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Scientific Study Reveals Conspiracy Theorists The Most Sane Of All!

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posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 08:56 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Krazysh0t

The opposite of 'conspiracy theorist' isn't 'sceptic'. The opposite of 'conspiracy theorist' is 'normal person'.


Where did I say that conspiracy theorist is the opposite of skeptic? For one, I don't think on dualistic thoughts, either one option or the other. That is too narrow of an approach to how things work and isn't indicative of reality.


You may be an exception, Krazysh0t, but I don't believe non-conspiracy theorists habitually adopt an attitude of scepticism to every proposition they are faced with. Many of us believe in completely fallacious things — that gods exist, that all men are created equal, that the odds on red improve every time the wheel turns up black — but our grasp of everyday reality is no less firm for that. We judge what we are told by how well it fits in with what we already know (or think we know) and accept or reject it accordingly. Even throughgoing materialists take most of what they are told on trust — I accept that Elvis Presley sang That's Alright Mama and do not doubt that the tea in my cup comes from Sri Lanka, as it says on the tin. I have not rigorously tested either belief and certainly do not plan to.


I don't consider myself someone who readily accepts mainstream accounts either. I go about analyzing every claim or story with an inherent bit of distrust. I try to look at the evidence for it without prejudging it, then I form an opinion on the claim's veracity. THAT is critical thinking, what this thread is all about. Where people go wrong, and this is for both conspiracy theorists and people who accept mainstream accounts, is that they aren't even handed in their critical thought. They may apply a good dose of skepticism to one story (9/11 conspiracy), but not enough to any for another (religion).

In fact, the only opposite to a skeptic, is a hypocrite.


You don't have to be a sceptic to reject conspiracy theories; you just have to be grounded in the real world.


True.


What we interpret as reality, a conspiracy theorist takes to be an elaborate mask or disguise in which the world has been dressed in order to deceive him. The study we've been discussing is not the first to indicate that believers in one conspiracy are likely to believe in others, even when the beliefs contradict one another. You see examples of this all the time on Above Top Secret. As the authors point out, this lability of belief suggests that what makes a conspiracy theorist is not the theory or theories he believes in but what he disbelieves: i.e., the world as it presents itself to us in everyday experience and common knowledge.


Even in the ramblings of a madman, truth can be expressed. One must be able to entertain ALL ideas as possible then work through the evidence to see which is the more likely scenario. For instance, I've mentioned that I don't fully trust the mainstream account of what happened on 9/11. Though that doesn't necessarily mean that I don't think a bunch of terrorists DIDN'T hijack 4 planes and crash them into American buildings, I just don't think we have the full truth of what happened that day (I think that much of what we don't know is the result of covering up for incompetency).


Try as I might, I cannot see a weakness for conspiracy theories as anything but a pathology. Conspiracy theorists, to me, are folk who have lost touch with reality. They are mad, and often dangerous to others as well as to themselves. We see plenty of examples of such madness on this site: people who refuse to have their children vaccinated, endangering us all; people who embrace false and useless remedies for the ills that plague them and sometimes die or cripple themselves as a result; poor souls who go digging in their own flesh to find 'mind control transceivers' and 'Morgellons fibres'; maniacs who live for the day 'TSHTF' and they can break out their cans of beans and their assault rifles and go feral, they way they've always wanted to do.


Paranoia is a fierce weapon against the mind. You can blame mass media and Hollywood for that. It's funny how many on this very site denounce the media and Hollywood, but are VERY much under its control the worst since they fear it.


Most ATSers are conspiracy tourists for whom this forum is mainly a place to entertain themselves by arguing for or against propositions that really mean very little to them. They haven't really bought into the confabulatory mindset, and they will mostly soon lose interest and move on. But there are plenty of members who believe devoutly that the world as it seems is a work of prestidigitation. They are not the opposite of sceptics, Krazysh0t. They are mad.


Again I never made the comparison that one is the opposite of the other. One can only be a skeptic or a hypocrite (since everyone distrusts SOMETHING).


Despite its unpromising start, this has been a very interesting and perhaps even useful thread, because it has alerted many of us to research into conspiracy theories and theorists that we did not previously know existed. It's an ill wind that blows no-one any good.


Yes, that is true. But Psychology researches things like this all the time. The unfortunate thing about Psychology though, is that it is a science in its infancy and has a MAJOR drawback to its progress. It has to rely on subjective information to make prognoses.




posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 09:25 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t


Where did I say that conspiracy theorist is the opposite of skeptic?

You didn't say so explicitly, but you did set them in opposition when you said


This why I think that skeptics are more suited to being saner than conspiracy theorists

I wasn't disagreeing with you or putting words into your mouth. I was merely using your post as a prompt for a meditation of my own. We do disagree, I see, on the importance of the role played by sceptical inquiry in the construction of personal worldviews, but even so, our positions are not very far apart.


I just don't think we have the full truth of what happened that day.

We don't have the full truth of what happened on any day, ever. Part of this is due to self-interested economies with the truth, just as you suggest; but the greater part is simply that we cannot know. Apart from strictly controlled scientific experiments, few things — if any — are ever observed, described or reported in full, with complete accuracy. Still, realizing that there are limits to how sure we can be of what is true is no excuse for believing that everything is a lie.


edit on 20/10/14 by Astyanax because: I am still an editor.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

If you don't believe in the existence of conspiracies, you may have Ebola as indicated by the CDC.

OG



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:48 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
You didn't say so explicitly, but you did set them in opposition when you said

I wasn't disagreeing with you or putting words into your mouth. I was merely using your post as a prompt for a meditation of my own. We do disagree, I see, on the importance of the role played by sceptical inquiry in the construction of personal worldviews, but even so, our positions are not very far apart.


Well, being in opposition doesn't necessarily make them polar opposites. That is too 2-dimensional in thinking (dualistic).


We don't have the full truth of what happened on any day, ever. Part of this is due to self-interested economies with the truth, just as you suggest; but the greater part is simply that we cannot know. Apart from strictly controlled scientific experiments, few things — if any — are ever observed, described or reported in full, with complete accuracy. Still, realizing that there are limits to how sure we can be of what is true is no excuse for believing that everything is a lie.



Well not being able to observe everything is a given. I was more talking about people deliberately hiding things about the events on that day that they know about and could illuminate more on the subject. But I believe that that is the case for any story. Even when you tell the truth, but omit facts could be viewed as lying.

Though, don't let my inherent skepticism of everything tell you that I distrust everything. I certainly do believe and subscribe to certain ideas as being true (or as nearly true as possible given our current knowledge and technology). But when I say something is true, it means something a bit different. When I say something is true, it ALWAYS has the adjective "probably" in front of it, and there is usually a percentage to go along with it that describes how likely it is of being true. Example: I give something like evolutionary theory a 80 - 90% chance of being true. The same can be said when I say something is false.

One more thing to note about my skepticism. History is told through first and second hand events. It is a field that relies mostly on subjective evidence. Sure you can prove some accounts with artifacts, but at the end of the day, it's your word versus someone else's. Even our own minds will lie to us about things that WE witnessed. In that sense, I never put more than a 70% chance of history, no matter the source, of being true.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: OrionsGem

Of course conspiracies exist. That has nothing to do with believing in conspiracy theories.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 12:02 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: OrionsGem

Of course conspiracies exist. That has nothing to do with believing in conspiracy theories.


Even so, Id still get a pap smear just to be sure...you never know when Obola will strike...

OG



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to:Introspectionist


To the OP
A flag for bringing to our attention an interesting piece of research, even by way of a tendentious 'news item' that completely misrepresents it. No star for the OP, but a star for admitting you'd misunderstood earlier, even if you seem to have gone back on that now. To put this argument to rest once and for all, here is a comment by the lead author of the study we are discussing. I encourage you to read all of it. It's short.

Setting the record straight on Wood & Douglas, 2013

External Quote:
"it’s totally baseless to conclude that conspiracist comments outnumber conventionalist comments – I did the data collection for this study and am positive that this is not the case."
And that, I'm very much afraid, is that.


The study does say:


Nevertheless, each site had approximately the same proportions of conspiracist and conventionalist comments—specifically, about twice as many conspiracist comments as conventionalist:


Which means that the number of comments was about two conspiracist to one conventionalist for all sites studied on the 9/11 topic. It was also mentioned that the people who believe in some kind of conspiracy regarding JFK were in the vast majority. It does not hold true for other theories like the existence of aliens, based on comments.

So it depends on the topic whether or not the conspiracy theorists are in the majority. which I suppose means they can change their stripes and therefore can not be counted. Which contradicts other conclusions made about them.

Perhaps they are thinking people refusing to ignore evidence just because it is inconvenient.

edit on 20-10-2014 by freeenergymobile because: cat on keyboard

edit on 20-10-2014 by freeenergymobile because: BBC formatting erasure

edit on 20-10-2014 by freeenergymobile because: layout

edit on 20-10-2014 by freeenergymobile because: bracketology

edit on 20-10-2014 by freeenergymobile because: convience of readers

edit on 20-10-2014 by freeenergymobile because: spelling



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: freeenergymobile

No. You've got it wrong. Read the paper again and try to undrstand it better.


edit on 20/10/14 by Astyanax because: I really can't be bothered.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 01:11 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: freeenergymobile

No. You've got it wrong. Read the paper again and try to undrstand it better.



But dont read too hard, there is a conspiracy going around that paper spreads ebola...just saying..

OG



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 01:18 PM
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a reply to: freeenergymobile

Or, if the paper is too long and boring, try re-reading the post you quoted in your reply. In particular, this statement by the study author:


it’s totally baseless to conclude that conspiracist comments outnumber conventionalist comments — I did the data collection for this study and am positive that this is not the case.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I am exactly correct. here are the numbers:

Results Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist. The four news websites did not contribute equally to the sample, with 65 comments in 15 threads coming from ABC News, 632 in 29 threads from CNN, 1006 in 64 threads from the Daily Mail, and 471 in 27 threads from the Independent. Nevertheless, each site had approximately the same proportions of conspiracist and conventionalist comments—specifically, about twice as many conspiracist comments as conventionalist: for ABC, 21 conventionalist and 44 conspiracist; for CNN, 218 conventionalist and 414 conspiracist; for the Daily Mail, 330 conventionalist and 676 conspiracist; and



for the Independent, 146 conventionalist and 325 conspiracist


www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703523/

The researchers answer could have been what I said above but she chose to flip you off and act like you can not add.
That sounds like an attitude problem to me. But then she gets paid good money to get the said numbers and no food on the table if you read them yourself and draw your own conclusions. She is the concluder and don't you forget it.

That's her attitude. Everyone involved is making conclusions based on a small table of numbers.
edit on 20-10-2014 by freeenergymobile because: last sentence added to clarify that I do not mean the ATS poster.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 01:53 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax

Setting the record straight on Wood & Douglas, 2013


it’s totally baseless to conclude that conspiracist comments outnumber conventionalist comments – I did the data collection for this study and am positive that this is not the case.

And that, I'm very much afraid, is that.


Well I cannot argue with that.

And wont try.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 01:57 PM
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a reply to: freeenergymobile




their paradime of reality is being shaken.



OH I must remember that, it is right on the money, this is the major problem.




posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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insane is just another word for creative. there is no objective sanity.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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originally posted by: introspectionist
insane is just another word for creative. there is no objective sanity.


Yes I agree, not that long ago the "experts" drilled holes in peoples heads to "cure" them.
Then we had lobotomies. Electric shock treatment.
And we used to send menopausal women to the asylum.
The whole field of psychiatry is subjective. Slap a label on a human characteristic and you are a scientist, apparently.
Just look at the expansion of the DSM. The way things are going we are all crazy in one way or another, better get on the meds eh?

Hell No!!



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 02:58 PM
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originally posted by: OneManArmy

originally posted by: introspectionist
insane is just another word for creative. there is no objective sanity.


Yes I agree, not that long ago the "experts" drilled holes in peoples heads to "cure" them.
Then we had lobotomies. Electric shock treatment.
And we used to send menopausal women to the asylum.
The whole field of psychiatry is subjective. Slap a label on a human characteristic and you are a scientist, apparently.
Just look at the expansion of the DSM. The way things are going we are all crazy in one way or another, better get on the meds eh?

Hell No!!


We should have never ended some of those practices...

OG



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

I have to admit somebody posted at least three links.
I read two of them and it did seem to me that the two
different articles (one by a .gov) sight had some
inconsistencies in the conclusions.

I myself wasn't agreeing with the conclusions but
with some of the data reported and my experiences.

Rebel 5



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 11:30 PM
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originally posted by: rebelv
a reply to: Grimpachi

I have to admit somebody posted at least three links.
I read two of them and it did seem to me that the two
different articles (one by a .gov) sight had some
inconsistencies in the conclusions.

I myself wasn't agreeing with the conclusions but
with some of the data reported and my experiences.

Rebel 5



It would serve you well to read this entire thread, especially my responses. Report back now ya hear?

OG



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 11:45 PM
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a reply to: rebelv

I am glad to hear you looked into it further than 90% of the posters here. Yousaw there was a different take on the study I advise looking at the study for yourself.

Usually when an article says something about a study that I find mildly interesting I like to see the study as well sometimes the jargon in the studies can be a bit confusing but since lightning fast internet has been around that whole process has become much easier.lol After All coming to ones own conclusions when information is available is so much better than having someone tell you what it should be.



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 02:58 AM
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a reply to: freeenergymobile

Those numbers refer to the comments selected for analysis, not to the total number of responses examined. The researchers only analyzed what they call 'persuasive' comments.


For each article that resulted from these searches, the public comment sections were read, and from these, we extracted verbatim all relevant comments regarding the 9/11 conspiracy theories. Specifically, since only persuasive comments were of interest, only comments containing original content that could be considered persuasive, or written with the intent to persuade, were extracted.

Instead of just reading quotes in this thread, why don't you read the actual paper, and Michael Wood's blog post, both of which I linked to earlier? Why are you wasting my time and your own?

Here's Wood's comment in greater detail.


(We only analyzed) comments that were written with the apparent intent to change somebody’s mind about the cause of 9/11. It doesn’t include comments that, for instance, take the conventional explanation for granted and just talk about something else; that complain about someone else’s post; that simply insult someone; and so on. So it’s totally baseless to conclude that conspiracist comments outnumber conventionalist comments – I did the data collection for this study and am positive that this is not the case. Probably it’s true of a few articles, but certainly not in general. Source

You must be pretty desperate to cling to your interpretation even after the study author has stated it is wrong.



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