posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 02:31 AM
Good post, some very interesting reading.
I think there is a huge problem of people being unwilling to listen to things they feel don't jive with their beliefs (both in ATS and real life). I
was a college debater, and one of the most important things I ever learned is the ability to "switch side debate". In other words, how to research
and argue both sides of an issue. When people do this, not only does it help everyone further find the truth, but it helps you argue your points
even better, because you know the opposing sides argument. That is why I enjoy posting on well thought out threads, regardless if I agree with them
Having said that, I do think there is some problems with the information you have presented. The first is that your main complaint seems to be you
hate threads like ones that say Obama eats babies, yet the study you cite is talking about a rather people believe 9-11 was a conspiracy or not. This
seems problematic to me because I don't gather from your comments at the top of your post that this is what you are complaining about. If you would
consider a post claiming 9-11 was a conspiracy to be crap, then I would have to ask what you would define as a worthy post?
The problem is that your reference seems to be dealing with a different issue than what your complaint seems to be. Your reference is trying to
explain how belief in any conspiracy can occur, whereas your complaint seems to be why the more ridiculous ones get more attention (if I'm following
you). I think that the people doing the study you show would say that the very idea of ATS is a deflection of personal responsibility, and I don't
think that is correct at all. Put another way, if their contention is that the majority of conspiracy believers are so because they are deflecting
self advancement, how does that address your complaint as to crazier conspiracies and posts get more attention. According to them, belief in any
conspiracy seems equally crazy.
I have more problems with this study. Apparently, they start off with the assumption that the conspiracy they looked at (9-11 being an inside job)
isn't true. They then try to explain how so many people can believe something so irrational. For example, they say CT serve to answer
contradictions between known facts and the believers belief system. Well, what known facts are they referring to? There are many facts on all sides
of the 9-11 debate, so how can one claim there is a contradiction between the facts and CTers beliefs?
If this conspiracy were to be true , then what would these findings prove? That poor, angry people are more likely question officials stories and
get the truth, while wealthier people who believe in self advancement tend to be more willing to believe a conspiracy (the official story of 9-11 in
Another problem I have with the study is the three traits that are pointed out. The first I will mention is point two, a tendency to distrust other
people. This makes no sense. Wouldn't this be a characteristic of a conspiracy skeptics too? Also, this seems a bit obvious. Did they really
expect CTers to be trusting of people? I don't see how questioning things and demanding evidence is a negative trait.
The next is alienation or disaffection with the system. In other words, people that don't fit in with society or don't like the direction its
going. Again, this seems like an obvious statement. Why would someone who loves the government or society have conspiracies about it. They don't
need to think of such things. But someone who doesn't like it or doesn't fit in would probably look for reasons why, and ask questions.
For example, I am discontent with the system because I hate the fact that a very few people control most of the worlds wealth, while millions of
people starve. In trying to rationalize how this is, I came to the conclusions that these few people are greedy and feel they rig the world economy
to make more money. Thats a conspiracy. I don't understand why this is either a negative thing (I guess that is what they are trying to say) or why
this is some startling revelation. They could have saved their money, and I could have told them people who are happy with society would be less
likely to believe in conspiracies.
Pretty much the same applies to the lass point, people with more stressful financial situations are more likely to be CTers. Makes sense, because in
general the better off person would probably not see as much of a problem with society, and vice versa.
I think this study is in danger of jumping to the conclusion that poor, angry distrusting people are more likely to be stupid and not be able to
accept facts than trusting, happy, wealthy people. Whats more is the fact that it seeks to heap shame on these people by saying, stop being lazy, if
you just believed what you are told and got a good job, you wouldn't be a poor loser. I think this is a very dangerous conclusion, and I feel it is
counter intuitive to the official motto of ATS, denying ignorance.
I think that it probably is true that some people want to blame others instead of fixing problems themselves, but is that really a problem unique to
CTers? The same could be said of many racists, religious people, politicians and many other groups of people. Deflecting blame and responsibility
seems to be a characteristic that transcends race and class. So it seems rather disingenuous to assert that CTers uniquely deflect responsibility.
I guess in conclusion I tink this study is terribly biased and not done very scientifically. I also fail to see the connection from a study that
lumps together all conspiracies to your complaint of the most radical ones getting more attention. I feel for your anger at some topics, but I just
don't feel this study explains the problem.