reply to post by seeker11
Thank you for writing this.
I feel much the same way.
I read ATS CRITICALLY...
ATS is a curious animal. On one hand it is a place where people freely exchange ideas and information. It's a place that seems to encourage people to
explore alternative theories, discuss events, share feelings, and expose truths...
On the other hand it's almost worse than the MSM and shows itself (and it's members) to be participating in what they claim to be fighting against;
There are far too many people that believe what they read.
The best way to approach any topic is with SKEPTICISM.
I see more half-truths and out-right llies posted here than i do anywhere else.
One must be critical of any and all claims made on ATS (and anywhere else).
People are quick to say things are "true" or "fact" based on very little (or, really, NO) evidence other than a desire for it to be truth. They
see what they "want" to see. If they already think something, then someone presenting "evidence" (for lack of a better word) simply reinforces
What the OP said, in making the connection between the fanaticism of the "cult" and the behavior of many "ATS" posters/readers is sadly
A fact isnt a fact because you WANT it to be true.
I read ATS because it can, at times, lead me to alternative ideas and opinions. Ones that I can explore for myself. That is how one learns. You need
to examine things from all sides and get all the available information before forming an opinion. As I said, people are too quick to take what others
post as gospel or will state things as "fact" when they are anything but.
The "culture of conspiracy" that exists around sites like ATS (and shows like 'Coast to Coast) et al, is toxic. there has formed, despite it's
stated goals (and the ideals purported by the community of conspiracy theorists - for lack of a better term.), a sort "cult" in which people are so
immersed in the conspiracies that they see them everywhere and see "proof" of them everywhere. They no longer approach things in a critical or
skeptical manner, but begin their thoughts on a foundation of beliefs that are, frankly, ludicrous.
When I say "ludicrous" I mean, as an example, Someone will post something like, "Barack Obama is a reptilian and he is part of some nefarious
plot" (vague, I know, but purposefully. it's not the point). People will, invariably, begin replying to the thread as if it's a given that A)
Reptilians do, in fact, exist and B) there is such a plan .
(To clarify, I'm not saying EVERYONE is like this, but a significant portion of the "community" at large IS and that is what I find dangerous)
Without proof, and without critical study and skepticism, many people will take that information and begin discussing it.
BLIND BELIEF is a dangerous thing.
Esoteric beliefs, whether socially accepted or fringe (think Christian or conspiracy) can be dangerous in the hands (or should I say minds) of
Now, the use of the word "ignorant" here does not mean "dumb" but it means "lacking in knowledge" and, even that, I mean a sort of common sense
knowledge or a critical, skeptical knowledge. The sort of intuitive knowledge that people have when it comes to sorting out whats real and whats bull.
Being an ATS member or a part of the greater "conspiracy community" does not make one inherently intelligent or wise. Believing in or espousing
conspiracy theories does not mean one has a greater knowledge or understanding of the truth. In many way, those proponents of conspiracy are often the
same sort of people that fall victim to fraud or would be lured into a cult. There's an allure to the supposed "esoteric" and a longing to be a
part of something bigger than ourselves (see OP) and "CONSPIRACY" fits the bill nicely.
I'm sure, by now, many of you are furiously typing out your retorts, and I don't blame you. Some of you will feel offended by this or it will cut to
the bone. I'm fine with that. I'm not here to argue the point, but simply make it.
What I hope for is a community that approaches these ideas CRITICALLY and SKEPTICALLY. If we really want TRUTH or to effect CHANGE we have to take our
research SERIOUSLY. We have to get away from the "Carnival Barker" mentality and (as the OP stated) SENSATIONALISM.
Not every ATS member or member of the greater community has the ability to see through the bull. It's on us to not lend credibility to that which
isnt credible. It's on us to weed out the "crazy" as it were.
These Skeptical terms help when reading through a site like ATS: The biggest being COMMUNAL REINFORCEMNT, APPEAL TO AUTHORITY, CONFIRMATION BIAS,
PIOUS FRAUD, CIRCULAR REASONING, TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE, POST HOC FALLACY, REGRESSIVE FALLACY, STRAWMAN ARGUMENTS, SPOTLIGHT FALLACY, RETROSPECTIVE
FALSIFICATION, ARGUMENT TO IGNORANCE, CLUSTERING ILLUSION, etc, etc.
BE A SKEPTIC. THINK.