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Top 10 Personality Traits of a CTer

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posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 02:33 PM
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I've been around this board a bit now, visiting several topics and reading/posting to a few threads, and I have been struck by several common personality traits of some that post very regularly on ATS.
 



10 characteristics of conspiracy theorists
1. Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers, questioners, people who are trying to discover the truth: sceptics are always "sheep", patsies for Messrs Bush and Blair etc.

2. Relentlessness. They will always go on and on about a conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much of what they have is simply discredited. (Moreover, as per 1. above, even if you listen to them ninety-eight times, the ninety-ninth time, when you say "no thanks", you'll be called a "sheep" again.) Additionally, they have no capacity for precis whatsoever. They go on and on at enormous length.

3. Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly advertise their determination to the principle of questioning everything, they're pretty poor at answering direct questions from sceptics about the claims that they make.

4. Fondness for certain stock phrases. These include Cicero's "cui bono?" (of which it can be said that Cicero understood the importance of having evidence to back it up) and Conan Doyle's "once we have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be the truth". What these phrases have in common is that they are attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce positive, hard evidence themselves: you simply "eliminate the impossible" (i.e. say the official account can't stand scrutiny) which means that the wild allegation of your choice, based on "cui bono?" (which is always the government) is therefore the truth.

5. Inability to employ or understand Occam's Razor. Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence in any alternative account.

6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course, they will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for apparently lacking same.

7. Inability to withdraw. It's a rare day indeed when a conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any of the evidence produced to support it. Moreover they have a liking (see 3. above) for the technique of avoiding discussion of their claims by "swamping" - piling on a whole lot more material rather than respond to the objections sceptics make to the previous lot.

8. Leaping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists are very keen indeed to declare the "official" account totally discredited without having remotely enough cause so to do. Of course this enables them to wheel on the Conan Doyle quote as in 4. above. Small inconsistencies in the account of an event, small unanswered questions, small problems in timing of differences in procedure from previous events of the same kind are all more than adequate to declare the "official" account clearly and definitively discredited. It goes without saying that it is not necessary to prove that these inconsistencies are either relevant, or that they even definitely exist.

9. Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their claims. This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six, the Bologna station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded some weight (because it's “happened before”.) They do not pause to reflect that the conspiracies they are touting are almost always far more unlikely and complicated than the real-life conspiracies with which they make comparison, or that the fact that something might potentially happen does not, in and of itself, make it anything other than extremely unlikely.

10. It's always a conspiracy. And it is, isn't it? No sooner has the body been discovered, the bomb gone off, than the same people are producing the same old stuff, demanding that there are questions which need to be answered, at the same unbearable length. Because the most important thing about these people is that they are people entirely lacking in discrimination. They cannot tell a good theory from a bad one, they cannot tell good evidence from bad evidence and they cannot tell a good source from a bad one. And for that reason, they always come up with the same answer when they ask the same question.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I'd like to hear from those of you who have experienced this also, as well as those CTer's who think that this is correct or incorrect.


[edit: removed (pending) from title]

[edit on 10/3/2006 by 12m8keall2c]




posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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Warning: Do not feed the above troll.


Warning: Troll alert.


OK I raise this alert.


Totally rude arrogant troll alert.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:08 PM
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Well, you're starting to make my point. I didn't post this to be rude or offending. I'm trying desparately to understand this way of thinking. I was hoping to have an intelligent discussion, in an effort to educate myself to this way of thinking. Obviously not with you.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:21 PM
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I think it is a good way of lumping every "CTer" into one category, which is absolutely ridiculous. There are thousands, if not millions of "CTers" out there, and each one, for the most part, have their own opinions and views on every subject/conspiracy. Claiming that every one of them:

- always go on and on about a conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on
- have an Inability to answer questions
- Constantly use the phrase "cui bono?"
- Have the Inability to tell good evidence from bad

shows how little research/knowledge the authors of this "report" have done on the subject/people within the CT community.

The only "point" in the acticle that I somewhat agree with is the first point, the rest, however, are totally asinine.








[edit on 10/3/2006 by pstiffy]



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:32 PM
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Perhaps because I don't consider myself a CTer, I find much of the above applicable to many who engage in just 'normal' discussions on some belief.

But little demonstrates the concepts you cite above so comprehensively as the attempt to label someone a CTer as a means to invalidate some message, thought, or idea.




[edit on 3-10-2006 by loam]



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:32 PM
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Thanks, I appreciate your point. I'm also never in favor of painting with broad strokes. Perhaps this is a case of certain people meeting this. In other words, those that post more often than others (or more prominently) seem to carry that trait. Just my experience to date.

Thanks for your comments.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:36 PM
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I

Originally posted by KnowItAll
I was hoping to have an intelligent discussion, in an effort to educate myself to this way of thinking.


Well, you're starting with an incorrect preconceived notion authored by someone with built-in bias against the idea of conspiracy theory research. If someone who begins observing the "characteristics" of conspiracy theorists already has a built-in negative bias, certainly they will see attributes they find distasteful, just as conspiracy theorists find "sheeple" appalling.

I believe much of this vitriol has more to do with contemporary "pseudo conspiracy theorists" who first were exposed to the idea of conspiracy theories through 9/11 discussions... and fell into deep rabbit holes of myriad's of wild and conflicting theories. However, many of histories' conspiracies owe their exposure to us maligned tin foil wearing lunatics.

Let's see...

#1: That is often the case, but I'd wager the author hasn't spent much time on ATS where balance is indeed an aspired goal.

#2: I think you'll find our long-standing, hard-digging, old-school conspiracy speculators here on ATS will prove this point wrong again and again. On the other hand, yes, we've seen a lot of very aggressive 9/11-centric new theorists in our midst.

#3: Is this a rehash of number 2? Seems to be.

#4: There is an overwhelming amount of hard evidence in many of our marque conspiracy theory threads here on ATS. Again, I doubt your author spent some time here.

#5: Occam lives here.

#6: ATS is one giant peer-review. Many theories have developed in our incubator as a result of exactly this point -- collaborative peer review. Also, many theories have died because of this collaborative examination of the available facts.

#7: I dare say hundreds of long-standing ATS members have altered significant conspiracy opinions based on the material discussed here... I've seen it myself.

#8: Once bitten twice shy. When you gain enough experience with conspiracy speculation from a critical thinking point of view, you learn to observe certain patterns and movements in within the affairs of possible conspirators. The so called "conclusion leap" is most often as a result of experience, not a desire to believe fantastically terrible things.

#9: Yes. I agree. We seasoned conspiracy speculators do indeed call upon our experience with history and history's proven conspiracies as a backdrop for understanding the motivations and personalities involved in current theories. For example, the figures involved in much of the worst parts of Iran Contra are at work today in this administration.

#10: Based on my response to #9, the rest of this "characteristic" (as applied to our members) is nothing more than insulting crap that most people would apologize for before posting.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I think that most of the tin-hat wearing crowd and agressive 911ers take most of the attention. I am trying to keep an open mind, and just when I'm ready, something out of pluto gets posted. But, again, trying to understand.

THANKS!



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by KnowItAll
Thanks, I appreciate your point.


I take that as a sign you mean to place nice. Good. I never mind disagreement as long as it's honest disagreement.



Originally posted by KnowItAll
Im also never in favor of painting with broad strokes.





Originally posted by KnowItAll
Perhaps this is a case of certain people meeting this.


You're right. There are certain people who do this. Of course, what I always find so fascinating is that there are often concurrent examples of it on both sides of any given discussion.

Those are always a barrel full of laughs.



Originally posted by KnowItAll
In other words, those that post more often than others (or more prominently) seem to carry that trait.


Here is where we depart... I have been on this board for a reasonable period of time and I can honestly say the opposite. There are many prolific members who, while I may not always agree with their positions, are nonetheless honest brokers.


Originally posted by KnowItAll
Just my experience to date.


This is a BIG place, and it's easy to focus on the threads with the catchiest titles. But if you invest some time to look more deeply, you realize how many SMART and HONEST members ATS actually has.

Impressive, really.



[edit on 3-10-2006 by loam]



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
#5: Occam lives here.




Given the size of ATS, I'm not sure 140 hits is as helpful to your argument as you intended.


But all joking aside, I do agree it does live here.




[edit on 3-10-2006 by loam]



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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Thanks, I do intend to play nice. Just looking for good conversation from all sides.
Unfortunatley, the first post out of the box called me a troll.

And doesn't that to a certain degree begin to make some of the points of the article? At least so far as that poster is concerned.

I intend to take your advise and look more into the site. It indeed gets tough however to keep an open mind with all the doomsdayers, UFOers, and certain others.

I will tend to look into the politics side and other places. I think I'm going to leave the 911 stuff alone though...there's where some of these traits start to manifest themselves in my view.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by KnowItAll
Thanks, I do intend to play nice. Just looking for good conversation from all sides.
Unfortunatley, the first post out of the box called me a troll.


Unfortunately, it happens.

For some, it's not always clear whether insincerity is involved.

I don't know the specific poster, so I can't say much.


Originally posted by KnowItAll
And doesn't that to a certain degree begin to make some of the points of the article? At least so far as that poster is concerned.


Well, not really. Largely because, whether or not a conspiracy topic is involved, all I think you are really describing are examples of poor human behavior. Happens all of the time.


Originally posted by KnowItAll
I intend to take your advise and look more into the site.


Good.

There is far more good than bad. I think you will enjoy yourself here.

One of the best websites on the net, imo.



Originally posted by KnowItAll
It indeed gets tough however to keep an open mind with all the doomsdayers, UFOers, and certain others.




I understand. But it's really not that hard to ignore. You'll find many posts which are of substance beyond your imagination. I run into them all of the time.



Originally posted by KnowItAll
I will tend to look into the politics side and other places. I think I'm going to leave the 911 stuff alone though...there's where some of these traits start to manifest themselves in my view.


I hear you.


But you may even find more of the same on the politics side.


Then again, there is much there worth reading.




[edit on 3-10-2006 by loam]



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by KnowItAll
Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I think that most of the tin-hat wearing crowd and agressive 911ers take most of the attention. I am trying to keep an open mind, and just when I'm ready, something out of pluto gets posted. But, again, trying to understand.

THANKS!



OK so any one who differs from you is a tin hat wearer??? whats an aggressive 9-11 er?? some one who doesn't believe Bush and / or the party line???

You say you don't paint in broad strokes, but thats a mile wide paint splash right there..



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 04:33 PM
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Oh and to clarify.

I didn't like your argumentative and very rude first post. It annoyed me. I will apologise for the name calling it was immature - but i still disagree 100% with your views and what you express. You say one thing then write another. The above is a classic example.

People have the right to their own thoughts - you dont like it, well debate THEM. Don't like an idea? well provide a counter argument.

But to sit there, and tar many many different people with your massive brush strokes is very very rude.

But again, I will retract my name calling. Your not a troll, your just heavily against any one who thinks freely and against the official lines given out by the accepted media.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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dark
No, I do not believe that anyone who disagrees with me is anything. I believe you know the type of which we speak. Someone who posts something that is so far out of the ordinary that it really doesn't deserve comment. You know those when you see them.

I didn't say anything about Bush did I? You have no idea of my politics sir.

In my view an aggressive 911er is someone who makes outlandish statement without a basis in fact, and quotes as a source some opinions, or other websites that tend to back up his comments.

I believe this follows number 6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course, they will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for apparently lacking same.

I never said people didn't have rights to their own thoughts.
No one was tarred sir.

I'm not entirely sure why you're taking this tone with me.

Unless these traits happen to hit a nerve with you.
I am very sorry if this has offended you. For me, it is a very constructive conversation. Notice, I said conversation...not a debate. I'm merely trying to educate myself. Sir, you are making the point as related to at least some of these traits.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
your just heavily against any one who thinks freely and against the official lines given out by the accepted media.


First of all Kn1ght...you are making a very wrong assumption. You know what that word means. These are your words not mine. I didn't say that at all!

Now, I believe you are attempting to, what's the phrase, highjack this thread. Now I've recently read the Freshman's ATS Handbook...I believe you can be defined as a troll.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by KnowItAll
I'm not entirely sure why you're taking this tone with me.



KnowItAll, take a deep breath and re-read some of my post above.



It's easier to just ignore him.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by loam

Originally posted by KnowItAll
I'm not entirely sure why you're taking this tone with me.



KnowItAll, take a deep breath and re-read some of my post above.



It's easier to just ignore him.



Very true, and 100% correct. And I believe that this person to a certain extent makes some of the articles points. Now, in no way, do I personally suggest this is true of all CTers. But I think we're in agreement that at least some of these fit a minority of those that post on this site. (Well, at least for DarkKnight).

Thanks for getting me back to center. Just can't accept someone putting words in my mouth and making wrong assumptions. I'm better now.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 05:02 PM
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Originally posted by KnowItAll
Just can't accept someone putting words in my mouth and making wrong assumptions.




I can't either... Just wait until you come across some of my previous posts....


Good luck, and enjoy ATS.

Perhaps we'll cross threads again.



[edit on 3-10-2006 by loam]



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 05:03 PM
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You as well. Pleasure.
Sorry for the one-liner



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