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Thread: What Is a Conspiracy Theory?

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    What Is a Conspiracy Theory?

    The term "conspiracy theory" is a term that gets thrown around a lot - this forum even has a section dedicated specifically to conspiracy theories - but what does it really mean?

    If we interpret the term as a simple aggregation of its component parts (conspiracy and theory), then it simply means a possible explanation of an event or series of events that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. But that could apply to almost every single story where uncertainty about the facts exist.

    For example, if I claimed that the Bush administration had an ulterior motive for starting the war in Iraq, that would technically qualify as a "conspiracy theory". Specifically, it is a possible explanation for an event that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. Yet many people find this "conspiracy theory" highly plausible and reasonable. What are we to make of this?

    As another example, if I claimed that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government in order to win the US Presidential election, that would also qualify as a conspiracy theory. Yet stories relating to this alleged "collusion" between Trump and the Russians have been making regular appearances in the Latest Happenings forum for about a year now. Apparently, some conspiracy theories are more equal than others.

    So what, exactly, is meant when someone uses the term "conspiracy theory"? And what specific criteria would result in a thread being sent to the "conspiracy theory" subforum?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    The term "conspiracy theory" is a term that gets thrown around a lot - this forum even has a section dedicated specifically to conspiracy theories - but what does it really mean?

    If we interpret the term as a simple aggregation of its component parts (conspiracy and theory), then it simply means a possible explanation of an event or series of events that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. But that could apply to almost every single story where uncertainty about the facts exist.

    For example, if I claimed that the Bush administration had an ulterior motive for starting the war in Iraq, that would technically qualify as a "conspiracy theory". Specifically, it is a possible explanation for an event that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. Yet many people find this "conspiracy theory" highly plausible and reasonable. What are we to make of this?

    As another example, if I claimed that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government in order to win the US Presidential election, that would also qualify as a conspiracy theory. Yet stories relating to this alleged "collusion" between Trump and the Russians have been making regular appearances in the Latest Happenings forum for about a year now. Apparently, some conspiracy theories are more equal than others.

    So what, exactly, is meant when someone uses the term "conspiracy theory"? And what specific criteria would result in a thread being sent to the "conspiracy theory" subforum?
    Actually, claiming that tRump didn't get help from the Russians is the conspiracy theory since it has been proven that he did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crepitus View Post
    Actually, claiming that tRump didn't get help from the Russians is the conspiracy theory since it has been proven that he did.
    So anything that hasn't been proven is a conspiracy theory?
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    Just like that woman that just got arrested in the cult that branded women. Now I know the court records show it just wasn't women, they were trafficking kids too here and other countries. Because the media refuses to let out this information about the many children, they would call this a conspiracy.

    A lot of so called conspiracy's are leaked knowing it's a lie hoping people parrot the news then they can debunk it. So when real stuff happens that is being covered, they can point and say another conspiracy.


    If I say take the Quran and show what they believe just in the book of Cow, and they turn around and call it a conspiracy while it's there in black and white, that is all they have is to yell conspiracy because they can't dispute the fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    So anything that hasn't been proven is a conspiracy theory?
    Even if it is proven they will still yell conspiracy.

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    For years, people were saying that the NSA was collecting data on millions of Americans. And for years, those people were called "conspiracy theorists". Then a man named Edward Snowden leaked a trove of top secret government documents proving that the NSA really was collecting data on millions of Americans. Turns out, the "conspiracy theorists" were right, and all the "serious people" were either lying or parroting lies. In fact, history is replete with examples of conventional wisdom being proven wrong. I'm sure some people, had they been alive during the American revolution, would have accused the founders of being "conspiracy theorists" for their objections to the institution of monarchy and aristocracy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    The term "conspiracy theory" is a term that gets thrown around a lot - this forum even has a section dedicated specifically to conspiracy theories - but what does it really mean?

    If we interpret the term as a simple aggregation of its component parts (conspiracy and theory), then it simply means a possible explanation of an event or series of events that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. But that could apply to almost every single story where uncertainty about the facts exist.

    For example, if I claimed that the Bush administration had an ulterior motive for starting the war in Iraq, that would technically qualify as a "conspiracy theory". Specifically, it is a possible explanation for an event that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. Yet many people find this "conspiracy theory" highly plausible and reasonable. What are we to make of this?

    As another example, if I claimed that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government in order to win the US Presidential election, that would also qualify as a conspiracy theory. Yet stories relating to this alleged "collusion" between Trump and the Russians have been making regular appearances in the Latest Happenings forum for about a year now. Apparently, some conspiracy theories are more equal than others.

    So what, exactly, is meant when someone uses the term "conspiracy theory"? And what specific criteria would result in a thread being sent to the "conspiracy theory" subforum?
    I would say it is a theory that is counter to the official line. Such as MK-Ultra. It was considered a conspiracy theory and the people who pushed it were "kooks." But then it comes out as true. I posted a link to the CIA webpage where they post all FOIA releases. Plenty on MK-Ultra there. I would think that now the "kooks" would be the ones that deny MK-Ultra.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crepitus View Post
    Actually, claiming that tRump didn't get help from the Russians is the conspiracy theory since it has been proven that he did.

    Where's that proof. It seems as though you're the only one who has seen it.

    I don't know if the Trump / Russia collusion idiocy has risen to the level of a conspiracy theory yet. It's still in the meme stage as of now. Pretty much every rational person knows it just a politically motivated hissy-fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahuyaman View Post
    Where's that proof. It seems as though you're the only one who has seen it.

    I don't know if the Trump / Russia collusion idiocy has risen to the level of a conspiracy theory yet. It's still in the meme stage as of now. Pretty much every rational person knows it just a politically motivated hissy-fit.
    Russia intended to cast doubt on the elections. They were successful with many. They had pro-Trump websites, blog posts, and protests. They also had pro Hillary websites, blog posts, and protests.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    The term "conspiracy theory" is a term that gets thrown around a lot - this forum even has a section dedicated specifically to conspiracy theories - but what does it really mean?

    If we interpret the term as a simple aggregation of its component parts (conspiracy and theory), then it simply means a possible explanation of an event or series of events that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. But that could apply to almost every single story where uncertainty about the facts exist.

    For example, if I claimed that the Bush administration had an ulterior motive for starting the war in Iraq, that would technically qualify as a "conspiracy theory". Specifically, it is a possible explanation for an event that involves a secret agreement or plan between two or more individuals. Yet many people find this "conspiracy theory" highly plausible and reasonable. What are we to make of this?

    As another example, if I claimed that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government in order to win the US Presidential election, that would also qualify as a conspiracy theory. Yet stories relating to this alleged "collusion" between Trump and the Russians have been making regular appearances in the Latest Happenings forum for about a year now. Apparently, some conspiracy theories are more equal than others.

    So what, exactly, is meant when someone uses the term "conspiracy theory"? And what specific criteria would result in a thread being sent to the "conspiracy theory" subforum?
    If a number of people colluded to make secret plans to commit an unlawful or harmful act, that would be a conspiracy. If someone else had sufficient evidence to implicate those individuals in that collusion to commit those acts or but no admission of guilt on their parts, that would be a theory. However, a conspiracy theory in colloquial parlance generally involves subject matter that has an official (usually government) explanation that may be at odds with accounts from non-official sources and which is generally portrayed as the paranoid ravings of crackpots and/or dissidents. As to what criteria would result in a thread being sent to the sub-forum of the same name - generally it would be something that impugns the official government record of a past event that the majority of the public accept as fact.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

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