Why do people believe?

F4Jock

Senior Member.
I've often stated that to disabuse people of conspiracies one has to understand why they believe in them. The Salon.com article that follows offers interesting insights that I believe need to be taken into consideration when reasoning with CT'ers.

 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
That was an interesting article and I tend to agree. Things are pretty rough in the UK and people are becoming more disgruntled than we usually are. Purely anecdotal I know but I have been seeing friends entertaining conspiracies whether it be a false flag, Big Pharma and cancer or Monsanto breeding corn that will not only jump in the pan of water for you but will lay the table and cover itself in butter before giving you cancer. These people are intelligent but something seems to click with them. I thought it was to do with the fact we like to grumble and complain, but the belief seems to fill a need and they can seem blinkered to further investigation. I do wonder if as things get better they will drift away from the ideas. It is incredibly frustrating at times as most of the conspiracies are generated in the US and when put in the context of the UK they either don't stand up or are just not relevant. An example is Big Pharma or the Government hiding the cure for whatever or suppressing research on natural remedies, all to make more money. Often it sounds compelling until one realises that we have socialised health care, and the government has massive buying power and most our drugs are generics anyway. The NHS is always trying to save money and has even offered homeopathy. It is in the interests of a socialised healthcare system to find the most effective and cost effective treatments. However people seem blinkered to such arguments because they have not seen it on Youtube.
 

Drew

Active Member
Thanks for sharing that F4Jock. Lewandowsky has been doing some terrific scholarly work on conspiracy belief.

I think the "why" of conspiracy belief is an excellent meta-question underlying the discussions taking place here.

I would also point Metabunkers to an excellent lecture given by Dr. Robert Goldberg, "Enemies Within: The Conspiracy Culture of Modern America." He's a historian from the University of Utah, and gives a great overview of the hows and whys of American conspiracy culture.

It is an excellent lecture and I'm surprised the youtube count isn't higher.



It's long, about an hour, but you can skip the intros and Q&A, and I found it fascinating. A pdf of the paper he bases his lecture on is available here.
 

TWCobra

Senior Member.
Interesting as I came to a similar conclusion a few months ago about the need of some to have "someone" in control, even if they are "evil".
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
My hubby has said that and also that folks do not want to believe that a single person can assassinate a President or that a few radicals could pull off 9/11. They 'know' they couldn't, so they think others couldn't.

It is more comforting to them to believe that HAARP causes earthquakes and hurricanes, and that some 'mystical chemical' is causing illnesses.
 

someGuy

New Member
Funny thing is that debunkers are believers too...
They believe there's no conspiracy...
To feel safe and secure...
As conspiracy theorists think there are conspiracies because they need to think there's some people in control, in order to feel secure...

lol
enough bullshit

Power is not all about luck and is not granted
You have to take it
And for that you need a plan and allies

There's no conspiracy...
Only comon interests
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
There is a big difference in belief founded on sound science and facts and even reason and beliefs founded on a distrust of authority or on pseudo science and unfounded opinions.
 

someGuy

New Member
There is a big difference in belief founded on sound science and facts and even reason and beliefs founded on a distrust of authority or on pseudo science and unfounded opinions.

Yeah
But unfortunately, facts are often in short supply when it comes to sensible subjects, such as national security, organized crime and money laundring...
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
You mention three things that often are conspiracies of one sort or another. None of those are chem trails, or HAARP, or even 9/11 being caused by explosives.

Are there things about 9/11 that are not being told, possible. Do those have to do with the destruction of the buildings being caused by the planes being flown in them and the resulting damage, (to even WTC 7), I seriously doubt it. Is it possible that others, like some folks in Saudi were involved, Maybe. However, since Al Queda dislikes the Saudi royal family as much or more than they do us, I doubt it is them.

There are good and sound reasons for secrets.
 

someGuy

New Member
Do those have to do with the destruction of the buildings being caused by the planes being flown in them and the resulting damage, (to even WTC 7), I seriously doubt it.
You mean you doubt money laundring and organized crime have anything to do with terrorism ?
I think it has a lot to do with it
And I also do think that rogue factions inside government agencies can exist (the Iran–Contra affair proved it existed once, and there is no guarantee it can't happen again)


There are good and sound reasons for secrets.
Good?
Depends who you are
What's good for corrupted politicians might not be good for the people, for example
"the Enterprise" was totally illegal and secret
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Some money laundering, organized crime, drug and gemstone smuggling may be used for terrorism but most are just plain old human greed. Most corrupted politicians are basically just thieves.

There are rogue factions, but they do tend to be uncovered.

One thing that does happen, is that sometimes folks do the wrong things for what they feel are good reasons. Only history can judge those. That was during the Iran Iraq war, and we 'supported' Iraq, in spite of them being no better a 'government' than Iran. The missiles that Iran got helped to weaken Iraq also (not enough). Many folks were concerned about the spread of Communism close to the US, thus we supported right wing dictators friendly to us.

We are still too close to look on the actions of those times objectively.

It is far too easy to condemn in hindsight many things, from espionage to football play calls. We only have some of the information that folks did and we also have additional information as well.
 

someGuy

New Member
One thing that does happen, is that sometimes folks do the wrong things for what they feel are good reasons. Only history can judge those.
hmmm
Well no, IMO, history judges nothing, the court and congress did (very badly, for some stupid 5th amendment failure, but they did)
And thanks god "the folks who did the wrong thing for what they feel good" did not started a nuclear war
It was not their role to decide what's good or not and to launch foreign operations and massive drug deals on their own, they played god on this one

It is far too easy to condemn in hindsight many things, from espionage to football play calls. We only have some of the information that folks did and we also have additional information as well.
I don't condemn
The court and congress did
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
They did and only time will tell if that was the right thing. Your comment about a nuclear war is somewhat uncalled for, since the ability to do that has been LIMITED to the President.
 

someGuy

New Member
They did and only time will tell if that was the right thing. Your comment about a nuclear war is somewhat uncalled for, since the ability to do that has been LIMITED to the President.
Yeah
And what about the soviet nukes?
They're also controled by the president of the united states?

Face it, those folks, had their own private army inside the army, defining their own objectives, getting their own money through weapon and drug sales...
Almost a government inside the government, they could have triggered a situation forcing the soviet to attack and the us to respond, for example, even by accident

It's a fucking serious problem in the chain of command, not a joke
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
But that would NOT have benefited them either. That is why things are done thru 3rd and 4th parties.

Who profited from Iran Contra? Where is all the money you feel was stolen in that?

I will agree that in some governments it works that way, but we have a LOT of checks and balances to reduce that.
 

someGuy

New Member
But that would NOT have benefited them either. That is why things are done thru 3rd and 4th parties.

Who profited from Iran Contra? Where is all the money you feel was stolen in that?

I will agree that in some governments it works that way, but we have a LOT of checks and balances to reduce that.
"But that would NOT have benefited them either. That is why things are done thru 3rd and 4th parties."
Yeah well ok man, an army inside an army is not a problem at all everything is safe and secure
It's so safe and secure that you can let them in for 20 years and eveything will be fine
SURE
And they'll never attempt to hijack the government, no, never, what for ?



And Who profited from Iran Contra?
...
Narco cartels among other people on the payroll...
Just that, no big deal
That's organized crime actually, on a federal level, above it's the sun

And about checks and balances...
Are you shitting me ?
Fast and furious how check and balanced was that?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Returning the thread to 'Why do you believe?" instead of how horrible the US government is. Maybe that needs its own thread.



http://www.scientificamerican.com/a...why-people-believe-conspiracy-theories&page=2
 

someGuy

New Member
Returning the thread to 'Why do you believe?" instead of how horrible the US government is. Maybe that needs its own thread.
Well, I explained why I believe some conspiracy theories might be true
Because, actually, there was indeed a massive conspiracy called the Iran contra, and that's a fact now, not a theory

Unless a conspiracy theory is proven to be a hoax, I stay open to the possiblity that it could actually be true
No fanatism or retardation here, just open-mindedness
 

someGuy

New Member
What does is take to prove a 'conspiracy theory' a hoax to you? That is the real question
Same thing that proves me that a conspiracy exists
Good all facts

Conspiracy theories don't scare me, in fact, it's often entairtaining readings
But I also understand why some people are quick to dismiss them as a whole, already hard enough to feel safe, it's a cut throat world out there
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I don't really count Iran Contra as a massive conspiracy. Not that many folks were involved, that is that did the planning and had knowledge of what was going on.

To use it as an example to accuse the 'government' of numerous ones is just wrong, in my opinion.
 

someGuy

New Member
I don't really count Iran Contra as a massive conspiracy.
Well that's your personal opinion

Officials at the highest level had been detected organizing international terrorism (i.e., the Contras), violating U.S. law, and lying under oath.
Big deal

Not that many folks were involved, that is that did the planning and had knowledge of what was going on.
Yeah just 14 guys prosecuted at key levels of the reagan administration, big deal...
14 officials were charged with criminal violations as a result of the Iran-Contra investigation.
All individuals tried were convicted, one CIA official's case was dismissed because the government refused to declassify information needed for his defense, and two convictions were overturned on technicalities.

To use it as an example to accuse the 'government' of numerous ones is just wrong, in my opinion.
I don't use it to accuse the government of numerous ones
I use it to prove that real conspiracies can actually occure, that's quite different

And btw, those guys where only those who were caught

Does it mean there was more people involved ?
Not necesseraly...
Does it mean there's no similar operations that occured in a recent past ?
Not necesseraly...

As long as I'm not sure, I remain open, that's all
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Conspiracy theories don't scare me, in fact, it's often entairtaining readings
But I also understand why some people are quick to dismiss them as a whole, already hard enough to feel safe, it's a cut throat world out there
I don't think anyone dismisses conspiracies "as a whole" - it is perfectly clear that conspiracies do exist in real life, and we are probably all being affected by them right now - from commercial cartels to "proper" criminals - all of them impose at least a financial cost on the public that we pay every day.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Even shoplifting 'rings' are a conspiracy. Then there are the folks that steal credit card numbers.

There is a HUGE difference between Iran Contra and insisting that 9/11 was done by the government.
 

someGuy

New Member
Even shoplifting 'rings' are a conspiracy. Then there are the folks that steal credit card numbers.

There is a HUGE difference between Iran Contra and insisting that 9/11 was done by the government.
I have never said 9/11 was done by the government
And I've never said the Iran-Contra was done by the government

What I'm saying, is that rogue factions inside the government agencies can exist, and act on their own behalf without any legal control, and without being caught...
Until they get caught, of course

The real problem comes when they are "too big to be prosecuted", IMO
 

HappyMonday

Moderator
Same thing that proves me that a conspiracy exists
Good all facts

Conspiracy theories don't scare me, in fact, it's often entairtaining readings
But I also understand why some people are quick to dismiss them as a whole, already hard enough to feel safe, it's a cut throat world out there
Which conspiracy theories have you rejected since you've been looking into them?
 

someGuy

New Member
Which conspiracy theories have you rejected since you've been looking into them?
The queen Elizabeth being a reptilian, definitely
lol
Maybe it's true after all...
But I can't remain serious for more than 1 minute when it comes to the reptilian stuff

David Hicke is a fascinating speaker, and I do think there is a possibility of an advanced extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe

But hu...



I mean come on, that's ridiculous
 
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HappyMonday

Moderator
David Hicke is a fascinating speaker, and I do think there is a possibility of an advanced extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe
I'd love that to be proven tomorrow.

I understand that some people take it as entertainment, I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction.

I wonder too why people choose Icke for their entertainment. There are much better storytellers if we're talking sci-fi, his schtick is sub Von Daniken to my mind.

At least when I read a work of fiction, it's sold to me as such.
 

someGuy

New Member
I'd love that to be proven tomorrow.

I understand that some people take it as entertainment, I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction.

I wonder too why people choose Icke for their entertainment. There are much better storytellers if we're talking sci-fi, his schtick is sub Von Daniken to my mind.

At least when I read a work of fiction, it's sold to me as such.
"I'd love that to be proven tomorrow."
hooo me too :D


Well Hicke exposes fascinating ideas... And does it in simple words, that's his main strenght IMO

He has succeeded in merging the classical "offshore banking cartel conspiracy" (which might be true btw) with "Ancient Aliens theories" with Matrix
Pretty much a giant mix between Alex Jones, Tsoukalos, and Neo...

But what I think people like in his mythology, is more the human/moral values he "preaches" through it, and his humor, than the content itself, IMO


I like this one :)


"I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction"

On the other hand, that's what makes the difference between him, and any other scifi author...

David Hicke is half way between an hardcore conspiracy theorist and an artist, IMO
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
A Laundry list of conspiracies . . . what makes them conspiracies??

NOTE : Old list many links are outdated or broken . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There's a difference between a conspiracy, and a conspiracy theory.

A conspiracy theory seeks to explain events by using a theory without any strong evidence (or with disputed evidence, depending on your point of view), or sometimes with just a suspicion.
 

HappyMonday

Moderator
"I'd love that to be proven tomorrow."
hooo me too :D


Well Hicke exposes fascinating ideas... And does it in simple words, that's his main strenght IMO

Has has succeeded in merging the classical "offshore banking cartel conspiracy" (which might be true btw) with "Ancient Aliens theories" with Matrix
Pretty much a giant mix between Alex Jones, Tsoukalos, and Neo...

But what I think people like in his mythology, is more the human/moral values he "preaches" through it, and his humor, than the content itself, IMO


"I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction"

On the other hand, that's what makes the difference between him, and any other scifi author...

David Hicke is half way between an hardcore conspiracy theorist and an artist, IMO
Got to the point in the video (after shouting at it for several minutes) where he cheerfully alters a word from an ancient text to suit his story, just to make it easier to understand. I detest his work the more I see of it, and I think it may have been when somebody left me a recording of a show of his that I really started to ask myself questions about the conspiracies I was giving creedence to at the time.

I certainly don't see it as worthwhile art. You essentially said yourself he mashes together other theories, and I've seen him spreading whatever is 'current' (chemtrails recently) online numerous times. If it's art, it's recycled pop-art in that sense.

It boggles me that so many hyper-skeptical-of-ANYTHING-establishment conspiracy believers are happy to buy tickets and stand IN THEIR THOUSANDS watching the guy, and that they let him get away with being booked at a major music festival sponsored by huge corporate interests whilst he preaches that the Rothchilds are evil, or whatever.

I'd like to know what need it satisfies for them, certainly.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
There's a difference between a conspiracy, and a conspiracy theory.

A conspiracy theory seeks to explain events by using a theory without any strong evidence (or with disputed evidence, depending on your point of view), or sometimes with just a suspicion.
So Mick. . . .Conspiracies are two or more people engaging in a covert act . . . and Conspiracy Theories are a different animal?
 

someGuy

New Member
If it's art, it's recycled pop-art in that sense.
Totally

It boggles me that so many hyper-skeptical-of-ANYTHING-establishment conspiracy believers are happy to buy tickets and stand IN THEIR THOUSANDS watching the guy, and that they let him get away with being booked at a major music festival sponsored by huge corporate interests whilst he preaches that the Rothchilds are evil, or whatever.
lol yeah
That's one out of many contradictions regarding Hicke

It's pretty much like buying a ticket to go to the local dance
No1 really gives a shit about the music, they just want to be entertained
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So Mick. . . .Conspiracies are two or more people engaging in a covert act . . . and Conspiracy Theories are a different animal?
What we are really talking about are "proven conspiracies", and "theories that involve conspiracies"

A conspiracy theory is an unproven theory (in the lay sense of the word: "a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural") that involves a hypothesized conspiracy as a vital component.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
What we are really talking about are "proven conspiracies", and "theories that involve conspiracies"

A conspiracy theory is an unproven theory (in the lay sense of the word: "a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural") that involves a hypothesized conspiracy as a vital component.
I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged
I disagree. I could invent a theory right now and it would be a conspiracy theory, just not a very popular one.

"The building collapse in Bangladesh was a false flag by Big Steel to force legislation to get strong steel frames in all new buildings".

Is that not a conspiracy theory?
 

someGuy

New Member
I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged
I disagree with d
If it's a conspiracy theory related to some event which occured 500 years ago ...
What's the damage possible ?
I mean who gives a shit anymore lol ?

Some people missleaded in the process...
Well, it happens everyday in front of the TV, not to mention christmas and santa...

Labelling conspiracy theories as something always damaging doesn't sound balanced to me



Edit:
And a, for the reason mentioned above by Mick
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I disagree. I could invent a theory right now and it would be a conspiracy theory, just not a very popular one.

"The building collapse in Bangladesh was a false flag by Big Steel to force legislation to get strong steel frames in all new buildings".

Is that not a conspiracy theory?
I was thinking the above criteria could be used to determine when a conspiracy theory should be challenged . . . Not that it is a perfect definition . . . :)

I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged
 

someGuy

New Member
A speculative interpretation of events implying that a secretly concerted plan was orchestrated by a malevolent group

Sounds correct to me
 
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