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RE: Gods, Conspiracy Theories, and Common Sense: Part I

in #writing2 years ago

This is a thought-provoking post. But I find major flaws in your argument. You've pointed out in your post that not all "conspiracy theories" are nonsense.
So instead of lumping all the people who believe in "conspiracy theories" together, whether it's about the "flat earth" notion, the JFK assassination or 9/11, it might be more pertinent to discuss why some people think critically about these and other issues, while others prefer to unquestioningly believe what they're told by an "authoritive source" that they trust, whether that source is a TV news journalist, a government leader or a blogger writing about the shape of the earth.
The "conspiracy theorist" label is, as you say, a derisive one, and it's generally used to silence any questioning of the establishment narrative by lumping it together with - as you say:

someone else's wacko belief

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Re-reading this, and I think I may have misunderstood part of what you were saying. While it's true that people do conspire, for the purposes of this post, and for my thinking in general, I would not refer to those instances as "conspiracy theories". "Conspiracy theory" is - by tradition, if not by definition - meant to apply to false beliefs about conspiracies. (Though I realize that, many conspiracy theorists have tried to "reclaim" the term, like homosexuals did with "queer", etc...)

Your reference to homosexuals is interesting, because there are parallels. Homosexuality used to sometimes be described as a psychological condition that could be treated with therapy, and I think the same kind of approach is sometimes taken towards people who believe in or are interested in "conspiracy theories". It is undermining, suggesting that they are in the grip of a psychological malfunction.
And just as male homosexuals used to be portrayed as effeminate "fairies", and lesbians as "butch", "conspiracy theorists" are often portrayed as nutters who will believe anything, whereas in reality there's an enormous diversity in the types of people who are interested in exploring "conspiracy theories", just as there is enormous diversity in the gay community.
It seems to me that the term "conspiracy theory" is given to incidents that have a low level of credibility, or that a lot of people are questioning. The people who dare to question or investigate those incidents are lumped together with the people who present wild theories to explain them, without looking for evidence.
So if I say that I've always been sceptical that Osama Bin Laden and a gang of terrorists could have carried out the destruction of the twin towers without assistance from high-level insiders in the US, I'm likely to be lumped into the same category as someone who firmly believes that it was carried out by reptilians from Mars!

Absolutely - I agree there is lots of diversity within the "conspiracy theory" community. My thesis, though, is that all of that diversity is inspired by a certain mode of thought (and if I ever finish part II, you'll get a better sense of what I'm talking about).

And, frankly, that mode of thought will apply to many, if not most, people, well beyond those caught up in the "conspiracy theory" community.

As to the difference between Reptilians and non-Osama humans, I'd guess that there's less of a difference than you think. In that case, it really just comes down to one's degree of distrust.

You make reasonable points.

For me, however, the purpose of my writing this was not to prove or disprove particular conspiracy theories. I'm more interested in the over-arching concept by itself. Presumably, even if there are people who think a particular example happens to be true, they concede that other examples are false or "wacko". (Though, I know there are studies showing that conspiracy theories tend to clump in specific brains...)

My intention is not so much to lump "people" together, but rather, to lump certain thought processes together.

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