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What is a "conspiracy theory?"

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posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 05:57 AM
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Legit question, and am very curious as to the replies it may get.

Here's the thing: to me a conspiracy theory has been an alternative explanation of an event or events with some level of supporting information. But it seems that others are happy to play the what if or maybe game and call THAT a conspiracy theory. Headline is "police arrest homeless man for operating a lemonade stand while charging his mobile phone" and boom, the conspiracy theory is maybe police knew he was an escaped reptilian overlord and took him into custody.

So what's the deal? Can we just say "maybe this is why" without any evidence to support it? Not even one tiny little bit? Can we ignore facts in evidence of they dispute the conspiracy theory? Or can we say "x happened, maybe this is why" and that is enough to stand on its own?

Whatcha think?




posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 05:58 AM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
Whatcha think?


Same



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:07 AM
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a reply to: Shamrock6

I agree with what you say an open mind is fair.

But I would make the point that when a government or institution try to hide vested interests or motives for actions they know the public would be against, then its usually ' these officials' who call their critics who expose their actions 'conspiracy theorists' as a means of deriding the information given out and the researcher. One only has to look at Assange and other whistle-blowers to see how governments/institutions act if exposed, they throw every bit of dirt they can invent or find.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:11 AM
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a reply to: Shiloh7

If "conspiracy theorist" has become a pejorative word it's only because of the thousands of people who like shamrock said do nothing but voicing out loud their paranoid fears without any supporting info.

It's because of people who get mad about Nibiru, reptilians, 2012 or inner earth nazis that the world of conspiracy theories is now synonym with ridicule.

You can't blame anyone else for that. It's up to the conspiracy crowd to set their own standards and reject ignorance and lunacy.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:17 AM
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a reply to: Shamrock6

A label that the main stream media gives to the truth surrounding lies fabricated by the government which is rolled out as "the official story".



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:23 AM
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a reply to: JUhrman




You can't blame anyone else for that. It's up to the conspiracy crowd to set their own standards and reject ignorance and lunacy.


Perhaps you may wish to consider who starts the real looney suggestions. Death by association is a bread and butter type of operation by three letter agencies. It was used to great affect in the first few months of 9/11.

It can then be used to discredit all of the information on a site ... and the general population fall for it every time.

P

edit on 11/6/2015 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:23 AM
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a reply to: Sublimecraft

Can you blame them. It works.




posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:33 AM
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originally posted by: pheonix358
Perhaps you may wish to consider who starts the real looney suggestions.


Honestly? Look no further than ATS and GLP.

Actually you start sonding like a looney yourself suggesting that the crazies here are government and corporate shills.

Let me remind you that around 5% of the population has a paranoid personality disorder and other similar ailments. That's around 300 millions crazies. Clearly they don't need support.
edit on 11-6-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:47 AM
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a reply to: Shamrock6



Here's the thing: to me a conspiracy theory has been an alternative explanation of an event or events with some level of supporting information.




So what's the deal? Can we just say "maybe this is why" without any evidence to support it? Not even one tiny little bit?


Yes and no.

Supposition and thinking outside the box is the base foundation to most conspiracy theories... that's what gets the ball rolling in the first place.

Following that, then comes any supporting information that may or may not further provide sustenance by way of doing research and digging deeper into the subject to see if there may be some possible validation to the theory.

Is there anything wrong with people tossing around suppositions ? No... so long as they aren't claiming those opinions to be evidentiary proof of conspiracy. Thoughts and ideas get tossed around a lot in an open forum.

It's all about the exchanging of ideas, and sometimes those ideas develop into something further.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 06:53 AM
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originally posted by: CranialSponge
Supposition and thinking outside the box is the base foundation to most conspiracy theories... that's what gets the ball rolling in the first place.

Following that, then comes any supporting information that may or may not further provide sustenance by way of doing research and digging deeper into the subject to see if there may be some possible validation to the theory.


I disagree, it sounds like a recipe for disaster and confirmation bias. Anyone looking hard enough will always find things that in his mind will confirm his beliefs. See religions, apophenia, schizophrenia (like in the movie a beautiful mind), and of course the threads here.

Getting the ball rolling in the first place regarding "true" conspiracy theories always come from a whistleblower or leaked info. Not from wishful thinking.



originally posted by: CranialSponge
It's all about the exchanging of ideas, and sometimes those ideas develop into something further.


Which can be a problem since conspiracy theories aren't supposed to be "idea developing" and more secrets being investigated.
edit on 11-6-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 07:12 AM
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a reply to: JUhrman

The point is...

Any conspiracy theorist worth their weight is someone who does all of their research first before tossing a conspiracy theory into the ring.

Otherwise, it's just simply people making suppositions and thinking out loud... ATS is, afterall, an open forum for discussion amongst individuals.

Other than that, I'm not sure why you folks are so concerned about how 'outsiders' view our participation in the conspiracy world and/or on these forums ?

I wasn't aware that this was a popularity contest.

Personally, I don't give a flying fiddler's fart what the MSM has to say about 'our type of people'. I rather like being one of the black sheep grazing on the dark side of society... we have better cookies on this side of the fence.




posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 07:27 AM
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I don't care either if conspiracy theorists are considered crazy. I come here for entertainment. I don't consider ATS or GLP as conspiracy theory sites.

I usually learn more about "real" conspiracy theories from MSM sites than here.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: Shamrock6

At it's foundation (at least legally speaking), a conspiracy is when two or more people plan or agree to do something illegal. Obviously, a theory is the result of pondering (either rationally or speculatively) about a certain problem and what its possible solution may be.

So, yes, they can be formed without any real supporting evidence whatsoever--I could say that I have a conspiracy theory that we haven't found any bigfoots yet because the government is trapping them and using their hair fibers to create Tempurpedic mattress material without any evidence whatsoever. That would still be a conspiracy theory, except the burden of rational thinking falls on the person hearing the theory to determine its veracity.

On the flip side, you have 9/11 conspiracy theories that have a mountain of evidence that comes along with them, so the average person listening to the theory doesn't have to do so much leg work and it makes believing (or disbelieving) the theory that much easier.

Ignoring facts, not having any facts, pulling things out of one's arse, etc., are all ways to pretty much have a CT ignored completely by me, but I love facts and evidence. Other people are happy to go through life riding a rainbow on a pot of gold powered by unicorn farts and Care Bear stares, but that's not me.

I think what you're asking is, what is a credible conspiracy theory--and that's tough to answer because credibility is often times subjective.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 07:50 AM
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originally posted by: Sublimecraft
a reply to: Shamrock6

A label that the main stream media gives to the truth surrounding lies fabricated by the government which is rolled out as "the official story".

Yes, goes a bit deeper than lemonade stand "overlords".



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 07:58 AM
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a reply to: CranialSponge


Any conspiracy theorist worth their weight is someone who does all of their research first before tossing a conspiracy theory into the ring.

Sometimes all it takes is a photo to kick off a conspiracy…


The exhaustive research is impossible beforehand. It becomes research to ferret out the reality behind the evidence.


Otherwise, it's just simply people making suppositions and thinking out loud..

Which hampers the actual investigation at times, burying the real conspiracy under a ton of deflection , page sliding, and misinformation.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 08:20 AM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
But it seems that others are happy to play the what if or maybe game and call THAT a conspiracy theory.


Well, you know I agree with you. One thing SORELY lacking in the conspiracy community today is the all-important CRITICAL THINKING. And sometimes ANY thinking at all. It's like - if you can imagine it in your wildest dreams - it becomes a theory. The problem, as I see it, is that some people determine the outcome (let's say "Obama is an alien") and then do what they can to concoct some random story that would make their "theory" appear - if not plausible - at least minutely possible. I mean, after all, Obama DOES have those big ears. If those puppies are not alien, I don't know what is!



So what's the deal? Can we just say "maybe this is why" without any evidence to support it? Not even one tiny little bit? Can we ignore facts in evidence of they dispute the conspiracy theory? Or can we say "x happened, maybe this is why" and that is enough to stand on its own?


Well, people can and do that. They give conspiracy theorists a bad name, and make it easier for true conspiracies to be discounted by authorities and the general public, but they're certainly free to do it. I will say that they have very little respect from those of us who know what critical thinking really means and how important it is to the conspiracy world.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 08:26 AM
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a reply to: Shamrock6



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 08:27 AM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

I guess that's the crux of my issue. I've seen a few recently do the equivalent of "well it's possible so it's gotta be a conspiracy!" Despite evidence in the wide open to the contrary.

I think the "pull that string" method is pretty good, myself. If you have an idea and pull that string to see where it goes, does it actually go anywhere? If not, it's likely just an idea. But if you start to unravel the ball a little bit more with every tug, then you could well be on to something.



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 08:32 AM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
I think the "pull that string" method is pretty good, myself.


Yeah but your risk confirmation bias because correlation is not proof of causation.



Example:

- "Chemtrails to poison people might be real?"
- "There are actually planes spraying the skies!"
- "Chemtrails is a real conspiracy!".


When actually these chemicals spraying planes: 1) aren't secret; 2) aren't poisoning people.

Yet to the common conspiracy searchers, the existence of such planes is a proof of a chemtrail conspiracy.
edit on 11-6-2015 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2015 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: Klassified
Sorry. Couldn't resist, and hit the button too soon.

The problem with the conspiracy community is the two extremes. The paranoid gullible, and the mind firmly closed crowd. It is these two "factions" that create an endless loop of white noise. Everyone between these two is usually willing to suspend their confirmation bias(to varying degrees) long enough to try and get to the truth of a matter whether it fits their belief of what is possible, or it doesn't. I think my signature sums it up quite nicely.



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