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

In reality the world is not going to be devoid of Finns any time in the near future, as we have doubled our number just within a half of a century. That is a very short span of time, even in the terms of human history, not to mention biology. However it is true, that soon there will be a lot of pensioners in comparrison to the working population here. At the moment Finland suffers rather high rate of unemployment. Mostly young adults. But as the big generations born after the WWII grow older, that amount of unemployed Finns will simply not be enough to run the economy as a labour force. Hence, we actually do need the immigrants.

As the amount of immigrants and refugees from outside of Europe has slowly been growing, so have the deportations from Finland back to countries from wich some of these people came from. To me, the entire business of paying tickets for someone to fly back to a country where they do not want to live in, is simply nonsensical. Never mind the fact, that many of those people are infact in mortal danger in their countries of origin. Like for example an Iraqi police officer who had been threatened several times, and when he was deported back, got killed by the very people he had run away from to Finland. What sort of self flagellation the official responsible for making this particular deportation descision has succumbed to since, I do not know. I fear they are too stupid to even understand their own responsibility on using power over the life of a nother person. It is too sad, that people with enough of presence of mind to recognize the higher responsibility of using more power over the life of a nother, do not want thatburden of responsibility and thus the power is directed to people who do not understand such responsibilities and as a result often even want the sensation of power.

The Finns have a high regard of our police and other officials. We have good reason to think they are well paid, highly trained and educated professionals, who have a remarkably low rate of corruption. If the law sets certain parametres as to who is entiteled to live in Finland, the average Finn believes those should be respected.

On the other hand, at the moment our Office of Immigration MIGRI, is found constantly in the news topics from ridiculous descisions they have made to accomodate the new government instructions issued to satisfy the “immigration critical” right wing political populists. For example, there was this man from somewhere in the Middle-East, who had applied for sanctuary as he was a homosexual, and in his homecountry it was not uncomon to stone homosexuals to death. To find out wether his story was true or not the officials at MIGRI had asked him to prove he is a homosexual. How stupid is that? How does one prove such a thing? What did they expect him to do to prove it?

They are even trying to assess, wether some marriages between Finns and immigrants are “actual marriages” or simply marriages of convinience for the married immigrant or a refugee to get a permission to live in Finland. I mean really? How stupid is that? I bet, by their parametres they could have a lot to say about the marriage of president Donald Trump and his much younger immigrant wife…

The right wingers in Finland often appeal to the nationalist feelings by referencing to the WWII, and how Finland stood against the agression of Stalinist Soviet Union. All of us Finns have been taught, that our grandfathers fought for our indipendence and especially for freedom. But the freedom of whom and to do what? To live where people want to live? The Freedom of some particular group defined as Finns, by someone else. What about the people who would want to become Finns? Live in Finland, because this is, or at least used to be, a relatively good country to live in? What was the worst that could have happened to the average Finn, if the Soviets had conquered Finland. To the Estonians, our neighbours, who were invaded by the Soviets, it meant, that a lot of the most richest ones lost good part of their property. That the invaders could impose their power and rule over the individual Estonian and for example deport them somewhere (in Siberia) where they would not want to live, or where they could even be in mortal danger. Have we Finns now employed the rule of Stalin upon the people living in Finland, by providing bureaucrates the power and responsibility to try to decide for other people wether if their marriages are for love or for convinience? Wether they really are homosexuals as they claim to be, or what? Would even Stalin have made the distinction of harrasing people into not living where they want mainly according to their ethnicity. Finland is not making descisions wether someone may live in Finland if they are a born Finn, but for some reason the same rules do not apply, if one has been born elswhere. I find this different treatment of individuals appalling.

TS/<br />Talvisodassa menetetty Viipuri oli elokuussa 1941 jälleen suomalaisilla. Kuvassa 2. tiedotuskomppanian partio, joka on juuri vaihtanut Viipurinlinnan lipputankoon oikeankokoisen Suomen lipun.Vasemmalta tulkkina toiminut sotilasvirkamies Sadri Arifulla, sotilasvirkailija Lehesma, jolla on kainalossaan taistelujoukkojen linnantorniin nostama väliaikainen lippu, sekä luutnantit Jansson ja Myllymäki.

One of the dudes in the picture in their very nazi-like Finnish uniforms, was one of the Finnish Muslims, who fought for the freedom against the Stalinist Soviet union, and at the same time the allied forces of USSR, and in a way GB and USA. By looking at the picture you could not say wich one he is, but if you could, would that make any difference? Would our “immigration critical” voters recognize him as a “true Finn”? Should they have any say on wether this man had, or anyone else has, for that matter, a right to live in Finland? He risked more than any of them on behalf of Finland, but also for freedom wich is a contrary concept to their ideology. Could I ask them even to recognize that much? The moral of the world is not an easy black and white thing. Yet, liberty and freedom to choose where we want to go and live is not such a complex concept. Is it?

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Robin Hood is one of the legendary symbols for fight against oppression. A famous and popular symbol of the little people fighting against the greed of the mighty. The story has had many, many film adaptations along the years. Every filmmaker gives their own interpretation of the legend. As it is legend and not an historical story, it is quite malleable, without any good reason to tell people, that is not how it actually went.

Exept, that while art owes nothing to history as such, when a legend is set in historical backround, history is often distorted totally out of proportion when historicity is not an issue interresting to the storyteller. In the 1960’s there was a time where a western movie telling a story about cowboys had a certain look. None of it looked remotely like the 19th century in wich the stories were set. Both men and women had their hair and makeup made according to the latest fashion of the release date of the film and much of what they wore followed the same logic. Infact, one could say, there was a genre of western fantasy and the expectations of the audiences echoed suit. Then some Italian dudes made their own westerns, and because they were poor, they could not afford all the gimmicks and fashions of the Bonanza-style western fantasy and they had a vision of gritty, but realistic poor west. The basic story was always the same, not much different from Robin Hood, where the poor man has to fight for his rights against the magnate. After that all the western movies made before, turned into total camp. The fantasy version of old west, was suddenly percieved as it was – a bit silly.

Now me, I expect, that some day a scriptwriter, a director and a producer will see this opportunity to do to the film industry what the spaghetti westerns did to the western movies in regard to medieval and for example viking-age stories. There have been attempts to make something authentic, such as for example the film Being Human (starring Robin Williams), but as of yet, none of them has prevailed the genre. The day someone does this to the Biblical movie genre, will be a day to remember, but alas – I do not expect that to change anything, because the major audiences of that particular genre are so invested and indoctrinated, that they could not possibly see the difference between an authentic version of what may have happened in comparrison to the fantasy, because to them the fantasy versions are part of their identity. Even though, the fantasy in Biblical stories is quite fansy indeed.

My favourite filmatisation of Robin Hood remains the 1980’s TV series Robin of Sherwood. This even despite the occasional silly bursts of nationalistic nonsense. Though low on budget, they at least tried to make it look like it actually could have happened during the reign of John Lackland in the turn of 12th and 13th centuries. What they achieved was far too often only showing the time of the making of the film. Yet, at least they tried, wich is more than can be said about most high budget movies or TV adaptations of the story. My favourite version too had some mythical elements to it, but at least during the first two seasons, the idea was much, that some events seemed supernatural to the characters who lived in a superstitious culture and we modern viewers were only led to their perception of the situation, rather than that these were supposed to seem like supernatural to us. The characters were well built and grew during the series and my personal favourit still remains the frustrated bureaucrate the sheriff of Nottingham as portrayed by Nicholas Grace.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle robin of sherwood

Well, I was a kid and every generation seems to get their own Robin Hood. I guess the story remains popular as long as people can see the injustice in the abuse of power and the poor man forced to fight it. Just as in the western movies. That sort of injustice has not disappeared from the world, not by a long shot, but do we get many movies about modern day Robin Hoods taking a stand against it?

I am affraid, that most filmatisations from Errol Flynn to Prince of Thieves, through Robin Hood (starring Russel Crowe), to the new movie (of wich I have not yet seen more than the teaser) are so fantastic – and more fantastic by the number- that they have a tendency to turn the historical events behind the legend into a blurr in the minds of the greater audiences. That ultimately as a result of such medievalist fantasy the line between fantasy and history gets more and more bogged. That people will be having more difficulty to understand what is known about history and what is mere legend. Or that the real history actually took place and that we have something to learn from it.

 

The theological faculty at Helsinki University has decided to start teaching the theology of Islam beside their Christian studies. They already teach at least the Lutheran and the Orthodox versions of Christianity. Some of the Finnish politicians from the far right “immigration critical” party the “Finns” (previously known as the “True Finns” party) were alarmed by this new development.

There is this idea of “Islamisation” of Europe and western world, that is at the bottom of the fear for such a turn of events. Fear is a powerfull factor in politics. Sometimes fear is justified. There have been immigration from Islamic countries to Europe for generations and today it is more visible and wider than ever. The reason is of course, that there are many wars ongoing in Africa, Near- and Middle-East. Many powerfull western powers (both governments and capital) have supported this and that regressive form of government in North Africa, the Near- and Middle-East. This has led to a bunch of wars and people are running from the chaos, bloodshed, oppression and poverty. Hence there are more and more Islamic people even here in the norther part of Europe and even in Finland.

 Medieval illustration of a battle during the Second Crusade

This is the reality we live in today, not the time of the crusades. Closing the gates from more comers would be devastating to our own society, as it would send a message to the Islamic people who already live here, that they are being considered as some sort of second class citizens, or even totally unwanted people. This would lead to the radicalization of many of them and would serve no purpose, exept the purpose of the populist rigt wing politician, be they our own fascists, or members of the Islamist radical movement. For they truly are the opposite sides of the same coin. Their goal is indeed the same, to create a barrier between people on the artificial lines of religion and race and to rule people through the fear they themselves have created.

To me as an atheist, the study of theology, be it Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, or whatever is the study of nothing, by meaningles methods. It is ultimately a wasted effort to try to find some super- or otherwise unnatural meaning from ancient folklore alledgedly put there by some form of divine power. Theology only exists in universities because of cultural and traditional reasons. Not because it represents an actual form of science. It is a non-science where the end result of the “nature” of the ultimate study subject has been prediceded and it is simply nothing but magic. This meticulous study of such sources for generations has led us absolutely no closer to any evidence of said divinities even existing, let alone influencing writing work of primitive cultures. At the end, all divinities still demand blind faith, wich is by no means even a remotely reliable method to find the truth about ANY issue.

However, to me the possibility for people to practice their religion and especially trying to study it, is the sign of an open secular society, where all religions are represented, as long as any of them is studied and have followers anyway. Only in such a tolerant culture can the religions themselves develope towards peacefull co-existance and be interpreted in a tolerant way – thus benefiting also us atheists. In this sense secularism is not only the base for a stronger and more inclusive society, but indeed the base for a better society to live in. For everybody.

 

I never thought I would find myself defending the rights of the ultra religious conservative right. But here we go. The funny thing is, that I have to take a stand on the issue against themselves.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle joulupukki

Denmark has something against Santa Claus! Denmark has issued a ban on the Burka, Niqab, balaclavas, hoodies and false beards. Yes really – false beards… The purpose of this law is quite ridiculous. They mean to follow the example of France and some other European countries in order to make sure people could not hide their identity by obscuring their faces in public. Why obviously, because typical people to wear false beards like Santa Claus actors, and often the older Muslim women wearing niqab are the real menace to peace and order in public. Are they not?

Hiding one’s identity or face can not be stopped by such nonsensical laws. A person may alter their appearance by so many different methods. Make-up, or a wig may change the face totally, just like sunglasses. Why ban false beards? Why not real beards?

This finally proves how the right wing conservatism is equally stupid all over the world, based on subjective world views resulting in fearmongering and having the ultimate goal of getting to order other people around. Here you must wear a burka because they get to say what you may wear and there you must not wear a burka because the same sort of nincompoops get to say what you may wear. They want to oppress people by ordering them even in as seemingly trivial issues as what clothes to wear. What is wrong whith people who want to decide for other people what to wear?

However, it is not trivial to make such laws, because what you wear is about identity and freedom of expression and usually does not harm anyone else. The niqab may harm the person wearing it emotionally, if she is forced to do so, but a ban on the use of such a garment is just as bad as if you were forced to wear it.

The goal of such a ban has absolutely nothing to do with equality or feminism. If you thought so, you were sadly mislead. This can easily be observed by who expressed their joy about it. It was not the social movements fighting for equality, but all the xenophobes celebrating the idea, that this might somehow turn immigrants from Islamic countries back from Denmark. The very same people who constantly express their misogynism. Because they are affraid of Muslim women!

If the purpose of the Danish government was to fight against terrorism, and specifically Islamically motivated terrorism, they have just failed miserably. Such laws, that are direct attacks on the liberties of Muslims (although I suppose the attack on Santa was a clumsy way to try to hide the agenda) and the freedom to express their faith and/or identity are not only hypocritical, but also very dangerous, as they are the causes that drive Muslims already living or later moving to Denmark into radicalization.

People really need to understand, that religions do not cause political radicalization. The real causes are always political in nature. Religions provide people with identity and sadly also excuses by the imaginary divine authority they represent to put tribal moralism into action and ultimately unethical deeds, such as violence. You may think that Islamist terrorism is the only violence at hand, but you would be wrong. You should take a look at history and what the western nations have been doing in Islamic countries for the past century. Remember though, how the Islamists started out only by issuing orders about who gets to wear and what (especially women).

I am becoming really worried about Europe, as the right wing conservatives, both Islamist extremists and our own political opportunistic populists have caused changes on politics through fearmongering. Our right wing nationalists are handing on a plate again and again reasons to hate the western culture for the Islamist extremists to point out to other Muslims.

I wonder how long will it take for the Europeans to wake up and see how we are increasingly governed by so many people who have totally lost contact with reality and whose actions are motivated by fear and hatred. A niqab may be a tool for oppression, but it is also a strong religious and/or cultural symbol and it is pointles, cruel and barbaric to attack the women wearing them, wether by their own choise or not. What this sort of law can achieve, is only that the woman having to wear one, for any reason, shall find it much harder to go out into the society. It is a law of segregation, not different from the stars of David forced on the Jews during WWII, and it will close the woman into a very small ghetto of her home.

I am now expecting reports from Denmark about the police enforcing the law and fining Santa Claus actors for wearing false beards… Well, at least when the season comes again.

Steve Bannon promised to support US president Trump after he had resigned from the White House. He went back to Breitbart and now we are told, that Breitbart has been very critical of the latest descisions of the US president and some of his staff. I do not see any controversy here. A critical newsmedia should be critical even about the political leader they otherwise support. Otherwise it stops being critical and becomes just a form of propaganda for the politician. This is a positive sign.

The US president Donald Trump made a comment about the intended demolition of the statue of Confederate general Lee. He defended the statue and asked wich statues are the next to be tumbled. I agree with him. Pulling down statues, even those of people whose values we no longer share is a bit barbaric.

Of course, if a dictator has littered the landscape with enormous statues of himself or symbols of regressive and oppressive regime all over, it is only natural that when such a dictatorship falls, the people vent some of their anger on those statues and that a good number of them do not need to be in the open any more.

I do not think we should hide our past by taking down old statues, even if they represent ideals we no longer share. History should not be re-written as such, but rather that some of those statues should stand in order to remind us how we have been wrong once.

Now, in the US, it seems to me as an outsider, the problem is actually not so much the taking down of such a statue, or pulling the rug over history, as it is the crowd that came to protest the statue being taken down. People organized into paramilitant groups toting automatic guns and waving the Swasticas and the Confederate flags. These people were not there to protest against the cultural barbarism of pulling down an historical monument, but to demonstrate that they dare still openly hold racist values. I guess, it is these groups, and their audacity to publicly demonstrate their ultra-conservative extremist right-wing values really existing, why such a statue as the one representing general Lee was decided to take down at the first place. To make a gesture, that the US society no longer finds racism, or slavery as values to support, or even to flirt with. The fact that there was a counter protest finally made the gestrure. So in order to defend the statue, these right-wing extremists actually made the gesture bigger. It would have been even bigger if the US president had taken a firm stand against the neo-nazies. But he wavored. I guess he felt he had to accomodate for some of his most scared and angry voters.

Now poor president Trump is in dire straits with this. He has pulled much of his most loyal support from such extremist groups and even more from large amounts of individuals who may not be members of any of these groups, but symphatize with them, and share their concern of the world changing around them. Many of his supporters may not be open racists, but feel anguished about being monitored by demands of political correctness and not really knowing how to behave, when their former inhereted values no longer seem to be seen as valid by the ever changing society around them. Having a cultural heritage of already a bit old fashioned set of values, that as so many ancient cultural traditions are more based on arbitrary authoritarian dictates, than the ability to reason what is actually good and what is poor behaviour, these people have elected a president who seems to fit the picture of an authoritarian, white, strong, conservative male, who in addition speaks in simple phrases, rather than using complex political jargon. The thing is, that one of the many misconceptions of these sorts of voters of the president, is that they think they represent the majority and that the not only have the democratic majority, but the right of might of the majority and indeed even the right of might of their god, who no doubt agrees with them about all the moral issues. Yet, that is not how reality works and this means they are in for a nasty ride in the future and that they may get even more desperate, if this president fails to provide them the imaginary golden age of the past, they think existed when they were kids.

What options does president Trump have? He tries to provide a picture where he has not abandoned this large support group of ignorant and possibly desperate people. He has the advantage, that they often are limited in their cognitive abilities to analyze reality, so he – knowing his own crowd – may be able to numb them down with his message, that the “other side” was just as much to blame as the right-wing conservative extremists who demonstrated waving open the flags of Nazi-regime and those of the slave-owning Confederate magnates. The main question is what other side? Should we not stand against nazies? What follows, if we do not? I truly hope, that not even president Trump would really want that as in his own family there are people who would be among the first victims of such extremist right-wing conservatives would reach the sort of authoritarian absolute political power they expect him to weild, now that he is the elected president.

Ultimately, just as the ultra-conservatively motivated right-wing extremist Islamist terrorist is good at igniting the fear and hatred of the ultra-conservatively motivated Western right-wing extremist to demands of segregation and even violence (wich I might add is the goal of the Islamist terrorist), both are good at slowly waking up the great majority of the modern people, who just want to live their lives in peace, that at least some of the values they may share with these conservatively motivated right-wing extremists may indeed be bunk.

It may be slow progress, that no longer do we need to only argue with religious conservatives, that there are atheists even among conservatives, that liberal values like freedom of speech is defended as a conservative value, while it has not been that for a very long period of time, and in most extremely conservative and authoritarian cultures it is not valued even today and that some regressive extremist conservative political movements are infact led by women, but I call it progress never the less. Now there are even homosexual advocates of the right-wing conservative extremist values. Women and homosexuals have thus emancipated within the conservative culture up to a point even though opposing such emancipation used to be and still is, so very centrall to so many extremist conservatives of the right-wing tradition. Now, even a political leader who obviously is trying to fill in the leadership model of an authoritarian strong-man such as Donald Trump is critizised by his own supporters, like the Breitbart, who otherwise have had a tendency to spout out all manner of authoritarian propaganda in his defence. The world is turning and it changes. Let us hope it changes fast enough in comparrison to how fast we are detereorating it around us.

A gender neutral marriage law was recently affirmed in the Finnish parliament. This aroused some attention and controversy. There were arguments for and against it being presented. They were much the same as in this issue around the globe where ever it has become into focus. I do not even try to repeat them all here. There are a couple of concerns I would like to address about this discussion.

“Born this way.” The question wether, or not, homosexuality is a trait a person has from birth is not and should not be brought up in the entire discussion about marriage. It is totally irrelevant. Even the question, if someone chooses, or not, to be a homosexual is irrelevant to the question of marriage. We do not really know, if people are genetically caused to be homosexuals or wether it is a trait that developes onto the person. We do know that a lot of homosexuals would choose not to be homosexuals, if they possibly could. The reason to that is, that the society around them has trouble accepting them as they are and in respect to that some of them even learn to have similar cultural reasons of having trouble of accepting themselves as they are.

The real question is not what causes homosexuality, but wether we have any actually rational and sane reasons to think it is wrong on any level. We do not. The “reasons” presented to make the claim, that there is something wrong about homosexuality are presented as follows and often the path from one claim to a nother are presented on this line of thought:

Is it a sin? Now, sin is something determined to be some sort of violation of the will of some particular gods. Freedom of religion however dictates necessarily for a peacefull and mutually respectfull society to exist, that the beliefs about the divinities, or the supernatural in general, may not decide legal processes, or be used to step on the rights of a nother individual. Not even within a religious group that has accepted one doctrine or a nother. That is, even if the Catholic church and all the victims of rape by Catholic priests thought it was not really a crime, by the secular mutual standards of the modern soceity, they still are and should be treated as such. Therefore even if the majority of religions in any given country thought, that eating shellfish or being homosexual was a sin, they could not ethically make it illegal based on that imaginary guess on what their god supposedly thought was a sin.

Because the entire issue of marriage equality has been raised mostly in secular countries (and not in the Vatican or Iran), the question wether it is a sin is irrelevant. In modern democracies religions are a private matter and sin is something you discuss privately with your particular god, if you wish, who then redeems you from it, or judges you from it. Or you do not bring this or any other subjects to your god, if you even have one in the first place. This is why the people whose dislike of something like homosexuality often is derived from religious prejudices, often move to the camp of inventing seemingly secular “reasons” to justify their feelings about the issue.

Is it unnatural? There are people who try to frame sexuality into this tight box of reproduction. They have the right to do so in the privacy of their own homes, but not force the idea on others. No doubt that this line of argumentation appeals to all sorts of simpletons, as it seems simple. However, human sexuality is far from simple. I could discuss how a lot of animal species have homosexual behaviour, but from experience I know that this tends to lead down the rabbit hole of humans not being animals. Wich strangely often leads us back to the idea of sin. No, humans are not the same animals as those other animals that also engage in homosexual behaviour. That is there just to show you, that it is natural in the sense that it happens in the nature. But wether or not any animals engaged in homosexual behaviour does not in any way address wether it is right or wrong. Animals do not drive cars, but we do not try to ban driving a car because we see it as unnatural. Sex is as much just a form of reproduction and should be as much limited to that, as human transportation is all about walking and should be limited to walking. If you do not want to run or ride a bike, fine then don’t. But do not try to make running illegal. OK?

Gods are by definition unnatural. They are not part of nature, if they even exist beyond our natural brains. Should we ban gods because they are unnatural? Everything that happens in nature is natural. Salt is natural. Polio is natural. Homosexuality is natural. The only relevant question about homosexuality regarding laws is wether it is harmfull or not and if then to what extent. The entire question wether it is unnatural is ridiculous.

Is it harmfull? People see a lot of harm done to the homosexuals by people who feel justified in disliking, or even hating them for the “reasons” they give, that I listed abowe. There are also people who have been harmed by homosexuals. This works much the same way as with racism. When people are harmed by the representative of this, or that group of people, they make the connection between the group and the deed. Despite wether or not the group identity, or what ever makes the purpetrator of the harm part of that group – even skin colour, or sexual orientation –  was actually the motive for the deed. If a homosexual rapes a child, it is not the homosexuality that caused the deed. Any more than, if a white man shoots a black man, him being white was his motive for the act. The rape of a child is the result of the rapist being a) rapist and b) pedophile not being homosexual. If the rapist was not a homosexual, he would simply have chosen his target differently. The white man shooting the black man may have been motivated by any number of reasons from theft to racism. But even if it was racism, the motive was not him being white.

As for the marriage equality, there have been a number of more, or less comic attempts to stop the change, that has now finally taken place. There is this notion, that a family unit ideally consists of a father, a mother and some children. The idea has been, that the reason why the society recognizes a marriage as a special status between two people is because they are able to reproduce and should be given social support to be better able to do this. It is a ridiculous notion, in that even if that could be proven to be some form of ideal family unit, it does not mean all families need to reach such an ideal. Especially not those families who do not find the arrangement ideal in any way. By the same token, people who can not have children should not be allowed to get married and old people whose children have grown to adulthood should divorce.

There is this claim, that there is some sort of harm done to adopted children in same sex marriages. This claim has not been confirmed in any scientific arena. But even if it could ever be proven that the children have it better in a heterosexual family than in a same sex family, that would be a moot point. It is like saying that since the rich families can better nourish the needs of their kids, than the poor ones we should ban the poor people from getting married, and/or from having children.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle aito avioliitto mielenosoitus

The picture abowe is from a “Genuine Marriage” demonstration at 24. september 2016 , that gathered almost a hundred demonstrators (wich is pretty few even in Finnish terms) in Helsinki to protest against the gender neutral marriage law. It seems they had more balloons than demonstrators.

Last but not least the most stupid argument against the gender neutral marriage must be the slippery slope argument. Wich is that if this is allowed, what next? Shall we allow polygamy, marriages with children and marriages with house pets? It shows the level of stupid from the political side that opposed the gender neutral marriage, that they themselves did not laugh at the representative who presented this ridiculous argument. Was it not the same as arguing that if we allow people to drive cars, we may have to allow people to drive tanks next? If you do not understand the difference between two consenting adults havign sex and sex with a child or an animal, never get any children or pets. As for the polygamy, where in any holy books ever does it even hint that, that was a sin? It is a separate discussion we may have in the future, but it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the gender neutral marriage law.

There are and have been a lot of conspiracies in the real world. Because the conspiracy is something secret it is often hard to prove, or disprove.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle new york skyline 2000

Some of the most extreme conspiracy theories have captivated the minds of millions. Some are so ingraned to society, that they are not even discussed when examples of conspiracy theories are presented.

Examples of typical conspiracy theories are the ideas, that the US officials knew before hand about the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbour, or the terror attacks in New York and Washington in 2001. Both of these conspiracy assumptions represent deep distrust a large part of the US citizens have for their government. They also represent the fact the US citizens who pay dearly as taxpayers for an ultra expensive military and extremely secretive agencies – both of wich have been found red handed in ethically questionable actions – do not feel safe. The blatant disregard for legality, or ethics these powerfull institutions have shown, does not make people feel any safer, nor the fact that these very expensive institutions are caught with their pants down. The average person likes to think they are safe and that is the main reason why they agree to big spending keeping such institutions costs. However, when something surprizing happens, that shows how woulnerable people are, they find their previous misplaced trust hard to accept, and try to look reasons for having been wrong from elswhere. Like that they had every reason to believe they were safe, exept for this conspiracy theory.

One major conspiracy theory in this same category is the Nazi hatred of the Jews. As the Germans could not accept their loss in world war I, they had to find a scape goat. Someone to blame that the promised victory never came. Racism is a similarly unfounded prejudice as the idea that a big military will keep your country safe and you personally out of reach of violence. Usually the effect is contrary, since a big military is often used for unsavioury actions to “protect the intrests” of the country, or more likely the corporate capitalism, or some obscure political ideology. This is prone to create enemies, who in face of overwhelming military power need to form conspiracies of their own to fight their oppressors.

However, if you thought any of the abowe were wild and implausible conspiracy theories, there are some that are by far even more ludicurous. For example a couple of surprizingly popular and mad conspiracy theories, that have the same roots and often the same believers are the climate change denialism and evolution denialism. Both are based on a claim that the scientific community has a major conspiracy going on.

Climate change denialists state, that the entire climate change is a hoax and even if it is not a hoax, but true, the change is not a bad thing, nor is it a human caused phenomenon. One of the climate change denialists is the new president of the USA a nation that is responsible for a very large portion of pollution. He has stated in his campaign, that it is a conspiracy by the Chinese to undermine US economy. His main advisor in environmental issues has claimed (while on the payroll of Exxon), that it is a conspiracy by the EU. I am curious as to wich one they are going to settle between them as the purpetrator of this conspiracy. This is a demonstration why conspiracy theories are not just us laughing at the stupid mentally disturbed individuals who think the world is secretly led by lizard people. Ignorance that leads to such nonsensical conspiracy theories is dangerous for the entire world. They make people distrust science and turns them to hand power over to self interrested authoritarianistic demagogues.

Just as with the climate change denialism, the evolution denialism starts with the assumption that the entire scientific community is in conspiracy, a secret pact, to lie to people contrary to their better information. The problem is how to prove such a conspiracy. The scientific method after all is the best method we have to evaluate reality as objectively as we possibly can and the scientists supposedly involved in this conspiracy are the ones who are best equipped to research both evolution and the climate. It would be ridiculous, if it was not so serious, that for these conspiracy theories to propagate themselves, they do not need to be investigated. People take them as true without the least bit of effort to investigate them, or precisely because they are ill equipped to investigate reality. They are most often believed by people who have been from childhood taught and indoctrinated to belive, that faith is a virtue. That their gut feeling is the best judge and somehow in more or less direct connection to some ultimate moral arbitrator creator entity – That in turn has never been falsified to exist on any level of reality. That means these people are effectively adults, who are totally subjected to their prejudices.

If the believer in any wild conspiracy theory is prejudging the reality around them according to some arbitrary tribally moralist ideal, be it something like a religion, or nationalism, they are helplesly biased. For example, to think they have every right to own a big polluting car, as the car is part of their identity, way of life and a continuation of their sexuality and self image. Or for a nother example to think, evolution must be untrue, as it challenges the fairytale they think is the ultimate truth from some god they worship, and feel as a base for their morality and sometimes even the justification of their very existance and possibly a redeemer of their guilt from the evil they have done because of their arbitrary understanding of morality.

As with everything else, the time to believe in an extreme conspiracy is when the evidence is presented, and the evidence is achieved by using the scientific method, as it is the only even remotely objective way to achieve reliable information. In addition, the more extraordinary the claim for a conspiracy is, the more extraordinary should the evidence be.

It seems to me, people believe the most extreme things when they are ill-educated, ill-informed and when the theory supports their preconceptions. Did I get this right?