Alternative Thinker (PC term for Conspiracy Theorist)

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
I know Mick has expressed some desire to come up with a better terminology for CTs as alot of them find the term derogatory. I suspect this is more due to the negative connotation that many have associated with the term. And to be frank, I don't think that is wholly unfair. I personally never found the term offensive when I was a CT, I'm not the type of person who cares about what other think to a great extent and I'm always willing to defend my arguments regardless of what names I might be called. In some ways I personally found it rather silly to be offended by the term. If you apply the label based on the strictest interpenetration of the term than we're all conspiracy theorist if we believe in any conspiracy regardless of whether or not it is based on evidence.

TBH, I don't think that "Alternative Thinker" is perfect by any means. I think of myself as an "alternative thinker" in the sense that I like to think outside the box and I often don't see things the way the rest of the world does. An alternative thinker could define lots and lots of people that have nothing to do with conspiracy theories. Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Nikola Tesla, Adolf Hitler, Charlie Sheen, Ayn Rand, and many many others could be defined as such.

I don't know it's any real use other than to pacify the Glenn Beck types who think they can tip toe the line of purporting conspiracy theories but claim that they are not conspiracy theorists.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think it might be a bit too encompassing. It's like "alternative media" vs. "mainstream media". Glenn Beck is alternative media, but then again so is Bad Astronomy, so is Metabunk, so is the Village Voice.

Maybe if it were narrowed a bit from "thinker", like "alternative theorist"? That's specifying someone who is offering an alternative theory to the commonly accepted theory.

When we talk about conspiracy theorist though, we are usually talking about people who have an excessive reliance on vastly powerful and secretive conspiracies to explain world events. Not simply offering an alternative, but a quite specific type of alternative.
 
J

Joe

Guest
I know Mick has expressed some desire to come up with a better terminology for CTs as alot of them find the term derogatory. I suspect this is more due to the negative connotation that many have associated with the term. And to be frank, I don't think that is wholly unfair. I personally never found the term offensive when I was a CT, I'm not the type of person who cares about what other think to a great extent and I'm always willing to defend my arguments regardless of what names I might be called. In some ways I personally found it rather silly to be offended by the term. If you apply the label based on the strictest interpenetration of the term than we're all conspiracy theorist if we believe in any conspiracy regardless of whether or not it is based on evidence.

TBH, I don't think that "Alternative Thinker" is perfect by any means. I think of myself as an "alternative thinker" in the sense that I like to think outside the box and I often don't see things the way the rest of the world does. An alternative thinker could define lots and lots of people that have nothing to do with conspiracy theories. Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Nikola Tesla, Adolf Hitler, Charlie Sheen, Ayn Rand, and many many others could be defined as such.

I don't know it's any real use other than to pacify the Glenn Beck types who think they can tip toe the line of purporting conspiracy theories but claim that they are not conspiracy theorists.
Please Dont be PC . Id rather be called a CT than any more PC crap . :)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Please Dont be PC . Id rather be called a CT than any more PC crap . :)

It's not about being PC for some moral or ethical reason. It's about communicating effectively.

But then you do raise a good point, people don't like being insulted, but they don't like being talked down to either, or condescended.

These people probably don't mind being called conspiracy theorists:



But then more rational people like Grieves and Oxy don't like being lumped with inclusionist extremists like Sofia Smallstorm.
 
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J

Joe

Guest
It's not about being PC for some moral or ethical reason. It's about communicating effectively.

But then you do raise a good point, people don't like being insulted, but they don't like being talked down to either, or condescended.

These people probably don't mind being called conspiracy theorists:



But then more rational people like Grieves and Oxy don't like being lumped with inclusionist extremists like Sofia Smallstorm.
Whos Sofia ? We are different some more extreme then others . I enjoy some conspiracies even the ones I don't believe and find some just crazy . Its like a mystery thats needs to be solved . I like sci fi . Conspiracy Con seems like a con job ?
 
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AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
I think it might be a bit too encompassing. It's like "alternative media" vs. "mainstream media". Glenn Beck is alternative media, but then again so is Bad Astronomy, so is Metabunk, so is the Village Voice.

Maybe if it were narrowed a bit from "thinker", like "alternative theorist"? That's specifying someone who is offering an alternative theory to the commonly accepted theory.

When we talk about conspiracy theorist though, we are usually talking about people who have an excessive reliance on vastly powerful and secretive conspiracies to explain world events. Not simply offering an alternative, but a quite specific type of alternative.
Alternative Theorist... I guess that would sound too much like Conspiracy Theorist lol.

Alot of conspiracy theorists prefer the term 'critical thinker' which might have some degree of truth, but I beg to differ on that one. I doubt anybody is gonna be able to find any perfect terminology. It is kinda silly to be offended by the term 'Conspiracy Theorist". It would be kinda like a piano player being offended by the term pianist lol.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't think it's always silly to be offended by it, because it is sometimes used in a deliberately offensive manner. Like "oh, that's just a conspiracy theory".

When I use it though, it's usually just to identify a group characteristic, and not as a qualitative judgement.

Using the term "critical thinker" is not at all appropriate though, as critical thinking is what we all should be doing.

I deliberately choose the label "debunker" for myself (and the site) because it most accurately describes what I do. "Skeptic" is too passive. I know that "debunker" has some negative connotations. But so long as I know what I mean, and I can explain it to people, I prefer to use the more accurate word than invent one that has not yet acquired a negative meaning.

So I think "conspiracy theorist" is a good descriptor for conspiracy theorists.
 

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
I don't think it's always silly to be offended by it, because it is sometimes used in a deliberately offensive manner. Like "oh, that's just a conspiracy theory".

When I use it though, it's usually just to identify a group characteristic, and not as a qualitative judgement.

Using the term "critical thinker" is not at all appropriate though, as critical thinking is what we all should be doing.

I deliberately choose the label "debunker" for myself (and the site) because it most accurately describes what I do. "Skeptic" is too passive. I know that "debunker" has some negative connotations. But so long as I know what I mean, and I can explain it to people, I prefer to use the more accurate word than invent one that has not yet acquired a negative meaning.

So I think "conspiracy theorist" is a good descriptor for conspiracy theorists.

I see where you're coming from and I respect what you do here, so I try to practice a bit more restraint here than I do in other forums that involve politics and such. IMHO, anybody who is going to debate on the internet should have thick skin because people tend to act alot different when not communicating in person. The frustrating part that I find as a debunker is extent to which you must disprove bunk in order to get a conspiracy theorist to accept it. Looking at the debunked CNN faked news broadcasts. I think that is one of the most thoroughly debunked non 911 subjects you'll find here, and yet it seems to have attracted alot more responses from from outside the forum than most other threads. It was well documented by many sources that the reporters were sequestered to the Dhahran Int' hotel. The hotel's exterior is an exact match for the background seen in the videos. There are pictures that show the makeshift platforms used in the broadcast, some of which can be seen in the videos. It's also very well proven that the video was doctored and taken way out of context, and yet people really want to believe this stuff, and they'll continue to believe despite the mountains of evidence provided to the contrary.

Very frustrating indeed.
 

FreiZeitGeist

Senior Member.
I´ve much more problems calling them "Theorists", because a Theory is a strong term in science.

Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking. Depending on the context, the results might for example include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several different related meanings. A theory is not the same as a hypothesis, as a theory is a 'proven' hypothesis, that, in other words, has never been disproved through experiment, and has a basis in fact.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory

Obviosly, this definition of a "theory " doesnt matches anything what these "Conspiracy Theorists" are doing.
 

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
I´ve much more problems calling them "Theorists", because a Theory is a strong term in science.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory

Obviously, this definition of a "theory " doesnt matches anything what these "Conspiracy Theorists" are doing.

Politics and science are two very different things. To prove a hypothesis, you would have to apply the scientific method of repeatable and reliable results, and this really isn't something that you can do in any journalistic sense to prove something when it doesn't relate to scientific study.
 

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