Is it really so difficult to conceive that most people would be reasonable enough agree with a more general statement such as whether government conspiracies exist?
Maybe the problem is not with the general concept. Maybe the problem is with the specifics.
Well, think carefully about that...
On the one hand, yes, chances are good that the average supporter here, when speaking to others, faces a great deal of opposition to the idea of conspiracies.
On the other hand...most of the people here who advance conspiracies are advancing a very limited set of conspiracies, and the vast majority of these are indeed conspiracies favored by conspiracy theorist.
In other words, if someone is always talking about apples, and people are always objecting to apples, it is bad logic to conclude that these people adamantly oppose fruit. They may just be sick and tired of apples.
I disagree. I think it is just as valid to say that the assumption that it is "simply impossible in the minds of many" plays a large role in the general uselessness of these discussions. In fact, I would be willing to say that it is the assumption of what the other person is thinking that colors much of what is being said, even in the face of what is actually written.
The same thing has happened in this very thread. Now, I am a Marketing and Negotiation instructor, so I will go into behaviour gleefully, in depth, and ad nauseum, but it has already been pointed out that we are kind of off-topic (to the extent that the original topic...well, not a lot of meat to it), but yeah, assumptions go both ways. Conspiracy theorists assume one thing about debunkers, debunkers assume certain things about conspiracy theorists, and neither one actually argues the discussion, but rather both argue their points. Is it any wonder some of the threads in this forum never go anywhere? There is no resolution because their is literally no discussion between people.
No, in my mind, the difference between conspiracy theorists and debunkers, and skeptics who are either for or against a given conspiracy, is not so much the claims, but rather (to absolutely no one's surprise, at this point) their behaviour. The behaviour of conspiracy theorists and debunkers is pretty much identical. Both have made the assumption they understand the opinion of the other, both ignore any claims or arguments of the other, both are more concerned with winning an argument than with discussing the issue. As opposed to...
Damn, just noticed I started again with the whole lecture thing. Sorry, nevermind, my bad...
Not at all. I do not see it as a lecture, but rather a very good discussion with very good points.
Most of your points I agree with, but I would offer some observations on semantics, always a sticking point.
"Conspiracy theorists" and "debunkers" is convenient I guess, but I'm not so sure that it's accurate. Most labels we use these days are not exactly accurate, and to me, go back to Orwell's observation that when the language is corrupted, the next thing to be corrupted is thought processes.
No two labels are better examples of this than "liberal" and "conservative". Here in the US there is currently an effort being made to corrupt the meaning of the word "entitlement". I digress.
I think that the behavior we call "denial" is a large part of what you accurately see as "threads that never go anywhere." In their effort to "debunk", it seems that some folks blatantly ignore certain facts, or deny those facts. Hence denial.
I know I am not the only one, because I happen to know others, but I have taken both sides in this question. I don't consider myself a 'theorist', but I always try to look at both sides of any story in an effort to try to discover what truth there may be.
But back to the thread, we know that the CIA and other 'spook' agencies 'round the world are utterly into secrecy, as must be the case. And we know that secret killings are part of their modus operandi, for better or for worse.
Harry Truman was President when the law creating the CIA was passed. Afterwards, he regretted that the law had not been better written, with his largest objection being that the intelligence gathering function and the 'operations' function had been combined into the same agency. He thought that (as had been the case prior), the operations side of it be confined to the military, with appropriate congressional oversight.