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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? Show more Show less

Studies show that the majority of people believe in at least one conspiracy theory. They’re becoming increasingly pervasive in our everyday lives, with it not being uncommon to hear conspiracy theories coming from commanders-in-chief. Why would someone believe something that others perceive as crazy?

People believe conspiracy theories because they’re true Show more Show less

The reason that people subscribe to conspiracy theories is simple: because they’re true.
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Conspiracy theories often turn out to be true

Watergate, MK Ultra… plenty of things have been considered conspiracy theories in their time but have later turned out to be true.
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Context

The Argument

Ultimately, conspiracies do occur.[1] For instance, the Watergate scandal was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory and ridiculed by the Nixon administration.[2] It was only when the scandal was uncovered by journalists that it was revealed as a real conspiracy. While people often assume conspiracy theories are false, but that's not the case. Believing in conspiracy theories is the rational choice, as the existence of one speaks to the existence of another.

Counter arguments

Just as conspiracy theories may be true, they may not. This Argument does not explain the number of people who believe in huge amounts of conspiracy theories.[3] While it is not impossible that some conspiracy theories are true, many people believe in many of them, or in ones that are blatantly untrue. People even believe in conspiracy theories that actively contradict each other.[4] Conspiracy theories cannot all or even mostly be true; there must be something more to conspiracy belief.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Not all conspiracy theories are untrue. [P2] Therefore, it is logical to believe in them.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Just because not all conspiracy theories are untrue doesn't mean that believing in them becomes the logical choice.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Conspiracy-Theories-Secrecy-American-Culture/dp/0816654948
  2. https://now.tufts.edu/articles/truth-about-conspiracy-theories
  3. https://www.jstor.org/stable/494529
  4. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2014-41019-009

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This page was last edited on Monday, 16 Mar 2020 at 15:56 UTC