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Why people believe in conspiracy theories
Posted: 14 May 2013 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Those are good points TimB. 
I still think the main emphasis on what we are seeing with alot of this stuff…including here in this Forum, is what Lois and others described above.
It’s a kind of mania.  It’s events that “shock” a persons ability to grasp determinate events as they happen.  So to reckon with these “shocks” I think they like to create an alternate theory as a way of coping with it.
Very important also to note is the following:
Every single person didn’t come to these alternate ideas by themselves.  They heard the ideas or had the idea suggested to them.
Then they attach themselves to the idea and expound on it.
Substituting an even more fantastic theory than what reality provides, gives a kind of shelter from the fact that truth is stranger than fiction.
Blaming an amorphous entity like government also relieves the theorist of having to be specific again.
It seems the government always knows about the conspiracy…but they are keeping it a secret.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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CuthbertJ - 14 May 2013 10:45 AM

...there is a video of the owner of WTC7 saying to someone on a phone, shortly before WTC7 went down, to “pull it” (or whatever the phrase is in demolition parlance).  That in itself makes any conclusion about the building “just collapsing” suspicious.

Which has already been explained quite adequately (a long time ago) and is one of the sadder “truther” lines/lies.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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VYAZMA - 14 May 2013 01:14 PM

Every single person didn’t come to these alternate ideas by themselves.  They heard the ideas or had the idea suggested to them.
Then they attach themselves to the idea and expound on it.

Definitely agree with this. Initially when my friend started with these CT’s, I would often attempt to reason or debate with him.  He simply would brush me off as being too naive and point me to his news websites.

These CT sites seem like small industries unto themselves. Pumping out their version of every news story that comes along. It’s easy to see how people can get sucked into it, these sites offer a place where people can discuss these issues with only those who share their opinion.

The idea that these beliefs may come from a sort of survival instinct is an interesting thought as well. I’ve never considered that. I do think the idea of order from chaos makes a lot of sense as well.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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VYAZMA - 14 May 2013 01:14 PM

So to reckon with these “shocks” I think they like to create an alternate theory as a way of coping with it.

As I said, I am not personally comforted by the explanation offered by the final WTC 7 report any more than I am by the supposed lack of evidence for other theories. There is of course another thread to deal with the specifics of what aspects of the official explanation are troublesome, Lois, but for me the bare fact that the investigation “lost” all the physical evidence—in the form of steel from the building, which had earlier been subject to preliminary tests that found it had been subject to a strange corrosive attack—and so came to its conclusions without examining any physical evidence at all is enough for it to be in question. It doesn’t make me happy to increasingly feel that the investigation was deeply flawed. I don’t feel superior or in possession of special knowledge. It is, frankly, disturbing and depressing, and I do not like it.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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There is an existing thread for the discussion of the specific WTC7 conspiracy issues. But point taken that belief in conspiracies may not be motivated by bringing one a sense of comfort.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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TimB - 14 May 2013 02:36 PM

But point taken that belief in conspiracies may not be motivated by bringing one a sense of comfort.

I by no means think it’s the same for every conspiracy theorist.

But this idea rings true with me, as an ex conspiracy theorist.

I think the notion of people finding comfort in conspiracies (which is something even the believer wouldn’t know, because they’d have to confront themselves and why they believe these things - something that true believers avoid) applies more to those people that lap up every conspiracy under the sun. You know, people who have a conspiracy for every earthquake, weather event, election, mass shooting etc.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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TimB - 14 May 2013 02:36 PM

There is an existing thread for the discussion of the specific WTC7 conspiracy issues. But point taken that belief in conspiracies may not be motivated by bringing one a sense of comfort.

I think the point generally is good one: I would suggest that humans have the great evolutionary advantage of being able to recognise patterns in their environment, and by this gain a tremendous measure of control over some of it—but this pattern-recognising ability also leads to superstitions, irrational beliefs and conspiracy theories where we do not or cannot have complete knowledge of the events we are confronted by. These false “patterns” may give “comfort” but clearly cannot be true for that reason.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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jomper - 14 May 2013 02:56 PM
TimB - 14 May 2013 02:36 PM

There is an existing thread for the discussion of the specific WTC7 conspiracy issues. But point taken that belief in conspiracies may not be motivated by bringing one a sense of comfort.

I think the point generally is good one: I would suggest that humans have the great evolutionary advantage of being able to recognise patterns in their environment, and by this gain a tremendous measure of control over some of it—but this pattern-recognising ability also leads to superstitions, irrational beliefs and conspiracy theories where we do not or cannot have complete knowledge of the events we are confronted by. These false “patterns” may give “comfort” but clearly cannot be true for that reason.

Indeed, my deah suh! (accent referencing your avatar smile )

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 14 May 2013 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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We can thank the internet for this preponderance of CT in our culture.  Yeah, it was there before, but it was relegated mainly to people who read books.
A little word of mouth, a little JFK,  A little UFO..
Now?  Trash culture!!  Everything is a conspiracy.  Everybody knows the “facts” about everything!

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Posted: 16 May 2013 01:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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VYAZMA - 14 May 2013 06:03 PM

We can thank the internet for this preponderance of CT in our culture.  Yeah, it was there before, but it was relegated mainly to people who read books.
A little word of mouth, a little JFK,  A little UFO..
Now?  Trash culture!!  Everything is a conspiracy.  Everybody knows the “facts” about everything!

The Internet is clearly a wonderful medium for information and communication, but it is full of nonsense and disinformation too: the problem is identifying the authoritative sources of information among the clamour and noise. In some areas this isn’t so hard: I am optimistic that the Internet may help undermine the “conspiracy theories” of religion in the next generation or so, as it exposes humanity to the vast and bizarre range of faiths it has invented for itself to explain what it cannot understand. I think this is why theocratic and authoritarian governments are so threatened by the power of the web.

I am also optimistic it will revolutionise education as academic institutions fully embrace its potential.

But in other areas identifying the authoritative sources of knowledge on the Internet can be difficult: this is particularly the case when the “authoritative” explanation for something appears inadequate or insufficient, and into this gap all kinds of peculiar speculation flows. I think this is why arguments from authority are so common from those who would defend the official explanation of events like, for example, the collapse of WTC7: experts are continually invoked on the thread devoted to the subject on this forum, but this typically does nothing to address the weaknesses of the argument they are being invoked to support.

Indeed, discussing conspiracy theories online is of limited benefit in the search for genuinely authoritative perspectives, which is why the best the “conspiracy theorists” can do in the case of WTC7 is to call for another investigation, a call that is roundly mocked by those who are happy with the official explanation. The adversarial nature of some of these debates can be very disappointing. They are usually just a parade of fallacious arguments, typically ad hominems and straw manning. I particularly despise the argumentum ad metum fallacy, or the argument from fear, which is the official argument for why the WTC7 report must not be independently peer reviewed, and is very well exemplified on the WTC7 thread here.

[ Edited: 16 May 2013 03:19 AM by jomper ]
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Posted: 30 October 2013 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Why are hyper-rational people so repulsed by talk of conspiracies?  History tells us they exist. Of course there are nuts in this tree (but there are nuts in most). But if nine conspiracy theories are false, that has zero bearing (and statistics confirm this) on whether the tenth conspiracy theory is true or false.
And while the bigger the conspiracy usually the harder it is to keep secret, we also know conspiracy theories ARE sometimes kept secret for a season.
Take the Kennedy assassination for example: Moore points out (see book below) that the Manhattan Project was a far, far bigger “confederation of secret-keepers” than the handful of leaders—LBJ, the CIA and the FBI—who conspired to kill JFK.  (see Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies—From the Warren Commission to Bill O’Reilly, A History of Deceit in the Kennedy Assassination, by Dr. Lance Moore)
http://www.amazon.com/Killing-JFK-Commission-OReilly-Assassination/dp/1492248177

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Posted: 30 October 2013 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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RobinGHoode - 30 October 2013 05:33 PM

Take the Kennedy assassination for example: Moore points out (see book below) that the Manhattan Project was a far, far bigger “confederation of secret-keepers” than the handful of leaders—LBJ, the CIA and the FBI—who conspired to kill JFK.

But shortly after the completion of the Manhattan Project, it became publicly known to the whole world what its goal was, who led it, who was involved, where it was based, how they went about it, etc.  It was a secret, yes, with emphasis on the past tense.  It couldn’t remain a secret much longer after the mushroom cloud cleared.  However, 50 years after Lee Harvey Oswald fired 3 shots and killed President Kennedy (and that’s exactly what happened) there is still no decent reliable evidence of a conspiracy. 

You yourself said if 9 conspiracy theories are false it has no bearing on the tenth.  Agreed.  But the same goes the other way around.  Just because the Manhattan Project was a secret, has no bearing on the Kennedy assassination.  Each event must stand or fall on evidence.  There is evidence for the Manhattan Project.  There is no evidence suggesting a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, while all the evidence points to Oswald as the lone gunman.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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RobinGHoode - 30 October 2013 05:33 PM

Why are hyper-rational people so repulsed by talk of conspiracies?  History tells us they exist. Of course there are nuts in this tree (but there are nuts in most). But if nine conspiracy theories are false, that has zero bearing (and statistics confirm this) on whether the tenth conspiracy theory is true or false.
And while the bigger the conspiracy usually the harder it is to keep secret, we also know conspiracy theories ARE sometimes kept secret for a season.
Take the Kennedy assassination for example: Moore points out (see book below) that the Manhattan Project was a far, far bigger “confederation of secret-keepers” than the handful of leaders—LBJ, the CIA and the FBI—who conspired to kill JFK.  (see Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies—From the Warren Commission to Bill O’Reilly, A History of Deceit in the Kennedy Assassination, by Dr. Lance Moore)
http://www.amazon.com/Killing-JFK-Commission-OReilly-Assassination/dp/1492248177

The problem with conspiracy theories is that no one ever comes up with any objective evidence for the theories and the people who believe in conspiracies will never admit that no objective evidence has been found. They are like a dog with a bone. They will keep gnawing on it, insisting that they’ve “got something” and never show anything but their inability to see the fallacies in their arguments. They use circular reasoning, straw man, shift the burden of proof and repeat the same old unsupported theories over and over again claiming to have found something new.  Eventually anyone with any sense backs away because it becomes an exercise in futility.  But the true believers never give up. It’s a lot like religion and likely serves the same purpose.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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There is a TON of evidence proving a conspiracy and cover-up in the JFK assassination.  Start with the FACT that we have a White House tape where Hoover tells LBJ there was an impostor of Oswald at the Soviet embassy… why would ANYONE bother to impersonate a “lone nut nobody” like Oswald???  UNLESS they were trying to set him up to look like a communist, as they (a few weeks later) framed him for the shooting.  There’s that and a hundred other FACTS… so why keep claiming there is no “evidence.”

In addition to the book I referenced (Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies), read:

Vince Palamara: Survivor’s Guilt
Jerome Corsi: Who Really Killed Kennedy?

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Posted: 31 October 2013 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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And someone posted that the Manhattan Project “has no bearing on the Kennedy assassination.”  The reason I mentioned it was to disprove the lie that “big secrets can’t be kept.”  Yes, the Manhattan Project eventually was revealed (but INTENTIONALLY, when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima)... and the JFK plot has been revealed to… but not acknowledge by our government.  The facts are well-documented, inarguable and many: our government (LBJ and factions within the CIA, with cover-up help from Hoover’s FBI) killed Kennedy.

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