Conspiracy theories

Discussion in 'Politics' started by thisnumbersdisconnected, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    A few of our fellow board members like to entertain, frustrate and even drive to insanity the rest of us, by posting utter garbage that purports to explain what "really is happening" in the world today, from individual events like the MH17 shoot-down and the disappearance of MH318 earlier this year, to the alleged machinations of a shadowy cadre of elites who supposedly control the world and manipulate world leaders and nations like chess pieces.

    No matter how illogical their theories are proven to be, they cling to them like Dorothy clings to trees in a tornado. Nonetheless, I think it's time to permanently deflate these rubbish gathers by pointing out how every single one of their posts go. This is a compilation of logical fallacies conspiracy theorists love to engage in as compiled by several observers over the years.

    Appeal to the "bandwagon effect"
    The so-called "bandwagon effect" is a psychological phenomenon where people are eager to believe things if most of the people around them believe that too. Sometimes that thing is true and there's no harm, but sometimes it's a misconception, urban legend or, in this case, an unfounded conspiracy theory, in which case the "bandwagon effect" bypasses logical thinking for the worse.

    The most typical form of appealing to the bandwagon effect is to say something along the lines of "30% of Americans doubt that..." or "30% of Americans don't believe the official story". This is also called an argumentum ad populum, which is a logical fallacy.

    Appeal to rebellion
    A rebellion is, in the most general sense, a refusal to accept authority. People don't want to be sheep who are patronized by authority and told what they have to do and how they have to think. People usually distrust authorities and many believe that authorities are selfish and abuse people for their own benefit. This is an extremely fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

    Shotgun argumentation
    "Shotgun argumentation" is a metaphor from real life: It's much easier to hunt a rabbit with a shotgun than with a rifle. Shotgun argumentation has the same basic idea: The more small arguments or "evidence" you present in favor of some claim, the higher the probability that someone will believe you regardless of the ridiculous of those arguments.

    Secondly, and more closely related to the shotgun methapor: The more arguments or individual pieces of "evidence" you have, the higher the probability that at least some of them will sound so plausible to a listener/reader that he is then convinced. Thus one or a few of the "pellets" hit the "rabbit" and killed it.

    Of course the fallacy of both these efforts is that the amount of "evidence" is in no way proof of anything. The vast majority, and usually all of this "evidence" is easily explainable and just patently false.

    Citing inexistent sources
    This is a favorite of our few conspiracy theorists on board at BB. It has crossed my mind that they may not even be aware they themselves are victims of this very sandbag. It relies on the idea that the majority of people believe that credible sources have said/written whatever someone claims they have said or written. Even worse, most people believe that a source is credible or even exists just because someone claims that it is credible and exists. People almost never check that the source exists, that it's a credible source and that it has indeed said what was claimed.

    Conspiracy theorists know this and thus abuse it to the maximum. Sometimes they fabricate sources or stories, and sometimes they just cite nameless sources (using expressions like "experts in the field", "most astronomers", etc). This is an actual quote from a JFK assassination conspiracy theory website:
    Scientists examined the Zapruder film. They found that, while most of it looks completely genuine, some of the images are impossible. They violate the laws of physics. They could not have come from Zapruder's home movie camera.
    The reality? There is no such claim by any credible scientists anywhere to this effect, and the very, very few who will be quoted or cited by conspiracy theorists have never been within 100 miles of the Zapruder film. But nonsense like that works. More than half of Americans refuse to believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, even though a dispassionate, objective look at the evidence proves exactly that.

    This is going to get too long if I continue such detail, but briefly, some of the other conspiracy theorist tactics include:

    Citing sources which are wrong: Articles from credible newspapers or other media outlets quote conspiracy theorists, which other conspiracy theorists quote with attribution as though the quote in a credible source proves the theory, ignoring the actual fact the source goes on to debunk the theory.

    Cherry-picking: Someone deliberately selects from a wide variety of material only those items which support the conspiracy theory, while ignoring and discarding those which don't.

    Argument from authority: Quoting "scientists,: "researchers" or other "credible professionals" who are wrong. Of course, the conspiracy theorist will not say they are wrong, or have been proven wrong. They simply post the quote or the research and say, "See?"

    Argument from ignorance: Something "out of place" is pointed out without explanation, and then cited as "proof" that foul play, manipulation or other augmentation has taken place. Often there isn't even proof anything is "out of place" anywhere except in the eye of the conspiracy theorist. The Lee Harvey Oswald photo in the alley behind his house is a prime example. Conspiracy theorists have claimed for years it was "doctored" and it isn't Oswald's head on his body. It is. The photo is real. Get over it.

    Argument from (personal) incredulity: "I can't even begin to imagine how this can work / be possible, hence it must be fake". This is a variation or subset of the argument from ignorance.

    Argument from coincidence: In conspiracy theory land, there are no such things as coincidences. Everything always happens for a reason, and everything is always related somehow to their favorite conspiracy.

    Pareidolia: Pareidolia is, basically, the phenomenon which happens when we perceive recognizable patterns in randomness, even though the patterns really aren't there. For example, random blotches of paint might look like a face, or random noise might sound like a spoken word (or even a full sentence). If we aren't expecting to see or hear something -- because we know it isn't there -- we won't hear it. But if someone tells us what to see or hear, we will instantly "recognize it" when it is presented.

    OK, I've gone on too long, and I've probably sent a couple of our members into apoplexy. So be it. Know what they're doing to you, and don't let them do it.
     
    #1 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2014
  2. Salty

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    Tnd

    and your source for all the info? :tongue3:

    now you want to go and spoil all the fun for a few here on BB (or more appropriately PB - Political board)
     
  3. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Seriously, I was going to say simply "linked in the second paragraph ... " :laugh:

    Got me, Salt. Good one.
    Oh, well. What can I say?

    Many of my addictions clients say I'm a "spoil sport" because after a few weeks with me, they "aren't having any fun anymore." Of course, they always laugh after they say that.
     
  4. Rolfe

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  5. InTheLight

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    In my studies of conspiracy theory the most used method is a combination of these two techniques. I called it the merry-go-round attribution. Example:

    Author A writes a book where he makes an outlandish claim, oh, for example:

    Scientists examined the Zapruder film. They found that, while most of it looks completely genuine, some of the images are impossible. They violate the laws of physics. They could not have come from Zapruder's home movie camera.

    A couple of years later Author B makes the same claim and cites Author A as the source. Then a few years later author C says much the same thing and maybe adds something to author A's claim. Author C cites author B. A few years later author D repeats the same claim and cites author A and author C. Pretty soon you have four books all claiming the Zapruder film was made on Mars staged with aliens wearing human skin-suits. All these books have serious looking footnotes with attributions showing references from the past 20 years.
     
  6. Zenas

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    Many years ago I read an article on the psychology of conspiracy theories. I have forgotten most of what it said but this one thing stood out. For the most part, conspiracy theorists are insecure personally, physically and economically. Their destiny is in the hands of other people and they have little or no control over their own situations. They are in fact often the objects of manipulation so they perceive the rest of the world as being manipulated as well.

    Now, having said that, which is terribly condescending, I firmly believe Barack Obama and his cronies want to remake our country into a socialist third-world leaning state.
     
    #6 Zenas, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2014
  7. poncho

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    This thread is just a response by those who got busted making "matter of fact" claims about the Russians and the Russian "separatists" they have no hard evidence what so ever to back up. So . . .


    Let's add up Washington, the western media and certain BB members "evidence" (that Russia and/or Russian "seperatists" fired the missile that brought down a civilian airliner in Ukraine) so far . . . one more time.

    Anger. Outrage. Insinuation. Opinion. Hatred. Paranoia. Slanderous remarks. Overworked cliches. Debunked recordings. Unsubstantiated claims by un-named "officials". Youtube clips and "matter of fact claims" made by those who continually hold themselves out as being the most credible people on BB.

    In other words . . . none.

    Show us the proof!

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=94497

    Here's another example . . . http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=94580

    And another . . . http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=94495

    Notice anything funny about these examples? The same people who are now screaming "conspiracy theory" the loudest are the same people who have the least amount of evidence to back up their "matter of fact" claims in each of these examples.

    What they are doing is in fact spreading conspiracy theories! They make claims they cannot back up with evidence and if that doesn't work they make the claims in a louder voice and if that doesn't work they attack those who point out the lack of evidence to back up their claims.

    I'd call them hypocrites but I'd probably earn another 10 points for pointing out the obvious nature of these people so I won't call them hypocrites.

    I'll just ask the reader if this is how "credible people" respond when asked to back up their claims with proof?

    I feel kinda sorry for them because they are putting what little credibility they did have in the crapper by responding the way are so being a nice guy I'll give them another chance to show us the proof.

    Show us the proof. Should be easy if your claims are worth the time you spent making them.
     
    #7 poncho, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2014
  8. ShagNappy

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    That's a real interesting fellow you decided to copy and paste from. Interesting opinions he has on Christians, and politics in the ole USofA.

    http://warp.povusers.org/grrr/us_constitution_worship.html

    http://grindedgear.blogspot.fi/2012/10/religion-and-politics-in-united-states.html

    I would guess you didn't actually read through his entire page, or his more current grindedgrear blog. Now, lets see, Crab is a godless idiot because he used a video by a supposed Jewish, jew hater, to illustrate the conflict in Israel/Palestine, but you using a European Atheist Science/Anti-Creation lover's info to do nothing more than a character assassination on Poncho is different how?

    By they way, it's one guy, not several observers, and here is his site disclaimer...:

     
  9. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Nice try. But like Poncho, Epic Fail.

    First, I didn't say the website was the result of "several observers' compilations," I implied through the sentence structure that the site compiled the logical fallacies noted by several observers. Here's another one. And another one. And still another one, that one naming "argument by conspiracy" itself a logical fallacy.
    One, I've never called Crab a "godless idiot."

    Two, Nina Paley is proven to be an antisemetic self-hating Jewish woman. Her own words and blogs prove that without necessary intervention from another source.

    Three, it is different because while my linked website publisher is an atheist evolutionist, his posting has nothing to do with faith or creationism, whereas Paley's short is most assuredly antisemetic, which is odd for a Jewish woman, thought not unheard of. In short, she comments, through her video short, on a matter that is at the heart of her bias. The publisher on the website isn't. Anyone can and should be able to see that difference.
    Which is irrelevant, since others have observed and defined the exact same observations he has made. But thanks for the input.
     
    #9 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2014
  10. ShagNappy

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    Come on Beatle... twist and shout!

    :laugh: :tongue3: :laugh:
     
  11. poncho

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    That's what passes for "credibility" on this board.

    A certain few here can get away with practically anything, name calling, hurling insults around, making claims they can't back up while demanding others prove everything they say.

    This board has been turned into a nest of hypocrisy and the mods won't do anything about it. Well, I take that back they will punish those who try to defend themselves against the board hypocrites and their childish personal attacks.

    I don't know what it is. Maybe they're married to the mods sisters or something.

    Like I said before this thread is nothing more than an attempt to smear me because these guys shot their mouths off and made claims they can't back up with hard evidence and now they're upset because I called them out for it.

    Hey this is how they act. One set of rules for them another for everyone else.

    Calling me names and starting this thread doesn't prove the claims they've been making but they're all hoping everyone thinks it does.

    Also have you noticed when one of them starts in on me three more join in? I can't prove it but I suspect that in their minds they figure if they all show how hypocritical they are at the same time people will be fooled into believing they have some kind of shared credibility. :laugh:

    And for the mods reading this and the Squire in particular I just want you to know I don't give a rats furry buttocks if you do ban me for calling out these hypocrites.

    And I'll tell you why. I think you're cowards for not banning these guys a long time ago and stopping this board from becoming the nest of hypocrisy you've let it become. Removing my threads that question your performance as moderators isn't going to turn this nest nest of hypocrisy around that you've let BB become. You can't turn it around by continually siding with your most favored hypocrites either. Only getting rid of them will do that.
     
    #11 poncho, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2014
  12. InTheLight

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    ..........
     
  13. poncho

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    I take it ITL is trying to say BB hasn't turned into a nest of hypocrisy.

    Okay what is the definition of hypocrite?

    hyp·o·crite noun \ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\

    : a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.

    I can think of at least three people here who display these attributes constantly.

    I won't names names because the mods would punish me for pointing out the obvious nature of these guys again so I'll just say it's the same three trying their best to smear me in this thread.
     
  14. InTheLight

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    You say people are hurling insults.....and then you imply that these people are married to the mod's sisters.

    You say people make claims they can't back up....and then you say "I can't prove this but...."

    And what kind of behavior is that? Oh, yeah:

    a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.



    [So, since you've been responding to my posts I take it I'm off your Ignore List?]
     
  15. poncho

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    That's called being honest. I know it's a strange concept to you.

    No you're still on my ignore. So go ahead and accuse me of acting like you.

    For those who don't know it ITL put me on his ignore list then proceeded to make personal attacks against me for a period of months. I reported this to the mods time and again and they let it continue. This continued right up to the point where I felt compelled to start a public thread and call the mods out for letting ITL do this cowardly deed. And of course ITL has never admitted to doing it or apologized for it.

    Now he want's to accuse me of acting like him.

    hyp·o·crite noun \ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\

    : a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs

    So, like I said the mods let this kind of thing go and on and on. A certain few here are allowed to get with practically anything. I don't blame ITL for being cowardly I guess it's just his nature but the mods are suppose to stop this kind of thing from continuing. It is they who have let this board turn into a nest of hypocrisy.

    A hypocrite is going to act like a hypocrite until someone shuts him up. A coward is going to act like a coward because that's his nature and he'll continue in his cowardly acts until his cowardice is revealed for everyone to see.

    Isn't that right ITL?
     
    #15 poncho, Jul 26, 2014
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  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    No one has to smear you, Ponch. You do an excellent job of that just by posting.
     
  17. poncho

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    The same can be said of your hypocrisy.

    One of TND's first posts in the politics forum was to demand that I who have been here for years leave because I dared to disagree with him. That's how arrogant this guy is.

    He doesn't come here to have discussions he comes here to tell people what to think and when they refuse he turns on them like a rabid chicken. :laugh:

    I had a conversation with one of the mods through PMs about this and they told me I couldn't just call TND the "great insulter" even though he had openly hurled insults at everyone that dared disagree with him. He currently holds the Baptist Board record in insult hurling and smearing of his opponents. And this he keeps telling us is suppose to mean he's the most "credible" person on the whole board. :laugh:

    You'll notice that in another thread he hasn't even made an attempt to back up his claims with hard evidence. He has "twisted and shouted", made accusations and tried to turn the conversation in different directions but he has not posted any evidence at all.

    This is what "credibility" looks like?
     
    #17 poncho, Jul 26, 2014
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  18. InTheLight

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    So true, and seen once again with his latest post.
     
  19. InTheLight

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    Maybe you should take your own advice, which was given here:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=2130126&postcount=16
     
  20. poncho

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