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  1. #1
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    Is there a Conspiracy Theory that you think is true?

    I was reading the below article in the New York Times and began to wonder, how many folks that I know believe in a particular conspiracy theory? Is there something that is considered a "conspiracy theory" that you think is actually true or on the right track? Do you doubt the debunkers on something?

    Doesn't it seem like it would have to be kind of a conspiracy if all the theories considered to be conspiracies actually were false?

    Is one person's conspiracy theory another person's rational appraisal of the situation?

    Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories
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    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    Wheeee! The Mother lode!

    Now if all those conspiracy theories were true, why do we think all the ones we hear about today aren't?

    Maybe they really did fake the moon landing?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Maybe they really did fake the moon landing?!
    aka The Tang Trip (TM)?
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Wheeee! The Mother lode!

    Now if all those conspiracy theories were true, why do we think all the ones we hear about today aren't?
    Perhaps I'm extremely dense, but exactly what was the conspiracy THEORY wrt the Manhattan Project? Reading the blurb about it in the link, I'm a bit puzzled about what people were theorizing about it. I know that even some people working on it didn't know what its ultimate goal/purpose was, but what were the conspiracy theorists of the day imagining? Were they on target about the development of an atomic bomb?

    ETA: To answer my own question, perhaps it is just a case of a misleading headline -- the article describes 33 actual conspiracies, but I'm not sure if there were people theorizing on/proposing the existence of all of these before they were revealed/exposed. At least that makes sense to my mind regarding the Manhattan Project.
    Last edited by skatingfan5; 05-21-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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    I'm convinced that the attack on Nancy Kerrigan was orchestrated by someone in Tonya Harding's camp.

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    Infowars is a site run by people who loooove to scream about conspiracy theories, and a lot of this article is just more of the same. E.g. I would call the asbestos issue more of a corporate cover-up than a conspiracy theory. And there being a 2nd "congressional investigation" into the JFK assassination doesn't mean that there is some giant plot somewhere to keep the real truth hidden.
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    ^A corporate coverup can = a conspiracy -- but again, where is the theory? A conspiracy does not = a conspiracy theory. But perhaps all the theories are well known to seasoned believers in conspiracy theories, so there is no need to give any information on them. I am such a naive fool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    Perhaps I'm extremely dense, but exactly what was the conspiracy THEORY wrt the Manhattan Project? Reading the blurb about it in the link, I'm a bit puzzled about what people were theorizing about it. I know that even some people working on it didn't know what its ultimate goal/purpose was, but what were the conspiracy theorists of the day imagining? Were they on target about the development of an atomic bomb?

    ETA: To answer my own question, perhaps it is just a case of a misleading headline -- the article describes 33 actual conspiracies, but I'm not sure if there were people theorizing on/proposing the existence of all of these before they were revealed/exposed. At least that makes sense to my mind regarding the Manhattan Project.
    I'm not getting where a secret research operation equals a "conspiracy". There was nothing illegal going on and the reason for secrecy was security not nefarious purposes. Arguments about the ethics of creating the bomb are certainly valid but not the legality of the project to develop it, and a number of the scientists, in the end, were not comfortable with it being used in the way that it was. (Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szil%C3%A1rd_petition ) But even their discomfort does not make a government research project a conspiracy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    I'm not getting where a secret research operation equals a "conspiracy". There was nothing illegal going on and the reason for secrecy was security not nefarious purposes. Arguments about the ethics of creating the bomb are certainly valid but not the legality of the project to develop it, and a number of the scientists, in the end, were not comfortable with it being used in the way that it was. (Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szil%C3%A1rd_petition ) But even their discomfort does not make a government research project a conspiracy.
    A conspiracy is about planning something illegal/subversive/harmful. WRT the Manhattan Project, the final product was certainly something that did great harm (and continues to have the potential for great harm), but it was not actually illegal.
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    Does a conspiracy have to be something negative? Could a large network of people conspire to do something good?

    As far as I know there were no theories surrounding the Manhattan Project at the time, but does it meet the criteria for a conspiracy? Thousands of people running a secret project to create something never before known to humankind?

    Do people think that if something is not fodder for Alex Jones then it's not a conspiracy? Or are there conspiracies that really happen but aren't even the subject of a "conspiracy theory?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Does a conspiracy have to be something negative?
    If you use the dictionary definition of "conspiracy" -- then probably, yes.

    (Could a large network of people conspire to do something good?
    You mean like throw a surprise party for someone? While the conspirators might think this was something "good", the person for whom they were throwing the party might have quite another view of the matter.

    As far as I know there were no theories surrounding the Manhattan Project at the time, but does it meet the criteria for a conspiracy? Thousands of people running a secret project to create something never before known to humankind?
    Well, as I posted, I think that it does, but I'm sure that others would disagree.
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    Lady 3: The google is a terrible thing, I mean I don't want anything on there! (Overheard by millyskate on a London train.)

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    WRT conspiracy theories working for good...

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-h...tes-bus-boycot


    This doesn't probably qualify for a conspiracy theory but there is controversy over it - Rosa Parks bus incident. There was planning going on prior to it. Same thing with the coffee shop / college student incident. My SO says that alot of psychological profiling went into planning the civil rights events of the 60's - to try to make it as effective and persuasive as possible.
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    I don't think I'd use conspiracy to describe that but I'll have to think about it.

    As for the term "conspiracy theory," does it include in its meaning (as used commonly) the idea that it is untrue? It seems like it is used that way.

    Just as an example, believing that Barack Obama was born in Kenya isn't believing in a conspiracy per se, but explaining how it could be that "no one" knows that Barack Obama was born in Kenya requires positing a quite wide-ranging conspiracy of people to cover up the information and keep it secret.

    OTOH, Iran-Contra was a conspiracy for real, a group of people conspired to keep secret a variety of actions, some of which were illegal, in order to try to carry out a particular goal. But did people ever think it was just a conspiracy theory?
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Infowars is a site run by people who loooove to scream about conspiracy theories, and a lot of this article is just more of the same.
    Do our sources have to be legitimate now??
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  17. #17
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    I thought the issue with conspiracy theories wasn't about whether or not the actual theories are true or untrue, but that the rationalizations and I guess "proof" or evidence are flimsy or unfalsifiable in that they cannot be tested. They could turn out to be true, but there's no way to really test it out nor would the evidence cited lead to a conclusive finding one way or another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Do our sources have to be legitimate now??


    We're talking about conspiracy theories here! Of course not!

    Besides just because a site isn't legit, does that mean everything on it is false? What about the merits of the list of conspiracies that turned out to be true? Okay, skatingfan5 has pointed out they aren't theories, and maybe there were never theories about them, but were they conspiracies? And if so, could some of the conspiracies that are just theories today turn out to be true?
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I thought the issues with conspiracy theories wasn't about whether or not the actual theories are true or untrue, but that the rationalizations and I guess "proof" or evidence are flimsy or unfalsifiable in that they cannot be tested. They could turn out to be true, but there's no way to really test it out nor would the evidence cited lead to a conclusive finding one way or another.
    That's not how I think about them. For instance, the US government carried out the 9/11 attacks; that can certainly be disproved. For anyone willing to look at evidence it has been. But there are still believers in the conspiracy theories about it.

    For another example, ACORN stole the 2012 election for Barack Obama (surveys showed a significant number of people claimed to believe this).
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    That's not how I think about them. For instance, the US government carried out the 9/11 attacks; that can certainly be disproved. For anyone willing to look at evidence it has been. But there are still believers in the conspiracy theories about it.

    For another example, ACORN stole the 2012 election for Barack Obama (surveys showed a significant number of people claimed to believe this).
    Excellent examples that are still perpetuated.

    A new one I heard was about how the Sandy Hook tragedy was Obama's master plan to advance strict gun control. My cousins seriously showed me youtube videos "proving" it.

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