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Why People Believe Conspiracies

Discussion in 'Conspiracy Debates' started by USMC the Almighty, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/...piracies&ns=DennisPrager&dt=06/12/2007&page=2

    1. Many people find it impossible to believe that a few utterly unimpressive individuals can do so much damage. Lee Harvey Oswald, a man who can best be described as simply a loser, could change history all by himself? It doesn't seem to make sense.

    2. Many people want to blame those they loathe for as much of what they do not like as possible. Just about everyone who believes in hidden conspiracies attributes those conspiracies to those they hate. People who hate President George W. Bush blame him and his administration for 9/11. Egyptians who hate Israel have blamed AIDS on Israeli prostitutes. Indeed, attributing to Jews hidden conspiracies -- the "world Jewish conspiracy," the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" -- is the oldest and most common belief in a hidden conspiracy.

    3. One should never underestimate the power of boredom -- and the subsequent yearning for excitement -- to affect people's thinking and behavior. Belief in a hidden conspiracy is far more exciting than accepting prosaic truths. Figuring out the "mystery" of who killed JFK is a much bigger thrill than accepting that one jerk was responsible. Deciphering who was "really" responsible for 9/11 is a lot more interesting than accepting that 19 Arabs with box cutters did it.

    4. People who feel powerless over their own lives are far more likely to believe that some invisible force controls their fate than people who believe that they are the masters of their lives.

    5. There is, apparently, a great yearning among many people to believe that there is hidden knowledge and that they have access to it. It makes them feel special, perhaps even superior to the rest of us who do not have access to this hidden knowledge.

    6. In Western societies, it appears that secular people are more likely to believe in hidden conspiracies than the more religious. It may be that the religious already believe in an invisible power that governs the universe -- God -- and therefore seem to have much less of a psychological or emotional need to believe in invisible powers on earth.

    Whichever reason or reasons apply, the bottom line about those who believe in hidden conspiracies is this: They choose to believe in them. Their psyche, their emotions, and/or their political agenda bring them to their belief in a hidden conspiracy. Never the facts.
     
  2. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    It's a bit like religion, it fills in the gaps and makes life seem far more exciting and worth the ride. It gives people some scapegoats, some heroes, even a community sometimes.
     
  3. JavaBlack

    JavaBlack New Member

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    Another piece to the puzzle is that the more information lacking, the more conspiracy theories will develop. The obsession with state secrets that the Bush administration has was a major starting point for a lot of conspiracy theories... and reasonably so.
    This is very much like how religion begins... I don't know how much I'd believe that religion keeps conspiracy theories down...
    For one thing, I'm sure everyone knows at least a few Christians who are fully convinced that the beast is on Earth working behind the scenes. The idea of a secular liberal conspiracy is extremely common in conservative Christians.
    The reason why you'd see many non-believers as conspiracy theorists is that they are a minority everywhere. Minorities have less power in general and are thus more likely to seek out a construction of order to make sense of world events. I think it has more to do with the minority status than lack of religion. Seculars believe in a theocrat conspiracy. Religionists believe in a secular conspiracy. (strangely this paranoia causes each group to retaliate... and thus make the conspiracy theories somewhat true)

    What's interesting about conspiracy theories is that even though the events described are weird and very wrong, they do tend to point out an accurate problem. I think it's because they begin with the problem.
    There are indeed many systematic inequalities and injustices... but most of them occur through accident more than design. I think that bothers a lot of people.
    It's easier to fight the Illuminati than something so vague and universal as human incompetence.
     
  4. Abraxis Axis

    Abraxis Axis New Member

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    I think it has to do with the fact that there is a long storied History of conspiracy in the world .I think it is purely because in too many instances it has been proven so. our government in particular has a fond fascination with false flag ops and spin

    fills the gaps ...ok yeah in some instances perhaps you are right. i find it rather interesting how you all have decided that all people who believe in any conspiracy are all the same and feel the same and act the same etc... a rather arrogant and naive look at it i suppose

    one could just as easily ask why do so many blindly follow the pied pipers? why is it that some have the need to cling to authority and its shortcomings as its the last bastion of hope in the world



    interesting pigenhole technique im sure many will fall right into itwhat is it that makes you all so much better or higher classed than someone who believes in a conspiracy? utter arrogance
     
  5. JavaBlack

    JavaBlack New Member

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    The problem isn't so much the belief in conspiracy as the way in which holes are filled up and the way in which the conspiracy theorist will not even accept the possibility that sometimes bad things happen by chance and unrelated events.
    There are conspiracies most certainly... but without proof, it seems bizarre to be absolutely stuck on one. And the idea of one big macro-conspiracy is pretty nutty. Our own government is so convoluted that it would be near impossible to control with conspiracy... The world and all of history even more so... which is probably why the really big conspiracy theories always involve aliens or Satan or something.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave New Member

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    Haven't you pigeonholed everybody that disagrees with conspiracy theories? You have claimed that we all blindly follow anything the government puts out and have some false sense of loyalty. Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black.
     
  7. Abraxis Axis

    Abraxis Axis New Member

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    again there you are generalizing and putting things into your percieved context and calling it factual
     
  8. Abraxis Axis

    Abraxis Axis New Member

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    can you show us where I have done such a thing? I dont care if you agree with what i post or not frankly . I am here simply to spread information for others to gain some knowledge. The fact that you may or may not disagree with me really means very little to m actually?

    It certainly does in fact seem as though MANY of you here at this web forum do in FACT follow basically anything party line or said by the Federal Government. that for myself does seem to be Blindly following what they say

    particularly when it comes to 9-11 and a few other areas
    your all free to do as you please? I am entitled my opinion. And if it may be that some of you are Blind simple patriotic Americans.........so be it its only my opinion

    it dosent mean i believe that anyone is obliged to think the same way? you all have a very strange way of doing things here.

    I have never claimed that YOU ALL follow anything? again your mistaken with what your saying ...I addressed the posters in this thread as YOU ALL as they all shared the same viewpoint

    carry on
     
  9. Horizon

    Horizon Member

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    i think people believe in conspiracies because they don't trust their governments and the media. and beside they find the conspiracies reasonable based on what they know.

    what is the definition of conspiracy by the way

    1. plan to commit illegal act together: a secret plan or agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal or subversive act.

    2. making of agreement by conspirators: the making of a secret plan or agreement to commit an illegal or subversive act.

    courtesy of MSN Encarta dict.
     
  10. n0spam4me

    n0spam4me Member

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    SO, by definition, the 19 suicidal Arabs, plotting together to hijack airplanes and crash into buildings, is a CONSPIRACY! So what CONSPIRACY are you willing to believe?
    (I'll take "none-of-the-above" .... )

    what is the definition of conspiracy by the way

    1. plan to commit illegal act together: a secret plan or agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal or subversive act.

    2. making of agreement by conspirators: the making of a secret plan or agreement to commit an illegal or subversive act.
     
  11. paf_2

    paf_2 Member

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    I think conspiracy's happen for three reasons:

    Its hard to accept something has happened or the way its being reported it happened.

    Its hard to accept that something that seems impossible is possible.

    Its because some want to believe that things are possible that haven't been proven.

    I think those are the three reason conspiracies theories happen, 911, Sandy Hook, The Holocuast and the assasination of JFK certainly fall under the first one. Although, even I have to admit that the JFK assasination is questionable even to me, especially since Oswald was killed himself just days later before going to trial. Then there are the deaths of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, seriously to this day I think there are people who don't want to believe they are really dead.

    The second theory, the moon landing need I say more on this one.

    The third one has to do with aliens and UFOs. There are those of us who believe these exist but they are still conspiracy theories because the eveidence sitll isn't there to prove it to everyone.
     
  12. Zynni

    Zynni Active Member

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    I think this is a big part of it. While some of the other issues noted may be applicable in some situations, often the simplest explanation is the most accurate. I think when information isn't forthcoming, especially in serious situations, people become distrustful. It makes it that much easier to believe the explanations that are being offered, since no one is offering information to the contrary.
     
  13. josuemilan

    josuemilan New Member

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    The main reason people believe in conspiracies is because sometimes they are not conspiracies. The media can dictate the way we perceive things and make us believe false information. It becomes a case of the boy who cried wolf. Majority of the time there is no wolf but when there is nobody will believe because of all the lies that have been told. People rationally want to believe in the truth but emotionally beg to differ. Some people are just subject to denialism. You could literally slap them in the face with the evidence and they will deny the truth with invalid reasoning. Ultimately, it is because there are times when unbelievable things actually happened , which originally gave people the right to think unconventionally.
     
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