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Thread: How to respond to an anti Conspiracy Theorist

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    How to respond to an anti Conspiracy Theorist



    http://www.tomatobubble.com/id196.html

    "You sound like a conspiracy theorist."
    RESPONSE: "Conspiracy Theorist? Now tell me the truth, where did you hear that term...on TV? (Laugh.) ...So let me get this straight. Are you saying that men in high positions of power are not capable of criminal activity and telling lies to the general public? Are you really that naive?" (Laugh as you say this.)
    .
    "I'm not saying that governments don't lie, but a conspiracy like that would have to involve 100's of people. You can't hide something like that."
    RESPONSE: "You're absolutely right. I agree with you 100%. It is impossible to totally cover up a conspiracy so massive. That's why I know about it! What you must understand is that they don't have to cover it up totally. Even a bucket that has a few leaks can still do the job of carrying water from here to there! They only need to fool 80% of the public, which isn't hard to do when you control the major networks and newspapers. The 10-20% that do figure it out (and the fewer still who will dare to speak their minds about it) can be very easily marginalized with the propaganda label "conspiracy theorist." The 80% + never take us critical thinkers seriously because they want to be part of the majority. This is known as groupthink. (*Note: When saying "conspiracy theorist", always hold your two hands up as you make sarcastic quote marks with your fingers.)
    .
    (The Ridicule Trick) "That's ridiculous (as he rolls his eyes). Do you really believe that nonsense?"
    RESPONSE: "Can I ask you an honest question?" (Wait for "yes") Do you consider yourself an open minded, critical thinking person - yes or no? (Wait for "yes") Then how can you possibly ridicule an opinion when you haven't even done 10 minutes of research into the matter? That's kind of ignorant don't you think?" (Wait for response.)
    . "Not
    "Not everything that happens in the world is a conspiracy!"
    RESPONSE: "Not everything is a conspiracy, but nor is NOTHING a conspiracy either. Wouldn't you agree that we should evaluate each case independently and with an open mind?" (Wait for response.)
    .R
    "Governments are so incompetant that they can't even deliver the mail on time or balance a budget. They couldn't conspire their way out of a paper bag!".
    RESPONSE: "Don't confuse your incompetant, dim witted Congressman or Senator with the shadow government. The dark covert elements who stage these events are very skilled at carrying out, and concealing, their plots. Take for example the Manhattan Project. Hundreds of the world's top scientists were holed up in a desert for months as they worked on the Atomic Bomb. This conspiracy was so secretive, that when FDR died and Vice President Truman became President, FDR's advisors had to inform him of the Project's existence! So you see, the shadowy intelligence element of the government is VERY capable!"
    .
    (The Unresolved Detail Trick) "If this is a conspiracy then explain to me how they managed to do x, y, and z?"
    RESPONSE: "I don't have every missing piece of this puzzle. But I have enough pieces to KNOW that the government-media version is false! Imagine if I gave you a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle, and told you that the image is of a beach in Hawaii. But after snapping 30 pieces together, you notice polar bears, snow capped mountains, and men covered in furs. Although there are still 70 missing pieces, you already have enough to KNOW that the image is NOT that of a beach in Hawaii. It's the same with solving conspiracies. I may not have all of the details, but I have laid out enough pieces to know that the official story is a lie. Does that make sense to you? (Wait for response.)
    ..
    "So what? just because "x" happened, or "y" said this, it doesn't mean it's a conspiracy. You're taking a few coincidences and making a conspiracy out of it. "
    RESPONSE: "If it were just one or two coincidences, I would agree with you. But when you have a series of 10,15, 20 different anomolies, the law of statistics PROVES that they can't all be just "coincidence". For example, if we're playing dice, and I roll a "7" to win. That doesn't mean that my dice are rigged. It's just a 1 in 6 coincidence. But if I roll a "7", eight times in a row, then that's a 1 in 150,000 "coincidence". You would have to be a fool not to question the integrity of those dice! You do understand probabilities don't you? (Wait for response.)
    ..
    (The Isolated Piece of Evidence Trick) "Other than citing some historical events, you still haven't shown me one piece of evidence that this was a conspiracy. Tell me just one thing that most proves a conspiracy."
    RESPONSE: "That's a trick question! If I tell you "just one thing", you'll just climb on your high horse and dismiss it as a "coincidence". What I want to show you is TWENTY THINGS! But you're too closed minded to consider the case in its totality! You won't even watch a You Tube video let alone read the case! I sure hope you never get selected to serve on a jury! You want everything boiled down to a simplistic media sound byte. Unless you will commit to a few hours of study, I'm wasting my time with you. Why are you so afraid to study this? (Wait for a response.)
    .
    "If this were true, the media would be all over it! It would be on the front page of every newspaper in America."
    RESPONSE: "The media, the government, the International bankers, Hollywood, and academia are all part of the same incestuous complex. The media is part of the conspiracy, so why would you expect them to tell you the truth?" (Wait for response.)
    .
    "You wouldn't be able to corrupt so many people. Every reporter and politician would have to be "in on it" in order to cover it up."
    RESPONSE: "The corruption doesn't come from the outside-in. It comes from the top-down. If the ownership of a major media organization decides that a certain story is to be spiked, or if another story is to be hyped, then the rest of the organization follows. If a low level reporter decides to defy his bosses, he will lose his job and be blacklisted. Remember Helen Thomas? After 50 years as a White House Correspondent, she was dumped like a hot potato for publicly criticizing Israel. The same fearful top-down control works in government and academia as well.
    .
    "This is crazy. I don't believe in conspiracy theories."
    RESPONSE: "You don't believe it? Or You don't WANT to believe it? There's a big difference between the two. The human mind is filled with complexes, one of which is the desire to shield itself from unpleasant truths. You're afraid that if you look into this, you might see that it's true. And you're especially afraid that if you come to agree with me, you too will then become marginalized as a "conspiracy theorist." It is FEAR that is causing you to close your mind and act like a sheep. Grow a pair and stop being so closed minded!"
    .
    "Conspiracy theories appeal to uneducated people because they provide simplistic answers to complex events."
    RESPONSE: "Exactly the OPPOSITE is true! The evaluation of conspiracy theories not only requires much time and study, but also applied logic and critical thinking. It is intellectually lazy people like you who choose to swallow and parrot whatever simplistic narrative that the TV feeds you. Do you ever question anything that the TV feeds you?" (Wait for response.)
    .
    "Conspiracy theories appeal to people because they are comforting."
    RESPONSE: "Exactly the OPPOSITE is true. It is far more comforting to believe that certain tragic events happen exactly as the TV says, than to believe in monstrous internal plots beyond our control. Do you actually think that I enjoy believing that such evil exists? You think I like being ridiculed by simple minded family members and friends? Take it from me, the life of a "conspiracy theorist" can actually be quite stressful at times!"
    .
    "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet."
    RESPONSE: "I don't believe everything that's on the Internet. But apparently you believe everything that's on the TV! I only believe those things which are verifiable, and consistent with my own sense of reasoning and logic. The beauty of the Internet is that, unlike the TV that you worship so much, all sides of an issue are presented on the Internet. It allows a critical thinker to figure out what the true story is. The TV doesn't give you that option. Do you really believe that the media presents the whole story? Are you that naive? (laugh) Remember the fairy tale of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? The media shoved that lie down our throats. So why do you trust the media so blindly and not the Internet?"
    (Wait for response.)
    .
    "Some conspiracy theorists still believe Elvis is still alive."
    RESPONSE: "So, according to your twisted logic, because some theories are false, therefore ALL theories are false? I'm astonished that you could make such a stupid and offensive anology! Is that the best you got?" (Wait for response.)
    .
    "You don't have any respect or compassion for the family members of the dead."
    RESPONSE: "I am honoring the dead by pursuing the truth as to who killed them! If someone in your family was killed, wouldn't you want to know who the true culprit was?" (Wait for response.)

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    I call them conspiracy deniers. I don't usually enjoy talking to them about this kind of stuff, but thanks for the link.

    I think it's funny how some people can acknowledge one aspect of the conspiracy but not another. Like one friend actually said to me she believes in chemtrails and that 9/11 was an inside job, but she doesn't believe in any of the Illuminati or new world order stuff. But more common are the people who don't believe in the global warming myth or they recognize how extremely harmful fluoride is to plant and animal health even in small amounts, and acknowledge conspiracies like that, but they still cannot swallow conspiracies like 9/11 or that these things are all strategically being used against us.
    Last edited by indigl; 02-28-2013 at 08:41 PM.

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    Thank you for this guide to speaking with a conspiracy skeptic. I think it serves as a starting point for an analysis of why it is so difficult to have a productive conversation with a conspiracy theorist.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "You sound like a conspiracy theorist."
    RESPONSE: "Conspiracy Theorist? Now tell me the truth, where did you hear that term...on TV? (Laugh.) ...So let me get this straight. Are you saying that men in high positions of power are not capable of criminal activity and telling lies to the general public? Are you really that naive?" (Laugh as you say this.)
    Let’s start by agreeing not to laugh at someone’s point of view before you’ve heard it. It would probably be better not to laugh at it at all but most people (including me) are not that strong. My intuition is that the statement "You sound like a conspiracy theorist” would come nearer the beginning of a conversation than its end, so laughter at that point would not be appropriate.

    The bit about television is really interesting. Why is the conspiracy theorist asked to laugh after saying “where did you hear that term...on TV?” Interpretive charity forbids saying that it is because they are humorless and do not know how or when to laugh. There is no context to indicate this missive is directed at those with autism spectrum disorders or people who otherwise lack social graces (perhaps through no fault of their own). All that remains is holding up a communications medium to ridicule. Why should this way of conveying information be singled out? It’s not clear, so I will have to speculate. Television, especially when well produced, seems authoritative. Because the TV sits in our homes, it seems friendly and therefore trustworthy. The form of the television program usually is around 30-60 minutes and contains video as well as audio. While a great deal of information can be presented in that time and format, it is typically greater in breadth than in depth. Sources are rarely cited, and if they are, even more rarely pursued by the viewer. Thus, viewers can take away material that seem true without much thought. In essence, the question “Where did you hear that term” is an attack by the conspiracy theorist on the ignorance and credulity of the skeptic.

    In the course of 52 words, there are at least 3 attacks on the conspiracy skeptic. This behavior is rude. It is also a bully tactic. Who among us wants to be bullied or have a conversation with a rude person? It would be better to restate the first part of the guide thus:

    "You sound like a conspiracy theorist."
    RESPONSE: I don’t accept the common explanation for why X happened. I don’t believe it was a coincidience. I believe it happened because a group of people made it happen.

    That said, I would like to talk to you further about what you mean by “conspiracy theorist” because that term means different things to different people. Some people believe that there are conspiracies that caused certain events; little “c” conspiracies. Some people believe there is a hidden history, stretching hundreds or thousands of years into the past, filled with groups that cause many seemingly unlinked events; big “C” conspiracies. I’m of the (choose little c or big C) school when it comes to X.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "I'm not saying that governments don't lie, but a conspiracy like that would have to involve 100's of people. You can't hide something like that."
    RESPONSE: "You're absolutely right. I agree with you 100%. It is impossible to totally cover up a conspiracy so massive. That's why I know about it! What you must understand is that they don't have to cover it up totally. Even a bucket that has a few leaks can still do the job of carrying water from here to there! They only need to fool 80% of the public, which isn't hard to do when you control the major networks and newspapers. The 10-20% that do figure it out (and the fewer still who will dare to speak their minds about it) can be very easily marginalized with the propaganda label "conspiracy theorist." The 80% + never take us critical thinkers seriously because they want to be part of the majority. This is known as groupthink. (*Note: When saying "conspiracy theorist", always hold your two hands up as you make sarcastic quote marks with your fingers.)
    I’d like to start with a few points about style. Please do not use sarcasm. It is too easy for it to be misunderstood. In the context of the first section of the guide, it may also be a continuation of a bully tactic. Referring to one’s self as a critical thinker is, in practice, a pretty good way to convince others that one is not a critical thinker.

    This section of the guide is interesting in that asserts that the conspiracy (Big C?) is not hidden and does not need to be hidden. I haven’t seen this argument used before.

    It’s not clear what the source is for the assertion that “They only need to fool 80% of the public.” The Pareto principle, that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes, does seem to crop up quite a lot in life. Applying the principle here would have to assume that all people are “causes” and that as long as 80% of them do not care, the other 20% will not be able to cause anything. If that is what is meant by the guide, it misstates the Pareto principle. You would need to get the 20% of people who are capable of causing 80% of the results not to care. You might catch all of those 20% by convincing 80% of the total population not to care or you might miss them entirely!

    If there is a study or other academic research, other than Pareto, that demonstrates the principle asserted in this part of the guide, I’d like to read it and would appreciate a citation to it.

    The definition of groupthink used is incorrect. Groupthink has to do with incorrect decision making by groups because of a desire to conform to group norms. The usual examples given are to the Bay of Pigs invasion (where groupthink caused a disaster) and the Cuban Missile Crisis (where Kennedy took steps to prevent groupthink from recurring).

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    (The Ridicule Trick) "That's ridiculous (as he rolls his eyes). Do you really believe that nonsense?"
    RESPONSE: "Can I ask you an honest question?" (Wait for "yes") Do you consider yourself an open minded, critical thinking person - yes or no? (Wait for "yes") Then how can you possibly ridicule an opinion when you haven't even done 10 minutes of research into the matter? That's kind of ignorant don't you think?" (Wait for response.)
    As a matter of style, this is overly defensive. The conspiracy theorist may be experiencing ridicule or it may be just the frustration of the skeptic who has heard one too many arguments of the type or it may be the conspiracy theorist is goring the skeptic’s sacred cows (for instance, the assertion, as with the 9/11 Truthers, that the US Government attacked the World Trade Center can be a shock to patriotic Americans).

    In addition, it is not clear that the skeptic has not researched the topic the conspiracy theorist is addressing so it should not be assumed the skeptic has not. Either way, this response actually prevents dialogue rather than encouraging it because the best response, it would seem, would be to say that I will leave now to go research what you are saying. A not as good response would also be to say I will leave now because I have no interest in doing the research into the topic you are discussing.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "Not everything that happens in the world is a conspiracy!"
    RESPONSE: "Not everything is a conspiracy, but nor is NOTHING a conspiracy either. Wouldn't you agree that we should evaluate each case independently and with an open mind?" (Wait for response.)
    This goes back to whether or not the conspiracy theorist is discussing little c or big C conspiracies. If discussing one discreet scenario, it’s an appropriate response. For big C Conspiracies, the assertion by the conspiracy theorist does seem to be that everything is related to the Conspiracy, that a swallow does not fall except by means put in place by the Conspiracy. For these Conspiracies, the guide’s answer fails to respond to the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "Governments are so incompetent that they can't even deliver the mail on time or balance a budget. They couldn't conspire their way out of a paper bag!".
    RESPONSE: "Don't confuse your incompetent, dim witted Congressman or Senator with the shadow government. The dark covert elements who stage these events are very skilled at carrying out, and concealing, their plots. Take for example the Manhattan Project. Hundreds of the world's top scientists were holed up in a desert for months as they worked on the Atomic Bomb. This conspiracy was so secretive, that when FDR died and Vice President Truman became President, FDR's advisors had to inform him of the Project's existence! So you see, the shadowy intelligence element of the government is VERY capable!"
    I would call this a big C Conspiracy. The guide seems to go back and forth between the little c and big C variety and I wish it were more consistent. Perhaps there could be 2 guides?

    The substance of this portion of the guide points to a feature of conspiracy theory: non-falsifiability. How can the shadow government accomplish anything? They can because they are very capable. Is there any way to show that the shadow government is not capable, not competent? Is there any scenario that is not explainable via their capabilities? How much credence should we give to their competence?

    For example, we know from Carol Quigley’s book Tragedy and Hope, a favorite of conspiracy theorists, that there was a plan, even a conspiracy perhaps, among the world’s elites to revise the world’s economic order to link all the nations such that an immense catastrophe like World War II could never again happen. Dr. Quigley is eminent academic who had unrestricted access to the private archives of some of those that put this plan together. And yet, those people made mistakes, and the leaders of world economies still do. The plan, given its objectives of preventing great power war, worked. I would describe that as “very capable.” However, even they could not prevent the current Eurozone crisis.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    (The Unresolved Detail Trick) "If this is a conspiracy then explain to me how they managed to do x, y, and z?"
    RESPONSE: "I don't have every missing piece of this puzzle. But I have enough pieces to KNOW that the government-media version is false! Imagine if I gave you a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle, and told you that the image is of a beach in Hawaii. But after snapping 30 pieces together, you notice polar bears, snow capped mountains, and men covered in furs. Although there are still 70 missing pieces, you already have enough to KNOW that the image is NOT that of a beach in Hawaii. It's the same with solving conspiracies. I may not have all of the details, but I have laid out enough pieces to know that the official story is a lie. Does that make sense to you? (Wait for response.)
    In phrasing the response this way, you admit there is room for doubt. That’s admirable. The conspiracy theorist may KNOW something and the skeptic may doubt it. I would suggest there would be more room for dialogue if the conspiracy theorist’s “knowing” was of the less emphatic, lower case variety but sometimes we can’t help ourselves in our enthusiasm.


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    The puzzle analogy is a good one in a way because it points out the human mind’s search for patterns even when those patterns do not exist. By framing the discussion as a puzzle, the assumption is made that there is a way to complete the puzzle and that in fact the puzzle was constructed in such a way as to be completed. If there is no puzzle, there are no pieces and nothing to put together.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "So what? just because "x" happened, or "y" said this, it doesn't mean it's a conspiracy. You're taking a few coincidences and making a conspiracy out of it. "
    RESPONSE: "If it were just one or two coincidences, I would agree with you. But when you have a series of 10,15, 20 different anomalies, the law of statistics PROVES that they can't all be just "coincidence". For example, if we're playing dice, and I roll a "7" to win. That doesn't mean that my dice are rigged. It's just a 1 in 6 coincidence. But if I roll a "7", eight times in a row, then that's a 1 in 150,000 "coincidence". You would have to be a fool not to question the integrity of those dice! You do understand probabilities don't you? (Wait for response.)
    At the Museum of Science in Boston, they have display that illustrates the bell curve. There is a board filled with pegs. Balls are dropped down the through the pegs, bounce around randomly, and come to rest in slots at the bottom. The balls come to rest in a bell curve shaped pattern every time. Because the bounces are random, one day, whether today or in a trillion years it does not matter, all of the balls will come to rest in the extreme left slot of the board. I hope I’m there to see it. This will happen without modifying the exhibit in any way. It’s the nature of randomness.

    By the same token, rolling 7 eight times in a row will happen. You’re correct to assume that a casino would examine those dice. A fair pair of dice could still come up with this result. So, far from the law of statistics proving the result can’t happen, the law of statistics in fact requires that low probability results occur.

    Statistics also talks about the law of independent trials, which is simply to say that the occurance of a trial that has no effect on another trial does not affect that trial’s probability. The first spin of a roulette wheel does not affect the second spin, let alone the toss of dice at another table in the casino.

    By calling events “anomalies,” “pieces of the puzzle,” you assume what you are trying to prove, that the events are related. Thus, the guide is begging the question.

    Part of what the conspiracy theorist must demonstrate is that the events are linked and are not “independent trials.”

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    (The Isolated Piece of Evidence Trick) "Other than citing some historical events, you still haven't shown me one piece of evidence that this was a conspiracy. Tell me just one thing that most proves a conspiracy."
    RESPONSE: "That's a trick question! If I tell you "just one thing", you'll just climb on your high horse and dismiss it as a "coincidence". What I want to show you is TWENTY THINGS! But you're too closed minded to consider the case in its totality! You won't even watch a You Tube video let alone read the case! I sure hope you never get selected to serve on a jury! You want everything boiled down to a simplistic media sound byte. Unless you will commit to a few hours of study, I'm wasting my time with you. Why are you so afraid to study this? (Wait for a response.)
    If the skeptic can be frustrated, there is no reason the conspiracy theorist cannot get frustrated as well. While understandable, expressing this frustration in this way does not help convince the skeptic.

    This section of the guide is passing strange given the guide’s very first section. First, the skeptic is derided for picking up a phrase on TV and now the conspiracy theorist wants the skeptic to watch a YouTube video (i.e. TV).

    The reference to the jury system brings up a number of points. Juries are part of an adversary system of justice. They are carefully chosen to help ensure fairness to the litigating parties. The jury decides what the facts of the case are, which is necessary because those facts are in dispute (if there is no dispute as to material facts, the judge is able to apply the law to those facts). Evidence is presented to the jury. What is allowed to be presented in evidence is governed by rules to assure that it is relevant and reliable. Both sides have the ability to present expert testimony and those experts must have relevant credentials and experience. If things are to be admitted into evidence, the chain of custody of those things will be discussed so it will be known if and how they were altered. People who experienced the events in question will be interviewed. There is a clear indication of which side bears the burden of proving an assertion and to what level of proof (e.g. more likely than not, or beyond reasonable doubt).

    These things are the kinds of things I would like to see applied to conspiracy theories. So often, all that we get are second or third hand reports at best and there is little way to judge the veracity even of that. I know I’m not likely to get my wish, be that as it may.

    This guide could be reduced almost to one section. It could simply be stated “Please research this topic X before discussing it with me.” I think that would be less than satisfying for the conspiracy theorist, as it is likely most people will simply decline to do the research. If you are inviting conversation, you’ll have to take your conversation partners as they come, which probably means they have not given your conspiracy theory much thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "If this were true, the media would be all over it! It would be on the front page of every newspaper in America."
    RESPONSE: "The media, the government, the International bankers, Hollywood, and academia are all part of the same incestuous complex. The media is part of the conspiracy, so why would you expect them to tell you the truth?" (Wait for response.)
    This is begging the question. You assert that the media are corrupt to prove that the media does not tell the truth and a media that lies is corrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "You wouldn't be able to corrupt so many people. Every reporter and politician would have to be "in on it" in order to cover it up."
    RESPONSE: "The corruption doesn't come from the outside-in. It comes from the top-down. If the ownership of a major media organization decides that a certain story is to be spiked, or if another story is to be hyped, then the rest of the organization follows. If a low level reporter decides to defy his bosses, he will lose his job and be blacklisted. Remember Helen Thomas? After 50 years as a White House Correspondent, she was dumped like a hot potato for publicly criticizing Israel. The same fearful top-down control works in government and academia as well.
    Helen Thomas was fired for saying some remarkably bigoted things, not for criticizing Israel. This section of the guide should be revised to remove these hints of anti-Semitism.

    The model proposed would seem to subject to objective verification. I think it would fail that test based on the Monica Lewinsky scandal – Newsweek spiked the story but Matt Drudge was able to run it. There are other examples I could think of, such as the works of Upton Sinclair.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "This is crazy. I don't believe in conspiracy theories."
    RESPONSE: "You don't believe it? Or You don't WANT to believe it? There's a big difference between the two. The human mind is filled with complexes, one of which is the desire to shield itself from unpleasant truths. You're afraid that if you look into this, you might see that it's true. And you're especially afraid that if you come to agree with me, you too will then become marginalized as a "conspiracy theorist." It is FEAR that is causing you to close your mind and act like a sheep. Grow a pair and stop being so closed minded!"
    The conspiracy theorist may be right about a given skeptic. Speaking for myself, every time I have looked into a big C conspiracy, I’ve been satisified it is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. Little c conspiracies are harder but they usually involve very complicated explanations for which simpler explanations work as well or better and that’s leaving aside any evidential questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "Conspiracy theories appeal to uneducated people because they provide simplistic answers to complex events."
    RESPONSE: "Exactly the OPPOSITE is true! The evaluation of conspiracy theories not only requires much time and study, but also applied logic and critical thinking. It is intellectually lazy people like you who choose to swallow and parrot whatever simplistic narrative that the TV feeds you. Do you ever question anything that the TV feeds you?" (Wait for response.)
    This question seems susceptible to real research. I’m not aware of any studies but it would seem like you could survey people to get their educational attainment and their belief in various conspiracies and Conspiracies. There is a chance that certain theories would resonant more with the highly educated and some with the less educated, so both views presented by the guide could be correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "Conspiracy theories appeal to people because they are comforting."
    RESPONSE: "Exactly the OPPOSITE is true. It is far more comforting to believe that certain tragic events happen exactly as the TV says, than to believe in monstrous internal plots beyond our control. Do you actually think that I enjoy believing that such evil exists? You think I like being ridiculed by simple minded family members and friends? Take it from me, the life of a "conspiracy theorist" can actually be quite stressful at times!"
    To the extent this statement in the guide is about personal feelings, it’s fine, I guess.

    Evil has purpose. It can in principle be fought and the perpetrators can be brought to justice. Random events just happen. There’s no reason for them, no justice can sought against them. It would be more comfortable to believe in this evil than not.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet."
    RESPONSE: "I don't believe everything that's on the Internet. But apparently you believe everything that's on the TV! I only believe those things which are verifiable, and consistent with my own sense of reasoning and logic. The beauty of the Internet is that, unlike the TV that you worship so much, all sides of an issue are presented on the Internet. It allows a critical thinker to figure out what the true story is. The TV doesn't give you that option. Do you really believe that the media presents the whole story? Are you that naive? (laugh) Remember the fairy tale of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? The media shoved that lie down our throats. So why do you trust the media so blindly and not the Internet?"
    (Wait for response.)
    I’ve already discussed TV.

    WMDs in Iraq is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t wish to get off topic. I would only point out that Saddam did in fact deploy WMDs against his own people, so he had them at one point.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "Some conspiracy theorists still believe Elvis is still alive."
    RESPONSE: "So, according to your twisted logic, because some theories are false, therefore ALL theories are false? I'm astonished that you could make such a stupid and offensive analogy! Is that the best you got?" (Wait for response.)
    Good point, but again, it should be rephrased so as not to be rude.

    Quote Originally Posted by KalEl View Post
    "You don't have any respect or compassion for the family members of the dead."
    RESPONSE: "I am honoring the dead by pursuing the truth as to who killed them! If someone in your family was killed, wouldn't you want to know who the true culprit was?" (Wait for response.)
    I assume the skeptic refers to 9/11 truthers? I haven’t heard of conspiracy theorists having the general reputation as disrespectful of the dead. Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t want to discuss truther theories (whether for or against) with those whose family members perished during the 9/11 attacks unless I was invited to do so.

    Thanks again for sharing this guide.

    Syl

  5. #5
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    Okay but... the "info" that a conspiracy theorist gets... where does this come from? Usually from the internet, or media, or speculation. They very rarely come across REAL evidence. It's always hearsay. 10 minutes of "Research" usually implies google =/... but I guess if you believe everything on the internet is true....

    People are too lazy these days to even go to city hall or wherever they have to actually physically go to get the REAL information, if it's even accessible. And most information that people speculate about, isn't something that would be available to get the evidence of anyways. But then there's that one guy who's like, "my friend works for them and has the information, trust me" and they really don't. Sure, there have been some cases about hackers retrieving hidden information and giving it to the public (I believe one of the hackers who was about to go to jail for doing just that, killed himself before trial since he was going to receive a long prison sentence which sucks because rapists get less time than he was going to get)... but that's not always the case... and once REAL evidence is revealed... is not a conspiracy anymore, unless you want to conspire about the validity of that evidence. Which happens.

    There's no doubt that there are things that the government and other institutions hide from the public. If you looked at it honestly, there's some things you really DON'T want to know. Like, do you want to know that the keyboard you're using... the person who packed it, rubbed it on their butt and farted on it before packaging it? NO! What if the silverware in your house, before it was packaged... the person could've literally shoved it up their butthole for some weird reason... and you would have no idea! I can conspire all day long about any random topic I pull out of my bum... =/ I'm not saying those are things that the government hides, just things that could be conspired about.

    And what's the point anyways? Unless the information you find is going to benefit society, what's the point? Just to say, "AH HA! My accusations were correct! See! I'm smart! Gimme a cookie!".... ???????


    People in power shit in a toilet just like people not in power. Thinking that their shit don't stink is a personal problem. You can't really expect everyone in the government to be Mother Teresa.

    Unless the goal is to get people in the government to be as open about their issues as Charlie Sheen? Would that make everyone happy?
    Snoochie BoochiesHidden Content = an intentional experiment.

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    The fact of conspiracy is well documented and well known. If anything is just hearsay it's the official story that the media shove down everyone's throat all the time. But then you don't even know the meaning of the word "conspiracy" so how can you possibly know anything about this topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indigl View Post
    The fact of conspiracy is well documented and well known. If anything is just hearsay it's the official story that the media shove down everyone's throat all the time. But then you don't even know the meaning of the word "conspiracy" so how can you possibly know anything about this topic.
    Touche, I did use the word conspire in places I meant to say speculate. >.> Oops. And I didn't say that conspiracies don't exist. But I have nothing else to contribute to this discussion so I will politely bow out.
    Snoochie BoochiesHidden Content = an intentional experiment.

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