I am occasionally told that people can't be as stupid as I believe them to be. That there can't be as many morons on the planet as I insist, or there'd be fighting and bickering all the time... oh.
And that's where the argument always fails. Yes, the population of Earth is, on the whole, pretty dim. That's why confidence tricksters do so well. Most of them become politicians. And idiots vote for them and go to war for them.
Some time ago, a group of American scientists set up the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' to make a point. It was only loosely connected with the evolution vs. intelligent design argument, although many think that's what it was all about. No, they protested about the introduction of religion into school classrooms. If, they said, you're going to teach religion, you have to teach them all. Including this one we just made up. They did it to prove a point. I might not agree with the mechanics of how they made their point, but the point is valid. Schools should not indoctrinate children in one particular religion. Religion should be a choice, not an obligation. I choose not to have one, but if you're going to follow a religion, you should be allowed to decide for yourself which one is for you.
The key phrase in the above is 'made up'. There was never any question of it being otherwise. It was an attempt to make a serious point in a lighthearted way. The whole thing received so much publicity at the time, surely there can't be anyone who hasn't heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by now? Surely everyone knows it's a total fabrication?
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has believers. It has a website. It's all silly, and has absolutely no credibility as a religion. It wasn't intended to. Even those senseless enough to have joined up with the likes of David Icke or L. Ron Hubbard's made-up religions should be able to see through this one. It seems not.
Read the hate-mail section of the site. There are those who actually believe this to be a competing religion, who think the organisers are really trying to form a pasta-based cult, and who 'fear for their souls'. Some of those 'hate-mails' are tongue-in-cheek, but most are not.
If enough idiots fall for this, it's going to backfire very badly. The originators hoped to make a point about the separation of religion and science, but obviously underestimated the lunacy inherent in humanity.
Give it five years or so, and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will start to build real churches and employ ministers, presumably drawn from the ranks of Italian waiters. A new religion is born, with a touch of wonderful irony in that its originators were trying to make a point against religion.
I stand by my as-yet-unrefuted theory. Most people are stupid. The news confirms this daily. I will revise this theory when, say, two world leaders decide to sort out their differences over a few beers, and perhaps a game of darts, rather than have a war. When they discuss matters in an adult fashion rather than resort to 'my gang's tougher than your gang'.
It's never going to happen.