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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

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seanjo

I've always thought of it as being linked to religion, or the need to believe in something other than us, conspiracy's (the tin foil hat kind) involve intricate plans and actions by they/them, the nameless authority, the intelligentsia, it's a form of belief with faith being the main driver.

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John Allanson

Sounds like something I'd believe! Was it caused by aliens tampering with our DNA I wonder?

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zep73

That's what psychology does best: Putting people into boxes with labels.

There's a tiny box among the many, labelled "Normal". Most people think they are in it, but it's actually empty! :D

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Calibeliever
41 minutes ago, seanjo said:

I've always thought of it as being linked to religion, or the need to believe in something other than us, conspiracy's (the tin foil hat kind) involve intricate plans and actions by they/them, the nameless authority, the intelligentsia, it's a form of belief with faith being the main driver.

Exactly, the belief that there has to be more. I mean, this can't be "all there is" right?

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seanjo
9 minutes ago, Calibeliever said:

Exactly, the belief that there has to be more. I mean, this can't be "all there is" right?

I really hope this isn't all there is, but I suspect it is, and someone telling me we are all stardust just doesn't cut it. I want a heaven with all my pets, family and the loves of my life.

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Calibeliever
7 minutes ago, seanjo said:

I really hope this isn't all there is, but I suspect it is, and someone telling me we are all stardust just doesn't cut it. I want a heaven with all my pets, family and the loves of my life.

Well yeah, of course. That's what keeps us searching! I just try to remind myself at least once a day that my "feelings" aren't facts or truth, and should never be trusted as such. Just because I want something to be true isn't a justification for me discarding evidence that doesn't fit my feelings. Some of us out here forget that that from time to time ... :) 

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South Alabam

.

Edited by South Alabam
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South Alabam

Their research revealed that people who subscribe to the notion that "everything happens for a reason" or that things are "meant to be" are more likely to believe in conspiracies.

Intriguingly, they also likened this mindset to that of another group - creationists.

Not sure I'm buying this. Link them based on "everything happens for a reason" or that things are "meant to be". Maybe, but a psychological link? In other words Conspiracy theorist or Creationist have a mental condition.

 


 

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XenoFish
18 minutes ago, South Alabam said:

Their research revealed that people who subscribe to the notion that "everything happens for a reason" or that things are "meant to be" are more likely to believe in conspiracies.

Intriguingly, they also likened this mindset to that of another group - creationists.

Not sure I'm buying this. Link them based on "everything happens for a reason" or that things are "meant to be". Maybe, but a psychological link? In other words Conspiracy theorist or Creationist have a mental condition.

 


 

It might be the same mental mechanism behind all those similar things. They just focusing on different things/subject.

Edited by XenoFish
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Bunzilla

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? Simple. Because sometimes they end up being true. I think it's also important to question what we've been told is true and to think for ourselves while considering all the facts at hand.

Besides that, I think it has more to do with our love of mysteries and discovery.

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Seti42

Makes sense to me. Creationism is one of the oldest and most popular BS theories out there. Also, there have been actual instances of real conspiracies being true. Even if 99% are false, that 1% keeps some people coming back for more. I myself don't actually fall for religion or conspiracy theories, but I do have a lifelong love for folklore, mythology, the paranormal, and belief systems in general. Fascinating stuff. I also love fantasy and sci-fi.

Edited by Seti42
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Seti42
4 hours ago, South Alabam said:

Their research revealed that people who subscribe to the notion that "everything happens for a reason" or that things are "meant to be" are more likely to believe in conspiracies.

Intriguingly, they also likened this mindset to that of another group - creationists.

Not sure I'm buying this. Link them based on "everything happens for a reason" or that things are "meant to be". Maybe, but a psychological link? In other words Conspiracy theorist or Creationist have a mental condition.

 


 

One could easily argue that true belief in what cannot be proven, or has been disproven but is believed anyway, is a mental disorder. I'm not talking about people who say "maybe there is a god" or were raised in a faith an find comfort and familiarity in its rituals and social settings...I'm talking about people who will yell, fight, and even murder over it if questioned/challenged...And have panic attacks/go catatonic/go into total denial if their beliefs are shaken enough.

Edited by Seti42
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South Alabam
19 minutes ago, Seti42 said:

One could easily argue that true belief in what cannot be proven, or has been disproven but is believed anyway, is a mental disorder. I'm not talking about people who say "maybe there is a god" or were raised in a faith an find comfort and familiarity in its rituals and social settings...I'm talking about people who will yell, fight, and even murder over it if questioned/challenged...And have panic attacks/go catatonic/go into total denial if their beliefs are shaken enough.

True. Faith is belief without knowing. And there are some that come unhinged when challenged, no doubt

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pallidin

I do not agree with the article.

Some people are just "jerks", no matter what.

 

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pallidin

In fact, some people seem to be "hard-wired" for constant controversy, regardless of the topic, and they gain some type of actual satisfaction in their doing so.

"Jerks", as colloquially known.

 

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flyingswan
11 hours ago, Bunzilla said:

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? Simple. Because sometimes they end up being true.

Not often.  In fact, the only one that comes to mind is the Cold War claim, always denied, that the USSR was covertly funding left-wing groups in the West.  Come glasnost, the Russians admitted it.

Now, of course, the Russians have had a lot more success by switching to funding right-wing groups and promoters of conspiracy theories.

Edited by flyingswan
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Minimalists

Well if you stop and think about it even the US government believes in conspiracy theory and has laws against it.....Well maybe not the "theory part" but there are  laws against conspiracy to commit whatever crime etc...The hardcore conspiracy theorists do not accept the actual version of any event especially if the media and government are involved...They create their own set of facts and when those facts clash with the actual event its a conspiracy! 

Edited by Alien Origins
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seanjo
17 hours ago, South Alabam said:

 

In other words Conspiracy theorist or Creationist have a mental condition.

 


 

1

I'd say most do, to deny something like evolution with all of the overwhelming evidence, is stubbornness in the extreme.

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Trenix

Conspiracy theories are generally ideas that may be based on some facts, but it's generally against popular belief, therefore people feel as if they can be invalidated by calling it a conspiracy theory. It's like calling opposing perspectives of news as fakenews, as if there is only one side of every story when that's just clearly wrong. I think a lot of scientifically theories are conspiracies, have some fact, but then also a lot of BS. There was a time where science was never about fact, but about understanding. Modern day science was created by Christians who wanted to better know how God designed the world, they never limited themselves and even got persecuted for it. Science and religion should not intertwine, but recently people began treating science as if it's religion, as if theories to explain our reality never change. I find this highly problematic and prevents us from moving forward. Most scientific breakthroughs, if not all, went against popular belief. Us humans never change, going against popular belief even nowadays, we still get persecuted. Treating people with a different perspective, whether wrong or not, as someone with a mental condition, I mean really?

Edited by Trenix
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Unfortunately
23 hours ago, Trenix said:

Conspiracy theories are generally ideas that may be based on some facts, but it's generally against popular belief, therefore people feel as if they can be invalidated by calling it a conspiracy theory. It's like calling opposing perspectives of news as fakenews, as if there is only one side of every story when that's just clearly wrong. I think a lot of scientifically theories are conspiracies, have some fact, but then also a lot of BS. There was a time where science was never about fact, but about understanding. Modern day science was created by Christians who wanted to better know how God designed the world, they never limited themselves and even got persecuted for it. Science and religion should not intertwine, but recently people began treating science as if it's religion, as if theories to explain our reality never change. I find this highly problematic and prevents us from moving forward. Most scientific breakthroughs, if not all, went against popular belief. Us humans never change, going against popular belief even nowadays, we still get persecuted. Treating people with a different perspective, whether wrong or not, as someone with a mental condition, I mean really?

On the bolded point I just wanted to say that science has always been about establishing facts in order to understand. To say that there was a time when it wasn't about facts is, in my opinion, incorrect.

Modern day science was definitely not just made by Christians, regardless of my opinion that statement is factually incorrect. They definitely played a part in the initial establishment and may have bettered science to a degree, but Christians have proved to be more of an obstacle to scientific endeavours  in the modern age for the most part due to the constant need to reevaluate their beliefs in light of new discoveries. :)

In regards to conspiracies I believe this article is referring more toward the extremists (or the 'tinfoil hat' people as Seanjo mentioned above) who are inclined to believe conspiracies over the mainstream view in general, regardless of the context. Like having a predisposition toward radical theories. I do agree that the everyday person who believes in one or two conspiracies should not be labelled in the same group.

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Trenix
39 minutes ago, Unfortunately said:

On the bolded point I just wanted to say that science has always been about establishing facts in order to understand. To say that there was a time when it wasn't about facts is, in my opinion, incorrect.

Modern day science was definitely not just made by Christians, regardless of my opinion that statement is factually incorrect. They definitely played a part in the initial establishment and may have bettered science to a degree, but Christians have proved to be more of an obstacle to scientific endeavours  in the modern age for the most part due to the constant need to reevaluate their beliefs in light of new discoveries. :)

In regards to conspiracies I believe this article is referring more toward the extremists (or the 'tinfoil hat' people as Seanjo mentioned above) who are inclined to believe conspiracies over the mainstream view in general, regardless of the context. Like having a predisposition toward radical theories. I do agree that the everyday person who believes in one or two conspiracies should not be labelled in the same group.

Science is based on fact, but also some theories in my opinion, are preposterous. Take for example, evolution is regarded as fact, but cannot be completely proven and I really don't want to go into a 5 hour discussion on mutation and the change of kind. Do I believe parts of the evolution theory are correct? Yes, but most of it isn't. Modern day science was created by Christians, that is correct. Those who were persecuted where still Christians, not atheists. They were people who wanted to better understand what God created. Nowadays there is this new trend where everyone wants to be atheist and I can't blame with when the major denomination in Christianity is Catholicism. Catholics are highly corrupt and involved in many disgusting scandals.

However Christians contributed quite a bit to society and the entire world. People only want to talk about the negatives, just like they do with America. But anyway, going back on topic, I would not use the word conspiracy theory for anything. Let people think what they want and challenge them when you think they're wrong. Too many times we push this mob mentality where if someone doesn't agree or belief what we do, that they're wrong and should be made a fool out of. That's not how we move forward. You should always understand that you may be wrong. Ever heard of the quote, that the only thing we truly know is that we know nothing. That's not just a joke, it really is reality. Everything is open for discussion.

Edited by Trenix
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Calibeliever
4 hours ago, Unfortunately said:

There was a time where science was never about fact, but about understanding.

The definition of science has definitely changed over the centuries but I'm not sure you can ever separate the words 'understanding' from 'fact'. Facts change with new information and understanding grows with new facts. The Greeks were the first documented in Western culture to incorporate systematic measurement, but it's widely agreed that Muslims during the Golden age of Spain defined what we call the scientific method today. A simple Google search of "history of the scientific method" will give you hours of material to sift through. 

Edited by Calibeliever
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jaylemurph

I don't think CTs and religion have much in common.

CT and CTers are about managing power relations. CTs are most common in audiences that are not well educated and don't have full access to whatever power systems exist in their communities and nations. CTs allow people without those to pretend to have power and knowledge -- what they say is "really going on" -- and have that without doing anything to get them. Your candidate didn't win? It's not because your lazy ass didn't go canvassing door to door; it's because alien reptiles /really/ control everything. Don't know the first thing about history? Don't need it; the Middles Ages were all made up. People around the world don't realize that Malta/India/Russia/Macedonia are really the most important source of culture in history? Don't need to know that's not true; just blame a conspiracy.

And every conspiracy ever, literally, is built on a massively incoherent paradox -- that allegedly super-secret conspiracies of the richest and most powerful can be found out by any idiot with an internet connection.

-Jaylemurph

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Dejarma

People who believe in conspiracy theories, IMO, are people who feel hard done by in life:

 weak individuals who desperately try to find a reason for their inability to get what they feel they deserve, but in reality have neither the will or are too lazy to get it via dedication & hard work!

deep down subconsciously blaming it on something other than their inability- just a thought

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