Why do we get conspiracy theories, anyway?

Jan 21, 2009
181
0
Philadelphia
#21
I don't know. The Bush family photo still hangs in my living room. That said, I would trust Cheney to care for my loved ones. I would not trust Obama to take one of my dogs to the vet. I think that says it for me.;)
As long as Cheney didn't have a shot gun with him!:D
 
Aug 5, 2010
123
0
#24
Why do we always come up with theories about dastardly plots? Is it sort of like religion, we don't understand something so we invent a god or a plot to explain it?

Some are paranoid
Some are bored
Some just have no creative outlet for themselves
Some like the suspense and/or the feeling of being one step ahead of "those in charge"
Just a few reasons I could come up with
 
Aug 8, 2010
103
0
#25
I was born a long time ago. I don?t recall a usage of the term conspiracy theory before the JFK assassination. At the time of the JFK assassination, the official version of the event was not accepted by the majority of the American public. When the Warren Commission?s preliminary report came out, it was meet by skepticism by the public with the majority refusing to accept it fully.
During the propaganda barrage generated to overcome this skepticism, the term conspiracy theorist came into being. This was a convenient tool. No longer was it necessary to address specific objections to official dogma, now anyone who refused to accept the official version was labeled a conspiracy theorist. This saved a great deal of effort on the part of the propagandists. It was such a convenient tool that it was retained. So from then on, if some one suggested that there might be collusion between governmental, corporate, or both of the above, agencies, the suggestion was rejected as a conspiracy theory.
To this day, this handy tool is constantly in use. For example, if someone notes the cooperation between government and corporate interests in supporting illegal immigration, the immediate response from the propagandists or the propagandized is "Conspiracy Theory".
 
Jan 29, 2010
172
26
Miami
#26
A few conspiracy theories are "true." The vast majority (if the few I'm familiar with) are total loonies. The term it self isn't necessarily derogatory because it doesn't really describe whatever evidence supports them.

Area 51 is one of the big ones I've run into and it's verified despite claims otherwise by the US government. Though I seriously doubt the whole UFO stuff with it. From what I've seen it's a military base in the midwest that the government tried, and failed to hide. Others like flat earth, 9/11, and moon hoaxes have some loony stuff in them. Some less loony than others.
 
Aug 8, 2010
103
0
#27
A few conspiracy theories are "true." The vast majority (if the few I'm familiar with) are total loonies. The term it self isn't necessarily derogatory because it doesn't really describe whatever evidence supports them.

Area 51 is one of the big ones I've run into and it's verified despite claims otherwise by the US government. Though I seriously doubt the whole UFO stuff with it. From what I've seen it's a military base in the midwest that the government tried, and failed to hide. Others like flat earth, 9/11, and moon hoaxes have some loony stuff in them. Some less loony than others.
One of the advantages of age is that you don?t need to watch TV to know what things were like in the past. UFOs, flat earthers, rumors about secret agencies, and conspiracy theories such as the plot to get the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor, these things were around before the JFK assassination. I don?t remember anybody using the term conspiracy theorist before the JFK assassination. Yet there were a lot of conspiracy theories around, it was just that nobody called them conspiracy theories. Now the term is used for every ridiculous idea that turns up. After all, why is belief in a flat earth a conspiracy theory? However, by associating the term with nutty ideas, the pejorative nature of it is reinforced, and the propaganda utility is enhanced. Of course, this post can be dismissed as a conspiracy theory. Handy, isn?t it?
 
Jan 29, 2010
172
26
Miami
#28
Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal, or political conspiracy. (from wiki)

True it may be totally against it's meaning to use the term pejoratively, but even the looniest fall under the category. I do use it in that tone probably more often than is justified, but frankly I keep in mind that there's a fringe to just about any topic, whether it's politics or science. Chances are if I think a "conspiracy theory" is a total whack job I won't just use the namesake as a proxy to market my thought on it. There are better ways to discredit things I don't agree with than simply calling them by a dismissive name


EDIT: If I haven't made it obvious enough yet I technically agree with you...
 
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Aug 8, 2010
103
0
#29
Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal, or political conspiracy. (from wiki)
After the 1999 CD Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, I stopped subscribing because it no longer met my requirements. Needless to say, I find the Wiki a bit lacking. I doubt if the chap that wrote that was around before the JFK assassination. I was. I?m sure that someone used the expression somewhere before then. I didn?t notice it. After the JFK assassination, it was everywhere. I doubt if anyone documents that. Why am I not surprised?
I?ll buy that the term was neutral before the JFK assassination. I couldn?t tell because I don?t remember a single usage of it. However, after the JFK assassination, I don?t recall a neutral use. If you know of such an example from the general media, would you be so kind as to call my attention to it?
 
Jan 29, 2010
172
26
Miami
#30
If you know of such an example from the general media, would you be so kind as to call my attention to it?
As I've been saying all along... although I've personally used the term in a dismissive manner before it doesn't mean the case being referred to is always stupid on those grounds. If there's a good case to be made for something I'll give it credit where it's due and if it's not supported by any viable evidence then I won't. Simple as that. I make it a point to emphasize that the term regardless of it's use isn't the sole driving force behind a claims credibility. Is this any clearer? Or would you like me to explain further what I am getting at?
 
Aug 8, 2010
103
0
#31
As I've been saying all along... although I've personally used the term in a dismissive manner before it doesn't mean the case being referred to is always stupid on those grounds. If there's a good case to be made for something I'll give it credit where it's due and if it's not supported by any viable evidence then I won't. Simple as that. I make it a point to emphasize that the term regardless of it's use isn't the sole driving force behind a claims credibility. Is this any clearer? Or would you like me to explain further what I am getting at?
Your position seems to be clear, the problem is relevance. My post regarded general usage. It was not in response to your usage. I don’t recall having charged you with a lack of objectivity. If you believe that to be the case, then farther explanation would be appreciated.
 
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