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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? Because they want to.


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Showing 1-25 of 103 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 19, 2012 6:39:43 AM PST
Yo says:
It provides them with some benefit, psychological and/or material. The best explanation of this that I've seen is in this book:

The Nazi Ancestral Proof: Genealogy, Racial Science, and the Final Solution

It's a compelling explanation of why Germans so widely accepted racist ideology in the middle of the 20th century, despite the fact that this ideology was logically questionable at best. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 6:44:44 AM PST
Cliff Sedge says:
So what was the benefit for the Germans?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 7:35:35 AM PST
Yo says:
An excuse to loot and pillage

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 7:36:10 AM PST
Cliff Sedge says:
And what has that got to do with a conspiracy theory?

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 10:19:24 AM PST
Yo says:
Read the OP

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 11:35:35 AM PST
Cliff Sedge says:
It looks like an ploy to put CTers in the same camp as Nazis.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 11:51:41 AM PST
Bogus Pomp says:
No doubt some conspiracy theories are partly or even largely representitive of the truth. But too many people believe in these things far too easily, without having done any research themselves! If I had to bet on it, I'd say there's probably only something like one in a hundred conspiracy theorys that contain some element of the truth.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 2:49:45 PM PST
Pale Rider says:
The real, troubling question is, why do people accept official doctrine as truth, after they have modified it, polished it, and hired PR firms to sell it? So called conspiracy theories are just people trying to fill in the blanks left by haphazard evidence. Do people really believe the yellow cake story, the nerve gas truck story, the Afghan underground sophisticated cave stories? These were official government dictate, however childish. Accepting such foolishness would require a naive bumpkin.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 6:35:33 PM PST
Yo says:
Racist ideology = logically questionable.

Conspiracy theories = logically questionable.

Just seeking to answer the question why people believe logically questionable things.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 6:51:59 PM PST
Debunker says:
Kooks like Medearis, who deny any and all evidence that shows how ludicrous their conspiracy theories are, believe simply because it's IMPORTANT to them that the US government was somehow involved in the events in question. Not sure why it's so important, but it forces them to take positions that make them look utterly ridiculous.

Anyway, try asking Medearis a direct question and watch him dodge it. Sure sign of a conspiracy kook.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 7:14:00 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 4, 2012 7:36:51 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 9:20:44 PM PST
Pale Rider says:
Debunker, the reason I never answered a question from you, is you never asked one. Your type of debating is name calling. I'm not sure you know where you are. Have a piece of yellow cake. Bush's recipe. And stay out of the street. You might get run over by a nerve gas truck. The government would never lie about such things. You half wit. Get back on the turnip truck.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 4:30:29 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 4, 2012 7:36:57 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 5:21:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012 5:21:46 AM PST
Cliff Sedge says:
'Just seeking to answer the question why people believe logically questionable things.'

Because people are complex beings that aren't only ruled by reason. You can put your point across and hope they'll get it. But you have to be prepared that the penny won't drop in some cases.

If you persist in trying to make them understand, it's like trying to teach a cat to sing a Norwegian sea shanty. It just annoys all concerned. Not least the cat.

And your course of action then becomes logically questionable in its own right.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 5:48:16 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 4, 2012 7:37:17 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 6:28:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012 6:33:14 AM PST
Laugh of the day:

David L. Medearis says: "Your type of debating is name calling... You half wit."

Yes, he really said that.

http://www.amazon.com/forum/history/ref=cm_cd_et_md_pl?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx33HXI3XVZDC8G&cdMsgID=Mx3SRVZR7O3TSL3&cdMsgNo=12&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx1TFUNF8T524F2#Mx3SRVZR7O3TSL3

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:11:32 AM PST
Suet says:
Conspiracy believers are people who are convinced they know the truth. It follows, since their beliefs are true, that all the valid evidence must fit. Anything that doesn't fit can be ignored, because, obviously, it was planted by the conspirators.

You can "prove" anything that way. Does that make them think twice? Hell no! They know they're right.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:28:22 AM PST
*Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

It has to start about what is defined as a conspariacy...

There have been pretty bad things done in the past by people in power. I think this has to be defined better and the question asked better. How is a conspariacy different than a hidden agend?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:34:07 AM PST
*No doubt some conspiracy theories are partly or even largely representitive of the truth. But too many people believe in these things far too easily, without having done any research themselves! If I had to bet on it, I'd say there's probably only something like one in a hundred conspiracy theorys that contain some element of the truth.

I have seen all kinds of conspariacy information. There are those such as 9/11 killing Kennedy, comunist plots or the creation of Israel. There are those to shape government to shape society from chlorine in the water to mind control. There are those that believe in UFOs NSA and domestic spying. We have billions of people that take Religion seriously and they are totally based on faith.

I just think that some people think those stories are more plausable than the standard versions or what most they say want us to think. Most often they are generally taken in because of agreement or disagreement with some agenda. That is if we disagree with some people they are not just wrong but morally impaired.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:37:03 AM PST
*The real, troubling question is, why do people accept official doctrine as truth, after they have modified it, polished it, and hired PR firms to sell it?

Because as investigation happen new information comes out or that once an event is looked at as a whole new things are discovered. The question is not if the facts are correct but the interpetations or the motives of those investagating.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:39:28 AM PST
*Kooks like Medearis, who deny any and all evidence that shows how ludicrous their conspiracy theories are, believe simply because it's IMPORTANT to them that the US government was somehow involved in the events in question. Not sure why it's so important, but it forces them to take positions that make them look utterly ridiculous.

I have worked with some parts of the government wound up in conspariacies theories and from my observations they are not competent enough to pull them off. I think that too many people give government and the people that make it up too much credit. If they were actually that capable or intellegent they would clean up in private business where you can actually become wealthy.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 10:49:40 AM PST
Yo says:
A "conspiracy theory" is a conspiracy theory that contradicts the vast majority of evidence. You know, stuff like the US is responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center, or the Jews control the world, or Obama is really a Muslim. They are so implausible as to appear stupid to a rational observer, yet many believe them despite all evidence to the contrary. The only explanation that appears to mak any sense is that the believers want to believe. The interesting question is what benefit do they derive from such belief.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:49:44 AM PST
*I believe that if a conspiracy theory hasn't gone anywhere -- no, typical CT arguments like "look at it sideways and squint real hard and you'll see the Badge Man" don't "go anywhere" -- in ten years, it is completely bogus. Ten years of crying wolf and not producing a wolf are enough. 911 passed that threshold a year ago; the JFK and Pearl Harbor conspiracies are now nothing more than ghosts that make a lot of noise.

They are fun and entertaining but not much more than that. The government has a classification program for a reason and we have to have a level of trust in the people that work in those areas. Often to disprove some theories you have to put out sensetive information. We have to take into account that when the UFO thing at Area 51 the Air Force found it better than looking into the actual testing that goes on there.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:53:17 AM PST
*Cranks tend to be people with an axe to grind. In the case of, say, creationists, the axe is obvious: they don't like science contradicting scripture. Yeah, there are some cranks who jump on the creationist bandwagon just because they like to be contrary, but it's the scriptural angle that keeps the pot boiling.

JFKers, they can't accept it was a deranged communist
9/11 they don't like Bush
Obama is a Muslim see Islam as a threat

We can look at all the social change in the 60s and 70s and all the conspariacy kooks that came out of the cracks.

we also can't forget about the 1937 war of the worlds consequences.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 10:58:08 AM PST
L. King says:
I'm (still) about half way through Conspiracy Theories in the Arab World: Sources and Politics. The author, an Australian professor, cites 4 major reasons:

1. It's pathological, that is the need to view the world in terms of conspiracies is just part of the cultural DNA.

2. It's structural - that is that the social nature of the Arab world is built on rumours and suspicions

3. It's a result of powerlessness. By imagining a theory of control it acts as an explanation for their condition and gives them a target to fight back.

4. It's entertainment. This one surprised me a bit, but it most certainly is a good explanation for certain posters we've met here. It gives the teller something to talk about, a means towards socialization, and in some cases (see Dickerson et al), they will openly admit that they like to victimize others by baiting them.

The same rationales likely apply in any society.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  23
Total posts:  103
Initial post:  Nov 19, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 8, 2012

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