Psychology of Conspiracy Theorists

Discussion in 'Conspiracies' started by James R, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    So does Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine... and yet it seems you don't do those (at least, I would hope not).
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    They do? I wouldn't know...
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  5. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Do you think that it makes your life more meaningful?
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  7. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    I have never taken any of those.
    I'm waiting until I am 70 years old.
  8. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I've never taken any sort of illegal drug myself, and I utterly despise taking any kind of prescription drug that alters my mental state... I can't stand Hydrocodone and it's derivatives because of how doped up they leave me, and I took myself off my ADHD medication because it left me rather inert and unaware. However, the stories I've heard about people on drugs from my grandmother and my mother in law (both nurses) ... well, it's enough to let me know just how "interesting" they can make life.
  9. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    The best drugs are youth hope and happiness.
    The rest are pale imitations.
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    It definitely makes it more mysterious. But that doesn't give it any more meaning than it had without it. I'm still clueless as to what all this means. For now I just live in the ambiguity.
  11. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    That's the beauty of reality... it is different for each of us, based upon how we perceive it. Make of it what you will... but be prepared to be questioned if you put that reality out there for others to know.
  12. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Magical Realist:

    A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation.
    Calling any of these groups "conspiracy theorists" would imply that they believed that certain groups had caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, illegal or harmful events or situations.

    Was the Nazi persecution of the Jews secret? Was it covered up?
    Was slavery in the American south secretly organised and carried out? Was it covered up?
    Was the persecution of gay people in the 1950's secret? Was it covered up?
    Is the status of women in (some) Muslim countries secret? Is it covered up?

    You might be able to allege that some specific elements of some of these things were secretly planned by particular groups, but in general there's quite a gulf between this and in undisputed conspiracy theories, like believing that space aliens are visiting Earth and the government is covering it up.

    A group deliberately causing bad stuff to happen does not a conspiracy make. A conspiracy, in the sense that the term is usually used now, requires an element of secret planning and coverup. Acts that are carried out overtly and which can easily be traced to their sources are not acts of a "conspiracy" of the type that we're talking about here. A mere act of collusion is not a conspiracy. A conspiracy requires people to conspire - engage in plotting, act in unison or agreement and in secret towards a deceitful or illegal purpose.

    No. If you're in a demonised minority in which you are being openly persecuted, then people aren't conspiring against you.

    Perhaps you'd like to explain the secret planning associated with just one of the people you mentioned here.
  14. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    I think conspiracies, by their nature, are secret? Otherwise it's just an interest group.
  15. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Conspiracy theories represent a known glitch in human reasoning. The theories are of course occasionally true, but their truth is completely uncorrelated with the believer’s certainty. For some reason, sometimes when people think they've uncovered a lie, the raise confirmation bias to an art form. They cut context away from facts and arguments and assemble them into reassuring litanies. And over and over I've argued helplessly with smart people consumed by theories they were sure were irrefutable, theories that in the end proved complete fictions.

  16. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Expanding on a previous post of mine:
    In "A Demon Haunted World", Carl Sagan argues that humans are "belief engines". Our brains were shaped by evolution to form beliefs (theories) rapidly, from thin information. Why? Because when everything around you is trying to kill you, you'd better learn fast how to avoid dying. The conseqences of a wrong guess (don't eat that berry, for example) are not as bad as learning slowly (eating the berry a second time). The problem is that once those beliefs get ingrained, they are hard to unlearn.

    I think more recent evolution is programming people for more thoughtful learning, but some people still have the overly active "belief engine".
  17. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    And yet he never brings up the really interesting topics, like the Black Knight Object , the Hessdalen Light, or the Dyatlov pass incident.
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Planning by a majority against a minority is always secret. The Nazis didn't announce their plans to discriminate against Jews, to shut down their businesses, and to commit hatecrimes and vandelism against them. The KKK in the South didn't announce their plans on how they were going to lynch black men or burn crosses in black neighborhoods. Homophobes never announce their plans to discriminate against gays and target them with violence under cover of night. All plans against individuals or minorities by larger groups are secret in that sense, or else they wouldn't be very good plans.

    Yes they are. They are keeping secret the ways in which they persecute, in which they arrest you on trumped up charges, in which they target you based on bigoted profiles, and in which hatecrimes are committed against you. To say a bunch of people who are persecuting you aren't conspiring against you is nonsense.

    "When you conspire, you collaborate with others to do harm, or maybe just keep something from happening, like a group that conspires to get tuna melts booted from the lunch menu by urging everyone to order other things.

    You can conspire with someone, meaning you team up with another person to plot against someone else, or you can conspire against someone. This means you devise a scheme to do that person harm. Conspire also can be used in a more figurative sense to describe events that cause problems, like bad weather that may conspire against your picnic plans, or a series of injuries that conspire against a basketball team struggling to make the playoffs."
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  19. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    So then Mein Kampf was what, precisely?
    billvon, Kristoffer and Dr_Toad like this.
  20. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Most psychology can be boiled down to projection. In the case of conspiracy theories, this would mean that the theorist likely feels so powerless that the only way they feel they could be effective, themselves, is if they were colluding with many people (who collectively have much more power than they do), and doing so secretly, so as not to take any real personal risk.

    That said, given the opportunity, such people would indeed behave like conspirators, which then provides the scant validation.
  21. Bells Staff Member

    *Raise eyebrows*

    You've never read a history book about the lead up to the war?

    In their 25-point Party Program, published in 1920, Nazi party members publicly declared their intention to segregate Jews from "Aryan" society and to abrogate Jews' political, legal, and civil rights.

    Nazi leaders began to make good on their pledge to persecute German Jews soon after their assumption of power. During the first six years of Hitler's dictatorship, from 1933 until the outbreak of war in 1939, Jews felt the effects of more than 400 decrees and regulations that restricted all aspects of their public and private lives. Many of those laws were national ones that had been issued by the German administration and affected all Jews. But state, regional, and municipal officials, on their own initiative, also promulgated a barrage of exclusionary decrees in their own communities. Thus, hundreds of individuals in all levels of government throughout the country were involved in the persecution of Jews as they conceived, discussed, drafted, adopted, enforced, and supported anti-Jewish legislation. No corner of Germany was left untouched.


    The first wave of legislation, from 1933 to 1934, focused largely on limiting the participation of Jews in German public life. The first major law to curtail the rights of Jewish citizens was the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" of April 7, 1933, according to which Jewish and "politically unreliable" civil servants and employees were to be excluded from state service. The new Civil Service Law was the German authorities' first formulation of the so-called Aryan Paragraph, a kind of regulation used to exclude Jews (and often by extension other "non-Aryans") from organizations, professions, and other aspects of public life.

    In April 1933, German law restricted the number of Jewish students at German schools and universities. In the same month, further legislation sharply curtailed "Jewish activity" in the medical and legal professions. Subsequent laws and decrees restricted reimbursement of Jewish doctors from public (state) health insurance funds. The city of Berlin forbade Jewish lawyers and notaries to work on legal matters, the mayor of Munich disallowed Jewish doctors from treating non-Jewish patients, and the Bavarian Interior Ministry denied admission of Jewish students to medical school.

    At the national level, the Nazi government revoked the licenses of Jewish tax consultants; imposed a 1.5 percent quota on admission of "non-Aryans" to public schools and universities; fired Jewish civilian workers from the army; and, in early 1934, forbade Jewish actors to perform on the stage or screen.

    Local governments also issued regulations that affected other spheres of Jewish life: in Saxony, Jews could no longer slaughter animals according to ritual purity requirements, effectively preventing them from obeying Jewish dietary laws.

    And on and on it went until and during the War.

    The most well known of these laws was the Nuremberg Laws. You've heard of those, haven't you? What about Kristallnacht, where Germans were whipped into a frenzy of anti-Semitism and many Jews were massacred and even more persecuted and discriminated against?

    One of the most well known and understood things about the lead up to the Holocaust was just how much the Nazi's never shut up about what was going to happen.

    They didn't need to. Slavery in the South was well known and hatred and the treatment of blacks was well known.

    Of course they do.

    They even post videos on youtube telling people to kill gays and lesbians. More often then not, they are Christian pastors of some whacked out denomination or other (in the US at least). In other countries (like countries in the Middle East for example), killing members of the LGBT community is even law and sanctioned by the State.

    That is the problem, they are rarely ever that secret.

    Look at Rwanda as a prime example. For months to the lead up to the genocide, laws were passed that distinctly discriminated against the Tutsi. Children were segregated in class rooms, radio shows called for gathering arms for the upcoming massacre and the Government even ordered large amounts of machetes and guns to distribute to the Hutus. The UN observers there had been saying for a while that a genocide was about to take place, because they made it so obvious.
  22. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

    But Bells, all of that made too much sense. You're part of the cover-up!!!1!
  23. Bells Staff Member

    First rule about cover-up's is you don't talk about cover-up's.

    You just spoke of the cover-up, so...

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