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Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

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Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » September 23rd, 2018, 3:20 am

So what's the threshold of specificity where it becomes problematic to dump a lot of people in a category and assume negative things about them?

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Mark1955
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Mark1955 » October 1st, 2018, 7:06 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
September 23rd, 2018, 3:20 am
So what's the threshold of specificity where it becomes problematic to dump a lot of people in a category and assume negative things about them?
I'd suggest that it's a subjective value inversely dependent on your prejudices and arrogance. The more you rely on prejudice and or assume you know the answers the smaller the number before you decide it isn't problematical.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 1st, 2018, 7:19 am

Roel wrote:
November 1st, 2016, 10:25 am
There is also the "Bible code" theory which, although not giving full proof is very convincing, but if you consider all instances in which the prediction comes true as cpincidence, how can yoh eved prove it to be true?
ROTFLMFHOTIH.

Anyone finds the 'bible code' convincing is among the greatest arguments for skepticism possible.

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Papus79
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Papus79 » October 1st, 2018, 8:01 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 7:19 am
ROTFLMFHOTIH.

Anyone finds the 'bible code' convincing is among the greatest arguments for skepticism possible.
What makes it worse is there might actually be some sort of information background noise that would suggest coincidences to be more that selective attention, but at the same time it doesn't offer that they have an useful meaning, prove or disprove any deity, nor suggest - as people are often wont to think - that there's some sort of 'Illuminati' controlling the world.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 1st, 2018, 9:11 am

Papus79 wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 8:01 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 7:19 am
ROTFLMFHOTIH.

Anyone finds the 'bible code' convincing is among the greatest arguments for skepticism possible.
What makes it worse is there might actually be some sort of information background noise that would suggest coincidences to be more that selective attention, but at the same time it doesn't offer that they have an useful meaning, prove or disprove any deity, nor suggest - as people are often wont to think - that there's some sort of 'Illuminati' controlling the world.
The biggest problem with the illuminati Conspiracy theory is that there is indeed a very tiny minority of people in control of the world's finances, and the idiocy of the pronouncement of the conspiracy theory nutters tends to mask the devastating reality.

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Papus79
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Papus79 » October 1st, 2018, 9:48 am

I think people like Jordan Greenhall and Eric Weinstein handle this one well albeit slightly differently. The power structures we have right now largely funnel through the same ivy league colleges, share a lot of the same big 5 traits, and very self-selected network seems to come about on those factors.

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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 4th, 2018, 10:39 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 9:11 am
Papus79 wrote:
October 1st, 2018, 8:01 am

What makes it worse is there might actually be some sort of information background noise that would suggest coincidences to be more that selective attention, but at the same time it doesn't offer that they have an useful meaning, prove or disprove any deity, nor suggest - as people are often wont to think - that there's some sort of 'Illuminati' controlling the world.
The biggest problem with the illuminati Conspiracy theory is that there is indeed a very tiny minority of people in control of the world's finances, and the idiocy of the pronouncement of the conspiracy theory nutters tends to mask the devastating reality.
It seems to me that the people who point out that a small minority are running the world get called conspiracy theorists even if they never mention the Illuminati or Lizards or Masons. People often call the US a democracy for example. Which in a technical, meaningless sense is partly true. But really it is an oligarchy. If I call it that, and point out the power concentrations, the consolidation of the media, etc. I get called a conspiracy theorist. I never present this as a star chamber thing with 10 guys who all get along perfectly and make all the decisions. I just talk about a class, a very small minority, that generally never serves prison terms for its crimes, has interconnections across party lines and across competing corporate lines, and who cross and collaborate between finance, intelligence agency and corporate entities. They make policies, start wars, decide what weaker countries can legislate twist media. They don't always get along, as the current presidency shows. There are factions and they are decidely selfish individuals also. But in general they want to privitize everything and keep concentrating the wealth. I can go into data from mainstream media on this and scholarly data, and lay this out in a concrete form. Doesn't matter, I'm a conspiracy theorist, a term made up by the CIA - I know, saying that almost assures my CT label, but then it is also true - and one that makes little sense. I mean, no one is not a conspiracy theorist when it comes to 9/11. It's just which conspiracy theory - a bunch of terrorist or some fabricated by various power players false flag. No one says it was pilot error. The term itself is meaningless. Obviously there are conspiracies, it's just if you believe in ones that have weak evidence or not.

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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Eduk » October 4th, 2018, 10:49 am

I think in general when people say conspiracy theory they mean grand conspiracy theories involving huge numbers of people all working in total agreement for a nefarious end. Not a few people (or just one person) working for their own self interest. I don't know anyone who doesn't think the government is corrupt, the only question is the extent of their corruption and the extent of their power and what democracy actually means.
Unknown means unknown.

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 8th, 2018, 3:54 am

Eduk wrote:
October 4th, 2018, 10:49 am
I think in general when people say conspiracy theory they mean grand conspiracy theories involving huge numbers of people all working in total agreement for a nefarious end. Not a few people (or just one person) working for their own self interest. I don't know anyone who doesn't think the government is corrupt, the only question is the extent of their corruption and the extent of their power and what democracy actually means.
Sure, I agree, that is what people tend to mean. But there are grand scale conspiracies. Like say the one that led up to Iraq war two. The administration lied about WOMD, created 'intelligence' reports to support it, engaged in processes using the media to make the war seem both critically necessary and just, punished people who had knowledge and shared it that went against administration 'intelligence', and this led to an incredible movement of materials people resources, the massive privitization of the military and enormous expenditures of tax payer money. Other harder to track consequences for the people of the Middle East also.

So even these types of conspiracies happen. How many people actually knew it was all BS, that I don't know. I am pretty sure a good portion of those who get classed as conspiracy theorist do not think thousands and thousands are involved in knowingly conspiring. Some see it this way but not all. But certainly in a situation like that one, a lot of people had to have misgivings, suspicions, evidence that ran contrary to administration bs but they kept quiet. A lot of people did not ask questions or were just afraid to question due to patriotism, guilt, fear of backlash, etc. And I am sure some of these poeple had a great deal of power compared to us little guys.

I am also sure that many people in industry and intelligence communities thought it was a good thing, if BS,a nd they told themselves that even if they were benefitting, it was also somehow good forhumanity or the US.

It is easy to convince oneself that one's motives are actually good. Very few people think 'NOw I will be nefarious'. Someone like Cheney, I would guess, doesn't really give a **** about little people. I might be wrong about him, but I am sure some of the players have something like Manifest Destiny thinking.

As far as their power: with ever more centralized media and more and more media depending on things like associate press and reuters, it is much easier to manipulate. You have to convince fewer people that what you are saying is not BS. Even Rome with its emporers still had to manipulate the mob.

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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Eduk » October 8th, 2018, 5:29 am

I hear these kinds of allegations about the Iraq war a lot. Do you have any references you could share?

This article is perhaps closer to the truth.
https://www.vox.com/2016/2/16/11022104/ ... servatives

I guess it depends on how you define grand conspiracy theory. For example let us imagine that I personally would like to overthrow Saddam because I have a personal grudge. Let's then say I receive intelligence which could be interpreted in different ways. Let's then say multiple plans of actions are put on the table. Let's then say I push for the interpretation and action which leads to my personal goal (perhaps even a disclosed personal goal). Let's say I then convince others. Is this a conspiracy? Is this a grand conspiracy?
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 8th, 2018, 9:29 am

A conspiracy is by definition collusion amongst several people at least.

That article supports the idea that the neo-cons lied and then lied again.

They punished people who noticed they were busy trying to disinform - see the Plame affair for an example.

Cheney had strong ties to Haliburton who made a mint off of a newly privitized military - do you remember voting for that?

A lot of people made a bunch of money off that thing. It certainly didn't help the Iraqis or at best it is debatable.

I am not sure your point. The neo-cons defended Hussein and armed him earlier, some of the SAME neo-cons who called him a monster. Hell, he'd already gassed the Kurds and they were still friends with him.

A smallish group of people decided to have that war. They decided what lies to push. They changed their lies when the first set of lies came out as lies.

And the people they hang out with made a mint off of it, and I would guess that returing to the private sector, so did they.

A lot of the people who pushed for the war probably bought the BS. And many of these were powerful people who liked the idea of the war. They don't need to be in on the conspiracy, though they bear some responsibility for not doing due diligence.

It does not take a huge number of people to commit conspiracies. And if some of those people have a lot of power and access to the media, the conspiracy can affect a lot of people.

What part of history does not have powerful people conspiring?

Now of course every alleged conspiracy needs to be evaluated on the merits of the evidence.

But labeling people who have conspiracy theories you don't believe in conspiracy theories is silly and problematic.

We are all conspiracy theorists. We all believe in conspiracies. There are laws on the books about all kinds of conspiracies and this is not just preventing events that never have happened. Conspiracies happen.

It is which ones have evidence and which do not that is the work.

The Manufacturing of Consent, by Noam Chomsky, is a good, classic read on how just because we have a relatively free press, the public can be manipulated by false or misleading information regarding foreign and domestic policies.

And this was written well before the incredible consolidation in media we now have. And the media also have much less money to invest in invetigative reporting. New and entertainment and downsizing have crippled much of the mainstream media. The patterns Chomsky talks about are only more prevalent and possible today.

Eduk
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Eduk » October 8th, 2018, 9:42 am

Would love to see your sources on some of your allegations.
Anyway we seem to have gone full circle
I think in general when people say conspiracy theory they mean grand conspiracy theories involving huge numbers of people all working in total agreement for a nefarious end. Not a few people (or just one person) working for their own self interest. I don't know anyone who doesn't think the government is corrupt, the only question is the extent of their corruption and the extent of their power and what democracy actually means.
Unknown means unknown.

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 10th, 2018, 5:46 am

Eduk wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 9:42 am
Would love to see your sources on some of your allegations.
Anyway we seem to have gone full circle
I think in general when people say conspiracy theory they mean grand conspiracy theories involving huge numbers of people all working in total agreement for a nefarious end. Not a few people (or just one person) working for their own self interest. I don't know anyone who doesn't think the government is corrupt, the only question is the extent of their corruption and the extent of their power and what democracy actually means.
You source was basically an opinion piece, summing up a lot of events. And it didn't contradict anything I asserted. If you are interested you can look up the Palme affaird, privitization of the military in the Gulf War, Haliburton/Cheney, Cheney's refusal to reveal all his assets, effects of Gulf War, Reagan Bush relation to Hussein, Hussein gases Kurds and so on. Just google away and look only at mainstream sources of news. This was all documented in places like the Times and other mainstream media. It's not even controversial, however controversial it might be to remember it.

Further you definition is jsut plain,in part, wrong, when it concerns those who get called conspiracy theorists. Often those guys think that there is actually a very small group of people controlling things. The whole Star Chamber thing. Sure, some of those people seem to think every mainstream news outlet has editors who KNOW the truth and are trying to hide it. But one of the criticisms aimed at many conspiracy theorists is that they think there is a very small group running things or responsible for this or that specific set of events. The one person thing...I have no idea why that came up. I don't know anyone who thinks of conspiracies involving one person. It's a diverse world so I suppose there might be someone. Even the George Soros type conspiracy theories assume he has henchmen and partners and is part of some larger, though potentially small group - some members of the Bilderberg group or whatever. One guy can't blow up the WTC with two airplanes and then all demolish building 7.

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 10th, 2018, 5:51 am

Oh, yes, forgot to add. A conspiracy is by definition more than one person. That fits both the defniition and the etymology and the law.

con meaning with and together.

With one person it would simply be a crime or bad activity.

Eduk
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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Eduk » October 10th, 2018, 6:25 am

Sorry might be misreading you. Are you saying the WTC attacks were a conspiracy? That absolutely would count as a grand conspiracy by the way.

At the end of the day I agree that people do conspire. I haven't found a grand conspiracy which was true, but that maybe depends on how you define grand conspiracy.

Either way. When I attempted to answer your question I attempted to answer your question. I think when people accuse you of conspiratorial thinking they are saying they don't agree with you. They are not saying that there is no such thing as a conspiracy. They might be better to accuse you of false conspiratorial thinking (this is what I was attempting to do by adding the word grand - but that just confused the matter further in the end).
Unknown means unknown.

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