The day before yesterday I commented on Occam’s razor. The basic principle is that, “simpler explanations are, other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones.” I also commented that many conspiracy theories fail that test. I should comment that there is usually no easy way to disprove a conspiracy theory, most of the time. One can only pile up evidence against them. And, there is a reason why it is difficult to disprove a conspiracy theory:
To understand why, consider that, for each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there is always an infinite number of possible, more complex, and ultimately incorrect alternatives. … Put another way, any new, and even more complex theory can still possibly be true. For example: If an individual makes supernatural claims that Leprechauns were responsible for breaking a vase, the simpler explanation would be that he is mistaken, but ongoing ad-hoc justifications (e.g. “And, that’s not me on film, they tampered with that too”) successfully prevent outright falsification. This endless supply of elaborate competing explanations cannot be ruled out – but by using Occam’s Razor.
In other words, if you have ever had a friend who was into conspiracy theories, you know that no matter what objections you have, your friend was always able to add another layer of explanations as to why their theory had to be correct. In the same way, when you talk to dispensationalists, it never matters how often their predictions are wrong. They will never admit that their basic method is wrong. They have simply made a mistake in interpreting the Scriptures. Thus there is a history of dispensationalists predicting the start of the Tribulation many times. Every time they have failed. And yet, when pressed the answer always is that they have simply misinterpreted the signs, not that perhaps their way of looking at Scripture is simply mistaken.
Even smaller predictions have failed. For instance, one of the classic ones from past decades was the prediction that the then 10 nation European Community was going to become the 10 nation confederacy mentioned in Scriptures. Of course, the European Community is now more than 10 nations. Nevertheless, for those of you who know dispensationalists, you know that they have come up with explanations that simply repeat the refrain that they were wrong in that case, but that the Word of God is true. Well, I happen to agree with that statement, but I would go farther and say that their entire method is wrong and will lead to mistake after mistake.
Because dispensationalism has as its viewpoint that the End Times will come in the midst of a massive conspiracy by the Anti-Christ, and because of their belief that God intended for them to read and interpret the signs of the end times, they are primed to believe in conspiracy theories. You see, if you are looking for signs that the Anti-Christ has arrived and is engaged in his conspiracy to take over the world, then you are primed to believe in conspiracy theories that show the world going to the Anti-Christ. In passing, that can also become true of other groups, if they are either under pressure or if they are in a situation in which their beliefs require that there be a conspiracy.
This is where a correct use of Occam’s Razor can be helpful in showing that the dispensational theories are mistaken. Having said that those who believe in the conspiracy theories will not be dissuaded by Occam’s Razor or by any counter-evidence that you can provide. Sadly, this way of thinking (that is conspiracy theory thinking) has now spread to a vast swath of theologically conservative Christians in the USA. And, as a result, there had been a concomitant loss of logical thinking and logical evaluation of ideas in favor of the conviction that conspiracies abound.
===MORE TO COME===