What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
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28-11-2016, 12:10 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(27-11-2016 03:29 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Through the many long years of being a conspiracy theorist, I have made many attempts to try and convince others that a conspiracy took place and yet it is like the words fall on deaf ears.

Perhaps those ears were not deaf. You have spoken of this with many people. Some at least as smart as you? Yet all others remain unconvinced. You are right but all of them were wrong?

Quote:I am at my wits end right now, for I have failed so many people. Yet even now I try, and I am going to continue to try I have not necessarily tried on here so much because past experiences have shown me the futility of the approaches I've already used, using an approach that doesn't work regardless of how many times you use it, still won't work. So I ask, what would it take to convince you?

Perhaps you need to reverse this question. What would it take to convince you that there is no conspiracy? Answer this honestly and you may find yourelf in an interesting place.

Quote:And before you say to bring evidence, that has never worked for me, not ever, no matter how much evidence was supplied. It never worked. Never. Not once. Not a single time, despite the multitude of evidence. There is nothing that will convince people (evidence wise) short of a confession or people getting caught in the act. Which is not how conspiracies work, conspiracies work because people have a cover story already planned out.

Not bringing evidence is unlikely to help. Especially in this neck of the woods.

Quote:So don't say to bring evidence, that is the one answer I will not accept.

You can show a creationist fossils and evidence for the theory of evolution all day long, doesn't change their mind one bit. So do me a solid. Just assume hypothetically that you're being irrational and no amount of evidence would convince you. How would I get to you then?

That's going to be a bit like a court case without any evidence. It just isn't going to work.

In general, conspiracies can be grouped into three categories:

(1) Conspiracies that worked. By definition, there are no examples of this type of conspiracy but for the sake of discussion we can accept that sometimes two or more people do horrid things and get away with it. This requires intelligence, skill, luck and a great deal of secrecy.

(2) Conspiracies that failed. There are lots of exaples of these, because people often need help committing whatever black deed they wanted done and frequently get caught. A fine example that few people would disagree with would be Watergate.

(3) Conspiracy theories that are known to one or a very few members outside of the conspiracy itself. Rarely, these are instances of type 1 above that is about to become type 2 above courtesy of a lot of press. More commonly, the evidence is unconvincing to the general public and even experts in the field. For these conspiracies to be true, several unlikely circumstances must be met:

- The conspirators must be fiendishly brilliant. Smart enough to not only pull it off but also hoodwink otherwise intelligent individuals after their cover has been blown. Your average government official can't manage to keep all the unsavoury places their penis has been a secret, so they can be put out of consideration immediately.

- The conspirators need be sufficiently clever to hide their scheme not just from all of the public, but for all time. Sure we can fake the moon landings, but not without special effects that will be cheesy and obvious CGI ten years later. They have to fool future generations that will wield technologies thay can'tpossibly anticipate.

- Conspiracy theorists that are even more brilliant, or privleged with special insight at the very least. The conspirators have managed to outwit everybody but you. Because you read something on the internet that made you suspicious.

- Conspirators that are paradoxically so brutal that they commit the original act yet so unconcerned that they've let you live. You've just revealed the dirtiest deeds of people who gut orphans to pass the time where any child of 12 can find it using Google but some how you are still drawing breath.

So how many of those boxes did you check? I'm going to guess all of them and that's a bad sign.

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28-11-2016, 01:46 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
I do enjoy the term "conspiracy theorist"... it sort of carries the connotation of doing abstract things with mathematical symbols perhaps. Being extremely intelligent. Seeing that which others do not Rolleyes

Theorists come up with theories. In science that is. They also don't just spin any old random yarn, they actually come up with a theory and try to test it against evidence.

So if you wanna be a real theorist, come up with your fancy explanation, test it against verifiable facts, and don't come yammering to me about it - go convince experts. I couldn't give a monkey's arse about your theory. For example, if you think the twin towers was an inside job, get your evidence together and publish it in a recognisable journal. After all there aren't really journals for conspiracies per se, but for example there probably is a journal of demolition science or something which you could publish in. Either that, or say you just want reasonable doubt, you can publish in say a reputable paper like the New York Times, do it as an investigative journalism piece.

If I hear from you, some schmuck on a forum, that the twin towers was an inside job, there's fuck all chance I'll believe you. If on the other hand the New York Times comes out with a story I'll be interested, and if there's a subsequent investigation by some professional body which reaches the same conclusions that you did, then the evidence for your theory becomes stronger.

In other words, I'll believe your conspiracy theory when you succeed in getting consensus opinion of the relevant experts on your side. Convincing me means absolutely nothing because e.g. I am not a building demolition expert.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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28-11-2016, 05:58 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
Evidence of the conspiracy.


Watergate. The guys were caught, the conspirators implicated and arrested. They admitted to it, it made sense.


Chem-Trails. Well, we'd need evidence of what they are supposedly spraying into the atmosphere on purpose, the admission of those involved, evidence of how the conspiracy had been until then so far repressed and hidden away, etc.


Basically, when you are using a 'conspiracy theory' to explain away the lack of evidence for your preferred conclusion, you are doing it wrong.

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28-11-2016, 06:20 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(27-11-2016 11:16 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Thanks Fatbaldhobbit, but unless I can find a new approach my days of debating conspiracies are long over. Doesn't mean I won't try and sway people from time to time though.

Questioning the accepted explanations is a good thing. Even something as basic as the heliocentric model and the round earth. If someone approaches you and says that the world is flat, could you prove or explain why they're wrong?

That said, I have a couple of problems with conspiracy theories.

First, the conspirators. People are notoriously bad at keeping secrets. The more wide reaching and world spanning a theory is then the more people involved and the more likely it is that someone will spill the beans.

Second, conspiracy theories start out with secret evidence or revelations of evidence, but then they always insist that much or all of the existing evidence be discarded.

(27-11-2016 11:16 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Also you missed my favorite conspiracy.

The Gunpowder Plot

Remember remember, the fifth of november...

The Gunpowder plot is the perfect example of a conspiracy.
A group of people conspired to commit an action.

A conspiracy theory is an entirely different animal.

You cannot conflate the two terms and expect to have a meaningful discussion.

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28-11-2016, 08:49 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(27-11-2016 03:29 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  So I ask, what would it take to convince you?

COCAINE! Drooling

or money or women....but mostly cocaine!
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28-11-2016, 09:19 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(28-11-2016 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The Gunpowder plot is the perfect example of a conspiracy.
A group of people conspired to commit an action.

A conspiracy theory is an entirely different animal.

You cannot conflate the two terms and expect to have a meaningful discussion.

Thanks for posting this pertinent clarification, which is spot on. This is actually the difference cited by EvolutionKills re Watergate and chemtrails, with the former being a conspiracy per se, and the latter merely being a conspiracy theory.

Although IMO, the word "theory"—meaning a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct—should be replaced with the word "conjecture".

Thus "conspiracy conjecture" is a better term describing unfounded guesses, misrepresentation, exaggeration, falsehoods, sociopathy, and lack of knowledge compatible with the claim.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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28-11-2016, 09:21 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
Tinfoil....


Rolls and rolls of tin foil........


[/insanity]

.......................................

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28-11-2016, 09:25 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(28-11-2016 09:19 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Although IMO, the word "theory"—meaning a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct—should be replaced with the word "conjecture".

Thus "conspiracy conjecture" is a better term describing unfounded guesses, misrepresentation, exaggeration, falsehoods, sociopathy, and lack of knowledge compatible with the claim.

You are still giving them too much credit. Conspiracy Fantasy would be closer to the real situation.

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28-11-2016, 09:35 AM
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
There is a conspiracy of (some) believers to keep their religion(s) "legit" and making money for the ones positioned to profit from belief. DISH network has at least 17 channels devoted to religious programming. If there was no money to be made there they could drop them.

The part of the conspiratorial shenanigans that concerns me are the efforts to "legitimize" their religion and propagandize children by getting creationism taught in the science classes at our schools. "A Flock of Dodos" is a good video on this.
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28-11-2016, 09:52 AM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2016 10:17 AM by Velvet.)
RE: What would it take to convince you of a conspiracy theory?
(27-11-2016 07:37 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  
(27-11-2016 12:39 PM)Velvet Wrote:  Celestial, I went looking for a video when Sam Harris points a few things about conspiracy theories, watched that video a long time ago, but is so rational, I would like you to watch it and tell me your sincere opinion about it, very casual approach to a point of view that I share. (I`m sorry that he covers many other topics midway explaining about conspiracy theories, but again, is a casual video)




I watched it, and I'm going to refute it.

What he is doing is called an Argument from incredulity, seen this done many times before, When he does start talking about 9/11 he follows up by using the Clinton and Monica event which is a red herring. What Clinton did would have only have made himself look bad, where as if 9/11 was an inside job, it would make the entire government look utterly rotten. And why should you use your resources to protect the dignity of some guy you probably don't even like?

Further more there aren't going to be hundreds or thousands of people in on it, likely there would be some dozens, maybe a hundred at most, but the less people you have, the less cogs in the machine, the less likely there is for something to go wrong. So if you were going to do something big like this, you'd want as few people in on it as possible. Not that that didn't even go wrong.

He also says that someone would come forward after doing something like this but fails to realize, they don't need to come forward, no one has to come forward. And for good reason, if this did take place, and someone did try to come forward, and the people who were responsible of this caught wind of it. Do you think they would fret over severing one loose link after having murdered thousands and starting an entire war?

But the reason Sam Harris is using to deflate the conspiracy theory is in fact logical fallacies. He does nothing to counter the argument of the theory, but seeks only to belittle the theory itself. Indeed, that is why the word used in the very title is 'deflate' not debunk.

Sometimes its not about getting rich or gaining power, but keeping others poor and weak.

Celestial.

I afraid you've completely missed the point of what he is saying in some many ways that I don't even know where to start addressing it... = /

This thread is also about rhetoric and persuasion, so I will be making personal remarks about your stance, please don't take them as condescending, I'm making them as fellow debater's advices...

If the name of the video is "deflate" and not "debunk", why are you surprised that he deflated and not debunked? Why are you implying that he should have debunked anything?

Remark: Avoid using the word "debunk", you will notice that people frequently "debunk" each other, all the time, but they are never actually able to do that (coincidentally enough, you just showed us that), outside of realizing tests that can rule out models and/or hypotheses, if you have a test that completely rules out some model (and you are sure it actually does rule it out), then you may use this word...

Second, he haven't done any argument from incredulity, and any red herring, he was speaking casually on many topics on a radio, not on a formal debate when he should need to address directly the point, you can notice that while he indeed deviates to other topics related to "secrets", he doesn't do that with the intent of being evasive, to mislead or distract, he is only setting up his point.

I have even told you 2 times (in two lines) about how casual the video was, and how he talked about other stuff....

Remark: This, you just have done, calling people on fallacies by missundertanding of their stance can be a rhetorical disaster, you defenestrate your credibility over something which would have no strong impact anyway, calling fallacy should imo be overall avoided, is a way better rhetorical strategy to take your time to explain what was the failure in reasoning, maybe adding an example of how it would be done right, especially if you can turn the argument in your favour by correcting the reasoning...

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