From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2013 09:22:31 -0500 Archived: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:02:18 -0400 Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing >From: Vincent Boudreau <vincentboudreau.nul> >To: post.nul >Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 15:26:49 -0400 >Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing >>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> >>To: post.nul >>Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 07:58:36 -0500 >>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing >>>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul> >>>To: <post.nul> >>>Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 11:13:37 +0100 >>>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing ><snip> >>>The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing by Derek Beres >>>Home Blogs 21st Century Spirituality >>>The Conspiracy of Conspiracy Theorizing >><snip> >>>Ha! Conformist hack journalists wanting brownie points churn >>>this stuff out on a regular basis. >>>Why do folk believe in 'conspiracy theories'? Because they know >>>of small and large conspiracies all around them - in every town >>>hall, county court and seat of legislature. >>>The fact is that when people get _any_ power they get corrupt, >>>and corrupt people conspire. >>With the exception to be noted below, I had no problem with the >>piece. Conspiracy theories are indeed destructive, and among >>other unfortunate consequences, they draw attention away from >>genuine misdeeds. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say >>that conspiracy theories are concocted for that very reason and, >>in the fashion of the breed, I could chase my tail throughout >>eternity. >>America these days is awash in the most extreme and absurd >>conspiracy theories, crippling rational discourse and debate. ><snip> >The problem with the notion of "conspiracy theory" is that it >has become a device used to prevent any further discussion about >facts that do not fit the _official_ explanation. >A good example of this is the 911 incident. Some facts >definitely don't add up: Building 11 went down, flight 93 >yielded no significant debris and the hole in the Pentagon does >not fit the plane that allegedly hit it. >This will not be addressed because some point their index >uttering the ultimate accusation: "conspiracy theory", >ultimately filibustering the debate with two words. >The "conspiracy theory" insult has been spit in the face of >whistleblowers for such a long time. History of governmental >crimes is replete with what would have been deemed "conspiracy >theory" stuff, had not the perpetrators been caught red handed. >Syphilis experiments on human subject in Guatemala, the US >(lasted 40 years!), Canadian psychiatrists working with the CIA >to experiment on unknowing subjects, CIA experiments with LSD on >unknowing American Soldiers, the Gulf of Tonkin lie to get the >US into the Vietnam War, Irak's non-existent WMDs to get US to >war, the NSA unlawful activities. >These are just very few examples that the powers that be >conspire to lie to their citizens and to cimmit crimes against >them. >And of course, we are not talking about the "Story of the >Millennium". Surely the governments wouldn't be hiding any truth >about the reality of those things to concerned citizens? >"Conspiracy theory" is in the same boat as "Little green men" or >"Homo" (in the days). >They are devices used to prevent addressing the facts, the >precise definition of "Ad Hominem Argument": >"Also, "personal attack," "poisoning the well." The fallacy of >attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition's >personal character or reputation, using a corrupted negative >argument from ethos. E.g., "He's so evil that you can't believe >anything he says." See also Guilt by Association. Also applies >to cases where potential opposing arguments are brushed aside >without comment or consideration, as simply not worth arguing >about." >(http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/ENGL1311/fallacies.htm >"Master List of Logical Fallacies") >Me think accusing some one of "conspiracy theory" is in itself a >conspiracy against the pursuit of truth. >Let's just address the facts, shall we? >Vincent Boudreau The problem with an argument like this is that in effect it denies the existence of the psychological/social/political phenomenon of conspiracy theories, in other words paranoia- based, empirically unjustified allegations about public misdeeds and their causes, of the sort that been documented all through history (or that you can hear from any barstool ranter). In this formulation, in which ordinary thinking is turned on its head, one idea must be judged as good as another. The crime is not spreading falsehoods but calling the falsehood spreader by name, in this case conspiracy theorist. And while you're making that argument, call the conspiracy- theory nonbeliever a bigot and liken him to a homophobe. Next thing, you can declare that critics of conspiracy theories are akin to anti-Semites and racists. In fact, something is fundamentally wrong with the argument if you have to resort to such bizarre tropes. Yes, it is true that, for but one example, Watergate, an abuse of power of historic dimensions, occurred. No, it does not follow that it is equally true that Jews control the world economy, that President Eisenhower was a Soviet agent, that the U.S. government is in collusion with evil aliens, or that President Obama, whose foreign birth sinister conspirators have concealed, secretly directs an international jihadist network. Or that the last Bush administration was behind 9/11, as our correspondent seems to believe may be the case. Again, indulging in this sort of unhinged thinking only serves to divert us from the detection of real scandals and abuses which deserve to be exposed and and which do not require us to make fantastic leaps of faith and good sense to credit. Conspiracy theorists have the paradoxical function of serving those in power by trivializing issues, just as UFO crackpots and extremists have diminished the impact of serious investigators seeking to document genuinely puzzling sightings. Reality is complex and confusing, but ultimately it does not have the texture, or the plot, of a cheesy paperback thriller, the true home of the conspiracy theory. Here's a conspiracy theorist in action: http://tinyurl.com/os8z7md It's good - necessary - to be skeptical about what official authority tells you. (All of us who were deeply suspicious of what we were told in the lead-up to the Iraq War have been fully vindicated.) It's also wise to be skeptical about what conspiracy theorists peddle. There is plenty of high-level deception and skulduggery to go around, but you're not going to learn about it from Alex Jones, the John Birch Society, and their frightened faithful.. There's a reason - and not a conspiratorial one, as our correspondent implies - that conspiracy theories are held in such disrepute. One idea is not as good as another. In the end, facts matter. Jerry Clark Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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