It has been brought to my attention that I have not been answering many of the questions that several posters have asked me. I understand now that this is a deficiency that impedes discussion. Hence, this thread.
I will answer all of your questions. I only ask that you do not ridicule, which I realize I may be subjecting myself to. Even if you do ridicule me I will still answer your questions. (Your ridicule will not go unnoticed, though.) I also realize, to my utter amazement, that not many Dopers are conspiracy theorists. I do not understand that. I thought that the very nature of the Straight Dope Message Board would draw questions of conspiracy into politics, history, philosophy, religion. It seems to me that many here profess an (implied) complete understanding of, say, politics, in denying the possibility of conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theory is the limit of my understanding of politics, not the beginning of my understanding of politics nor the end of my understanding of politics.
I am a conspiracy theorist. I believe the Roswell UFO incident. I believe that there was a conspiracy involving the events of September 11, 2001. I believe that there was a conspiracy involving the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I believe that there is an Illuminati that is behind the 192 heads of government, and, while I do not have proof for this belief, I further believe that the G-192 summit, if it were to occur, would be evidence of that belief.
I believe that the Roswell UFO incident was a double cover-up. The weather balloon being for Project Mogul and also for something else. I do not think it was happenstance that the Roswell UFO incident happened after World War II and that after Roswell there was the Apollo program (I do not believe that Apollo was a hoax but I understand the reasoning of those who do) and Sputnik.
And even Arthur C. Clarke believed in extra-terrestrial life. It’s the difference from going from extra-terrestrial life and concluding with the Roswell UFO incident versus going from the Roswell UFO incident and concluding extra-terrestrial life!
OK. Pick one of your conspiracy theories. Your choice. Now, is there any evidence that, if it came to light, would cause you to disavow that theory? It doesn’t matter if you think that evidence will likely come to light.
9/11. If The New York Times were to have a groundbreaking front page article on how Al Qaeda had evidence that the plan would succeed then I might disavow that theory. Remember that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was a security failure while 9/11 was an intelligence failure in addition to being a security failure.
My main problem with the 9/11 Commission Report is that it is basically, ‘9/11 happened, this is why it happened, and this is what we should do to prevent a future 9/11’.
I want something that essentially says, "9/11 happened and this is how it happened’.
If I may generalize, conspiracy theorists believe in secret groups that are able to conceal their existence and activities over a period of decades. But at the same time, these same conspiracy theorists feel they have found evidence that proves these groups exist.
If these groups are inept enough to leave evidence of their existence lying around that single individuals can uncover, why is it that countries and investigative agencies and news media are unable to uncover the existence of these clandestine groups?
I suppose I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist. I believe billionaires in Russia, China, the Americas, Europe, etc, have more in common with each other than they do with the lowly plebs of their countries of birth and they will happily scheme to screw those plebs over to maintain their own power and wealth.
If they’d thought about it that much and maximum damage was the aim, they’d have chosen later flights when the buildings were more well populated. If you are gonna go to the effort, why wouldn’t you maximise damage?
Because they can rely on unpaid “skeptics” to do their ridiculing and character assassinations until the noise level reaches a state they cannot ignore. Then, the resourcefulness that allowed them to accumulate billions without anybody else taking over their lucrative affairs, comes into play.
What do you think about people who don’t believe in any conspiracy theories, or very few? Both people who absolutely believe official versions of events (where you don’t), and people who are sceptical about some details of official versions but think that the basic outline is probably pretty much true? Like, do you think they’re gullible sheeple, or do you see where they’re coming from but disagree?
Also, what do you think of people who believe conspiracy theories that you consider blatantly whacko?
Have you ever changed your mind about a CT - started out by believing it, then read up on more evidence and decided you don’t believe it after all?
You don’t think the moon landing was a hoax, based on your hoax here, so you don’t buy into every conspiracy theory.
But certainly you are familiar with people who whole heartedly believe, and are as convinced of you, of conspiracy theories that you yourself think are wrong and unfounded.
My question is - can you see the sort of behavior that these people exhibit in believing what are, from your perspective, false and unfounded conspiracy theories? Can you see how they dismiss contradictory evidence as being part of the conspiracy? Or when someone corrects or debunks one particular point, rather than reflect on that, they simply keep moving on to the next point completely undeterred? In general, how they make unfounded leaps from point to point, connecting things that aren’t really connected, coming up with theories that strain plausibility, etc.?
Do you look at the people who believe that, for instance, heads of state are secretly lizard people as being kooky*? Do you think that what seperates your conspiracy beliefs from theirs is simply the amount of evidence? Plausibility? Your own confidence in your intuitive gut feeling on the issue?
With them being sincerely convinced of something that you can tell is bullshit, can you see any of the same patterns in their behavior as you have in your behavior? Can you understand why someone would look at your 9/11 conspiracy theories in the same way that you might look at someone who was utterly convinced in lizard people?
Let’s assume you think the people who believe in lizard people are kooks. Maybe you don’t, maybe you think they’re right. In any case, surely you can think of some conspiracy theory that’s so out there that you can’t help but think it’s wrong. Apply that to the question.