I'v been a member of ATS for a while now but haven't been active for a number of months.
I've always been interested in truth. With that being said, I've also never liked blind belief, ignorance, or worse, WILLFUL ignorance.
Unfortunately, I've found ATS to be rife with just these sort of things.
It's one thing to discuss a topic and share information. It's another to discuss a topic as if it is an absolute truth or fact without having real,
Now, obviously, "tangible proof" and "the unknown" don't exactly go hand in hand, but that is my point. Without proof, we cannot say for certain that
something is true, be it The Roswell Incident, the JFK assassination, or Reptilians, et al.
We can theorize. We can discuss. We can share. But we can't say "Yes, aliens did crash in Roswell and the government covered it up.", "Oswald didn't
shoot Kennedy, it was the CIA and the Mob." or "George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth are Reptilians!". Instead, we can say "Through research and what
information we have, we can discuss the possibility that there may have been a crashed Extraterrestrial craft.", "Through research and what
information we have, we can discuss the possibility that Kennedy was shot by the CIA or the Mob, etc." or "Through research and what information we
have, we can discuss the possibility that George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth may be Reptilians.".
There's a huge difference between the two. That difference being that, in an educated, critical, and skeptical manner, we can discuss and perhaps
uncover whatever truth or non-truth there may be to any and all questions/theories we put forth.
ATS shouldn't be about your beliefs.
That's where this site and the "conspiracy community" as a whole becomes more like a "cult" than an arena of information, discussion, and truth.
We all have our beliefs. I'm not advocating that people should disregard their personal feelings and thoughts. But i am advocating that those beliefs
do not belong in the discussion.
(As an aside, I understand many people have had personal experiences and that those should not be dismissed out of hand either. But for the sake of
the discussion, those too need to be framed as a personal experience and not as a fact.)
I can believe in Santa Claus but that does not make him any more real. The same goes for any subject. You may believe all of the World leaders are, in
fact, reptilians. However, you're personal belief does not inform the discussion nor does it stand as proof or fact.
When I visit ATS and read through the headlines, invariably I see things stated as fact that are anything but. Or, if i do happen to click on a topic
and read through the post and it's replies, I find that people respond as if certain ideas/theories/statements are FACT or TRUE. This disheartens me
greatly. Instead of engaging each other or discussing the possibility of something being true, we instead get a lot of communal reinforcement and
replies that begin with "of course...", "as we all know...", or "I know...". What I mean here is that, not only are people practicing a sort of
communal reinforcement, they are also practicing a type of "Confirmation Bias".
People have a set of beliefs and those beliefs are reinforced by others in the community, or they take so-called "evidence" and reinforce those
Theories and ideas are stated as FACT or as a given.
I think ATS (and similar sites) are a wonderful tool for people to learn new things and explore ideas. I also believe that these sites can be
Why dangerous? Because too many people in this world are ignorant.
When I say ignorant, I don't mean "stupid" or anything like that. I mean it more in a general sense; gullible? Willing to believe?
ESOTERIC KNOWLEDGE. It's the bread and butter of the "conspiracy community". This idea that there is this knowledge or truth known only to a few.
That sort of thing is very attractive to your everyday person. It's what attracts people to religion and, in many ways, "Conspiracy". "Conspiracy" is
a religion of sorts.
As I said before, people have beliefs. Most people in this community have a set of beliefs, whether they believe in Aliens, Bigfoot, Ghosts, or any
number of conspiracies. They have invested themselves and their identity, to a degree, in these beliefs. They are members of the "Religion of
Read through the site and imagine that, instead of talking about the New World Order, 9/11, Chem-trails, et al, they are talking about religious
beliefs. Not in the "what" but in the "how" they are talking.
There is a cult-like quality to the community as a whole that makes me feel a bit queasy.
People argue about their beliefs as if they are 100% true, the same way someone defends their religious faith.
To me that is scary stuff.
The very nature of "conspiracy" is that the truth is purposefully obscured or hidden.
When people start telling me that something is a FACT yet have nothing to back it up but their personal belief I cry foul. If these things were so
readily proven they wouldn't be "conspiracy THEORIES".
They are, indeed, "Theories".
Theory: a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are
regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
and that's where i find the problem. somewhere in there the "theory" part of "conspiracy theory" has been dropped. ATS (and it's kind) have
degenerated into a place of BELIEFS over THEORIES.
BELIEF: 1. Something believed; an opinion or conviction.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof
As i said, I think people SHOULD have beliefs. We cannot help doing so, it's in our very nature. But those BELIEFS do NOT inform the discussion or
further the goal of learning the truth.
If people are going to share their beliefs, i think they should explain that that is what they are. The line between "theory" and "belief" has become
so blurred as to be nearly unrecognizable. The unfortunate outcome of this is that you get a lot of people who aren't able to distinguish between the
two. Sadly, I find that to be most people.
Nothing should be taken at face value. We should approach everything as skeptics and with a critical eye. That's our job as "conspiracy theorists". We
are trying to uncover the TRUTH. We aren't here for FANTASY. We aren't here to treat it as a RELIGION.
I urge you, ATS members, to practice skeptical thinking. I urge you to not let your beliefs become a hindrance in the search for truth. There is so
much we could do and truly accomplish if we approach things in a more SCIENTIFIC manner and not a religious one.
I, personally, have many THEORIES but very few BELIEFS when it comes to the topics on ATS. And that's how it should be. There needs to be clear line
drawn between THEORY, FACT, and BELIEF.
I am interested in TRUTH.
i understand that, by their very nature, conspiracies (of all types) aren't exactly easy to prove and that evidence is hard to come by. But it's for
those same reasons that one should not blindly believe in these same theories. We should discuss, we should search for the truth, but in the end,
blindly believing in something is a dangerous thing.
BE A SKEPTIC.
Here is a list of SKEPTICAL TERMS that one should keep in mind while reading/discussing/posting:
edit on 5/8/2012 by tothetenthpower because: --Mod Edit--All Caps