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  #101  
Old 16 September 2010, 06:10 AM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
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Joe- Don't forget rule 4 for being a conspiracy theorist.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A COINCIDENCE OR HAPPENSTANCE - Sure we've all seen those sports moment videos of people accidentally throwing a basketball into a hoop from half court when all that they were really trying to do was keep the ball from going out of bounds. But that's all just part of the conspiracy.

The idea that one shot from Oswald missed JFK's head and instead hit him in the neck, Gov Connolly in the back, wrist & landed in his leg isn't exactly what you would expect to be the most likely thing to happen; so clearly it was all made up.

Heck, even Bin Laden only figured that they had a 50/50 chance of knocking down the twin towers. In one of his videos he said that they figured that they'd be lucky if they took down one tower. So clearly that's part of the conspiracy. As is the fact that the debris from the twin towers damaged building 7 so badly that it fell down too is also part of the conspiracy.
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  #102  
Old 16 September 2010, 06:47 AM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Which is why arguing them is a pointless gesture - anyone who denies physical reality to that degree is best off being ignored.
The problem with this is that conspiracy theories are not harmless. Even ignoring the simple continuing decline of intellectual standards they represent a mode of thinking that is actually dangerous.

You are almost certainly correct in saying its futile to argue with them, but I've never agree with the idea that accepting the fact that some people will always be wrong should equal a tacit acceptance of their wrongness.

Opposing stupid, wrong and dangerous ideas like this is important to me. I don't want to wind up 10, 15, 20 years down the road and it's become... hip to spout off insane conspiracy theories about 9/11 the same way insane conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination or Roswell are so commonly believed and accepted.

Between 2/3rds and 3/4s of Americans think there was a conspiracy or cover up concerning the JFK assassination* despite that being just as big a bullshit paranoid conspiracy theory as the 9/11 Truthers. Without a concentrated effort to oppose this idea now it's gonna... grow and become less and less fringe and more and more accepted and I simply will not stand for that. I don't want to live in a world where 3/4s of people think the World Trade Centers were taken down by thermite and that world is a possibility.

As Penn said on the "Bullshit" episode about conspiracy theories that "It's very important that we nip this paranoid bullshit fantasy in the bud before it takes root in the national conscious and Oliver Stone makes a shitty movie about it."

And he was being factitious (and Penn made that statement before Oliver Stone released his, rather non-controversial for Oliver Stone, movie about 9/11) but he wasn't wrong. All it would take would be one popular mainstream work, the 9/11 equivalent to Oliver Stone's JFK, about the 9/11 conspiracy theories to cement this ideas in public perception as acceptable.

That's why I'm so adamant about this is why I insist on tipping at windmills. Because this matters, a lot.

*A 2003, Gallup poll reported that 75% of Americans do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.[4] That same year an ABC News poll found that 70% of respondents suspected that the assassination involved more than one person.[5] A 2004 Fox News poll found that 66% of Americans thought there had been a conspiracy while 74% thought there had been a cover-up.[6]
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  #103  
Old 16 September 2010, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
s Penn said on the "Bullshit" episode about conspiracy theories that "It's very important that we nip this paranoid bullshit fantasy in the bud before it takes root in the national conscious and Oliver Stone makes a shitty movie about it."
A statement that I agree with and have NEVER disputed. That doesn’t mean that we have to descend to their level and try to argue with people that will never change their mind. No way in heck was I trying to argue anything else. Nowhere have I ever said that we shouldn’t be debunking this crap. All I am saying is that we shouldn’t be trying to evangelize the truth to people who are good and lost. A fact that you acknowledge.
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  #104  
Old 16 September 2010, 02:18 PM
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firefighter_raven firefighter_raven is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
The problem with this is that conspiracy theories are not harmless. Even ignoring the simple continuing decline of intellectual standards they represent a mode of thinking that is actually dangerous.
Agreed, the scary part is that the Truthers are not converting many adults that were old enough to understand what happened, but they sell the ct to kids who don't know any better and some of their first exposure to 9/11 is crap like loose change
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  #105  
Old 17 September 2010, 06:43 AM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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Quote:
All I am saying is that we shouldn’t be trying to evangelize the truth to people who are good and lost.
Well the problem is people who believe in conspiracy theories are by definition "good and lost." It's not like there's such a thing as reasonable 9/11 Truthers (BOCTOAE). To paraphrase Dr. House "You could reason with conspiracy theorist, they wouldn't be conspiracy theorists." So when you say we should give up on fighting the Truthers who are beyond hope... then you're saying we need to give up on fighting the entire belief.

Being a 9/11 Truther isn't a position you can get to by just misunderstanding some detail or nuance or being just slightly wrong (BOCTOAE). The "good and lost ones" are the ones keeping the movement alive and making it grow. We can't afford to let them win. The world ill needs another wrong idea. Hell I'm not sure how many more wrong ideas the world can survive.
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  #106  
Old 17 September 2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Well the problem is people who believe in conspiracy theories are by definition "good and lost.”
Not necessarily - There is a difference between people who are deluded and people who are ignorant. I contend that we should be targeting people who are not yet deluded but base their beliefs are based on ignorant.

Quote:
Being a 9/11 Truther isn't a position you can get to by just misunderstanding some detail or nuance or being just slightly wrong (BOCTOAE).
Cite please. People believe in all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons. It can range from misunderstanding evidence combined with a general distrust for government (essentially the idea that the government let it happen) all the way to sheer delusion where you believe that 9/11 was the sole action of the government.


Quote:
The "good and lost ones" are the ones keeping the movement alive and making it grow. We can't afford to let them win. The world ill needs another wrong idea. Hell I'm not sure how many more wrong ideas the world can survive.
Dude, they are never going to listen to you. They are undebatable. You can still debunk their claims for all it’s worth, but you might as well debate a wall, you are not going to shout them down. They are practically deluded and happily such
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  #107  
Old 17 September 2010, 12:52 PM
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Lainie Lainie is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Dude, they are never going to listen to you. They are undebatable. You can still debunk their claims for all it’s worth, but you might as well debate a wall, you are not going to shout them down. They are practically deluded and happily such
I think Joe is suggesting vigilant debunking, not direct debate. ETA: Debunking and debating are not the same things.

The problem with just ignoring them is that while you and Joe and I are ignoring them, 100 other people who don't know any better (because nobody's told them) are susceptible to accepting at least part of the conspiracy crap.

Those of us who are smart enough and skeptical enough to figure out it's crap need to keep pointing that out, if we don't want to live in a society that's ruled by crap.
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  #108  
Old 17 September 2010, 01:10 PM
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If everyone was smart enough and skeptical enough the main board would be an internet desert with a front page and about three articles behind it. And the inboxer rebellion thread on the message board would have no reason to exist.
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  #109  
Old 17 September 2010, 01:26 PM
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Well of course not everyone is -- that's why I said "those of us who are . . . " need to do the debunking.
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  #110  
Old 17 September 2010, 01:53 PM
Malruhn Malruhn is offline
 
 
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As a recovering Conspiracy Theorist (I blame snopes for making me actually looking into factual support and not buying stories without corroboration), I now work the other side - trying to talk sense to these poor folks.

Some can be reached - those that haven't completely lost touch with reality and have a small grasp of science - and can be helped out of the trap that is CT land. Others have gone down the rabbit hole and just can't be reached.

I'm a member on a CT board and do my part to debunk Masonic tripe I encounter there, and have found three people there that have accepted - hook, line, sinker, pole and the entire boat - EVERY conspiracy theory out there... facts notwithstanding. Vaccines/autism (and more), 9/11 (ALL of the various theories), Majestic 12, no moon landing, reptilians, Bilderbergs, Illuminati/Freemason/Skull & Bones/Rotary/(insert any organized group here), and much more. It is truly appalling that some people have so little understanding of the scientific method and so little faith in humanity.

I've decided to mess with them - and several months ago I planted a conspiracy seed... and it germinated. The conspiracy is: In all of recorded history, every human that has breathed so much as a molecule of oxygen has died, or will die within less than a century. Every member of EVERY government breathes oxygen... ergo it is entirely plausible that they have gotten all of humanity hooked on O2 at an early age so that they might control us.

And these three have bought into it.

So very sad...
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  #111  
Old 17 September 2010, 01:57 PM
Steve Eisenberg Steve Eisenberg is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Johnny Slick View Post
They really don't have answers because answers are hard. All they have are questions.
This sort of thing has been said by a few posters, and I want to take issue with it.

One answer they give is that planes were not enough to reliably take down those buildings, which is why the government had to use other means.

The broader answer they give is that 9/11 has been used to justify an agressive US foreign policy they oppose. To explore the foreign policy views of the truthers, see the polSee How the World Changed After 9/11. This POV isn't so different from that of the Kennedy assassination conspiracy people, who are overwhelmingly convinced that JFK would have prevented heavy US involvement in Vietnam, when, actually, John F. Kennedy was a strong anti-communist killed by a dedicated communist (albeit one acting independently). Similarly, the 9/11 truthers overwhelmingly believe that without September 11, the US path towards conflict with militant Islamic radicals would have been blocked.

There a phrase "socialism of fools" used to describe anti-semitism, and it has some validity. Similarly one might call 9/11 truthism the anti-militarism of fools. I don't like calling people fools, but I think this at least avoids dismissing them as idiots.

Last edited by Steve Eisenberg; 17 September 2010 at 02:05 PM.
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  #112  
Old 17 September 2010, 02:08 PM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Not necessarily - There is a difference between people who are deluded and people who are ignorant.
Yes but there is no difference between being deluded and being "willfully" ignorant.

When every single possible fact points to the conclusion that two hijacked terrorist jets caused the collapse of the WTC and the damage to the Pentagon and you think Thermite took down the WTC and a cruise missile damaged the Pentagon you are not just wrong. You have achieved a mental state so far removed from reality the word wrong shouldn't even apply to it anymore.

Quote:
Cite please. People believe in all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons.
Yes in this case they are not only thinking the wrong thing, but are thinking the wrong thing for a bad reason.

Again its not like were arguing over whether a 737 or a 747 hit the WTC. We're not arguing about the exact metalurgic reactions that caused the steel to weaken and collapse. We're not talking about some minor minute detail that's open to any intellectually honest level of intepretation.

We're talking base, blatant reality denail in order to support a delusion.

Quote:
Dude, they are never going to listen to you.
Well if you're comfortable with their mental defenses being justification enough to let them win, so be it. I'm not.

Quote:
They are undebatable. You can still debunk their claims for all it’s worth, but you might as well debate a wall, you are not going to shout them down. They are practically deluded and happily such
So what just like the JFK nonsense the slide to this bullshit becoming acceptable is just inevitible? I simply do not accept that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
The problem with just ignoring them is that while you and Joe and I are ignoring them, 100 other people who don't know any better (because nobody's told them) are susceptible to accepting at least part of the conspiracy crap.
Exactly. Cruel as it sounds that's exactly it. If we can't convince this dumbasses they are wrong then we need to fight them hard to keep them in the margins. We need to keep the spotlight on the loons and do whatever it takes to keep their absolute nonsense from gaining the tiniest iota of creedence with the general populace. We need to constantly and heavily drill it into people's heads that these idiots are spouding stupid, unsupportable drivel.
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  #113  
Old 17 September 2010, 02:26 PM
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Without studying it, and I highly suspect a lot of people haven't, I don't have clue one how Thermite would behave in these circumstances. I've never seen, touched or as much as sniffed the stuff. Which goes back to my "make it quasi plausable enough that a lot of people do not have the knowledge to challenge it effectively" I'm buggered if I know how much Thermit is required to cut through a steel pipe. An Ounce? An lb? I don't know - I can make guesses.

This does not mean I do not accept the actual version of events; just that a lot of people can be deceived very easily.
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  #114  
Old 17 September 2010, 04:23 PM
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Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
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I definitely think that the way to combat it is to spread information on why it couldn't happen rather then take on the truthers directly. I mean I consider myself a smart person, I'm well educated and have a fair amount of practical knowledge of the world.. But I have (or had I guess) no idea how demolitions work (I know a bit about fire's effect on buildings from my stint as a firefighter but we didn't cover how to take a building down). Similarly in my past (before watching some documentary on it) the fact that there were no stars and the flag waved in the moon landing videos/pictures seemed odd to me as well, because I just didn't know any better.

Now I am not, nor really ever have, been a conspiracy theorist, but there are times when you don't have the answer to a question (like why aren't there stars in the pictures of the moon landing) and the motives sound plausible (we wanted to beat the commies up there) and that can lead some people down.. Unfortunate roads. The best method is to push knowledge, make documentaries and movies that explain why these things cannot happen (which I'm sure is done), teach physics, chemistry and biology better in high school, anything really..

But the people who ascribe by these theories themselves are most likely lost.. The fact that they believe there is an organization that is actively trying to 'fake' these situations destroys most attempts to counter it.. Its comparable to religious people not believing evolution or the age of the earth, they cannot be debated cause any evidence presented can be countered with God (or the devil sometimes) did it for some reason.

You just cannot win, the best you can do is try to keep them from getting too many new recruits by educating people before these people get their claws into them and hopefully over time their ranks will fall to meaningless levels... Unfortunately I honestly don't even see that happening, I think people have a need to feel the world is bigger then it is, be it through God or secret shadow forces or the government or whatever, and as such they are just wired to latch onto these things. Beyond that many of these lean one way or the other politically (particularly recent ones it seems). Hate Bush? Why then wouldn't it be politically nice to think he killed thousands of people to start a war? Hate Obama? Wouldn't it be politically nice to think he rigged the election and/or isn't even a citizen to begin with and possible a secret terrorist sleeper agent? When you add those factors into the mix it becomes even harder...

ETA: And what Eddie said, its like any other UL, you start with something plausible (or rather, something that 'seems' plausible, the idea you could take down the towers with explosives on the surface seems reasonable so long as you don't think about it too hard, the idea we faked the moon landing to beat the commies seems plausible, etc, etc), something that people in general don't have much first hand knowledge about, if necessary throw in a bit of partisan sniping (about a political group, religion, nation, race, etc), and bam, legend created.

-MB
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  #115  
Old 18 September 2010, 11:52 PM
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Rebochan Rebochan is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemy View Post
I suspect also that quite a few signers are not engineers but have non-engineering jobs with "engineer" in the title.
Indeed, I once held a job title of "Systems Support Engineer" even though I was explicitly hired as a technical writer and that's all I did. The closest I ever got to engineering was asking engineers to explain what their stuff did.
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  #116  
Old 19 September 2010, 05:55 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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The only 9-11 conspiracy so far that I here that is even plausible. Is that some small group of very few people intentionally stop some critical information from getting to where may have prevented the attacks be they started. That come no where near the government intentionally caused the attacks to support their political agendas. Again I see it as plausible, but do not think anyone would intentionally do this and would guess it would need to be done at a very low level not to easily been found out about by now.

As I have stated here before and still believe is plausible. JFK could have been assassinated by a small conspiracy of less than five with one shooter. Though one or more may have been employed by the government. They were not working in the interest of any part of the government in this.

The above is just plausible, but none of the conspiracy theorist have bothered to bring forth even the smallest amount of evidence to support them that I have seen so far. They seem to stick to the big elaborate ones that a hard to believe if one does a little research. Assuming they first can believe that large number of government employees can keep their mouth shut and leave no paper trail of any kind.
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