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How to make sense of Conspiracy Theories

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posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:15 AM
Yesterday I found a great article on a subject we all (think) we know and love; conspiracy theories! It comes to us thanks to Rob Ager, who some of you may already know of, and even those who don't might have stumbled across one of his film analysis videos without realising it. (Here is the link to those videos for those who are interested)

However, it is the article written by Rob that I wish to share with you all today, in his own words:

This article has two aims. The first is to offer a basic understanding of social psychology in relation to what are now largely referred to as “conspiracy theories” and “conspiracy theorists”. I won’t attempt to discredit or prove any specific conspiracy theories because to do so would defeat my second aim, which is to offer a set of basic perceptual principles that individuals can use to make a reasoned, unbiased and logical assessment of any specific conspiracy theory they are presented with.

So for those of you who are asking; where is the chase and how do I cut to it? Here is the link to the articles contents page.

The article is split into 9 separate parts:

1. What is a conspiracy theory?
2. Is there any truth to conspiracy theories?
3. How do conspiracy theories affect society?
4. Who is and isn’t a conspiracy theorist?
5. How do corporate media sources decide what is and isn’t a conspiracy theory?
6. What do academics have to say about conspiracy theories?
7. What do governments have to say about conspiracy theories?
8. How do I find out if a specific conspiracy theory is or isn't true?
9. How should I use and respond to the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” in conversation and debate?

It's a relatively quick and easy read but it still manages to make some very astute observations regarding the who's?, what's?, where's?, whys? and hows? of conspiracy theories/theorists. Sort of like a 'beginners guide to...' except even the most ardent 'pros' should give it a read.


posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:38 AM
Great thing about conspiracy theories is just that... they're theories! At some point they become conspiracy FACTS.

Really I would say to you: so your own research. Google is your friend and never take someone's word for it. If you're trying to debunk something and you just cannot find a logical explanation or article already on the subject.. consider the more "under the shelf" explanations.

When debunking photos, use Photoshop filters and processing. Can't pirate/buy Photoshop? Use GIMP, it's freesies.
edit on 20-12-2010 by igigi because: MOAR

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:40 AM
In order to find the truth, you must listen to all the stories.

Eventually the true ones stand out from the false ones.

But generally, most of the stories contain a mix of truth and fiction. A lot of people feel they need to decide if a story is true or false in its entirety, and immediately so they don't look stupid.
edit on 20/12/10 by NuclearPaul because: typo

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:46 AM

Originally posted by NuclearPaulBut generally, all the stories contain a mix of truth and fiction.

Such as the curious case of the Bible/Koran/Mahābhārata(Bhagavad Gita)/Ramayana/Torah.... Legends and embellishments handed down from generation to generation, warped by political power and personal daemons; with a sprinkling of truth.

When you read Ezekiel from the Bible think to yourself "what is this person truly trying to tell me." Things are written down for a reason, and passed on for a reason..

"He asked me, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide." - Zechariah 5:2 (NIV)
Now did he see a flying reed scroll going about it's own business measuring 30x15 feet? I donno...

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:57 AM
reply to post by LiveForever8

Great read, LF08.
I find it more of a nuisance to explain theories to those who question them.
Almost like they don't want to do the work of research for themselves.

Bookmarked that link.

When I find someone calling me a 'Conspiracy theorist'...
I simply call them 'sheep'.

That irritates them enough to do some research on their own.

In one particular instance, I had a person apologize and beg for more information.
Then I referred them to ATS.
With the disclaimer to take everything as opinions not truths.
Until they decide on their own.
Thats what makes us unique.

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 10:59 AM
reply to post by havok

I know your pain

After a few years experience I am now able to tell within the first minute of a conspiracy related discussion if somebody is genuinely interested and willing to give it a chance. Like you, I just call the others 'sheeple', which usually triggers some sort of reaction - for better or worse!

Originally posted by havok
In one particular instance, I had a person apologize and beg for more information.

I hope you took a picture
that's a rarity indeed!

In all seriousness though, it's a great article.

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