General Question

andrewsarower's avatar

Who believes in conspiracies?

Asked by andrewsarower (16points) October 7th, 2013

I have been hearing a lot of talk about HAARP, the US military run research program, and I was wondering if anybody believes that it will control people’s minds, cause earthquakes, and change the weather? I doubt that any of it is backed up with facts, but maybe somebody could shed some light on this subject.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

69 Answers

janbb's avatar

They all do.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Watched a show about it, probably bunk. Although you’d be naive to think any govt tells all it’s secrets.

Blondesjon's avatar

Not a big believer but I do believe that the first rule of undertaking a global conspiracy would be to not give it a high profile, Google-able acronym.

talljasperman's avatar

~I do, but don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.

DWW25921's avatar

If it’s based on referenced facts than it’s not a conspiracy theory.

zenvelo's avatar

If there are world conspiracies, they’re pretty disorganized, just look at this.

ETpro's avatar

Enron, Teapot Dome, the trusts of the late 19th century, the plot to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand, 9/11 (and definitely NOT 9/11 Truthers). Sure there are conspiracies. But I believe the evidence that shows those were conspiracies, not the junk that the credulous seem in such a rush to swallow. The whole website @Rarebear linked to,, is an excellent bulwark against being easily hornswoggled. It no longer will do to just conduct a search. I could invent a completely absurd fabrication about some far-fetched conspiracy today and let it loose in the blogosphere, and within a week there would be hundreds of hits, each with new revaluations detailing the depth and horror of something I just pulled out of my butt.

serenade's avatar

If you are talking about what are commonly known as contemporary conspiracy theories, then many if not most are true at some level though the details are frequently muddled and/or difficult to discern. In my experience, if you follow that trail as far as it goes, which is an unpleasant experience, at the end is a grand disillusionment and that disillusionment can be a strong first step toward realizing a genuine enlightenment.

ETpro's avatar

@serenade My first question for any conspiracy theory. Some proof, please. You claim they are all, at some level, true. That is an extraordinary claim, and as such demands extraordinary proof. How did you establish that to be a fact?

serenade's avatar

Extraordinary claims simply require proof, not extraordinary proof. The only thing that makes them extraordinary is the strength of one’s disbelief.

I’ve already churned out plenty of information and have read most everything there is to read, and I am beyond repeating that chapter.

If you want proof, look up at the sky. Watch innocuous contrails turn into clouds that spread across the sky just like they did when you were younger. Then watch the clouds organize themselves spontaneously into waved patterns, just like they did when you were younger. Then watch classic/contemporary movies on cable or perhaps WWII in HD and notice the contrails in certain shots that weren’t there before.

But, you know, hang on to your story and your version of the truth, and I’ll hang on to mine.

Seek's avatar

I’m a ‘Show me the Money’ type, personally.

My husband believes in aliens, the whole Viracocha, Atlantis, pyramids thing.

It’s my own fault for buying Fingerprints of the Gods and putting it on the nonfiction bookcase.

ucme's avatar

Conspiracy theorists.

flip86's avatar

I have always been skeptical of conspiracy theories just as I am with all things. Alex Jones is the moron behind most of this crap. Funny thing is, there are conspiracy theories about him as well.

ETpro's avatar

@serenade So if I told you that an my invisible fire breathing dragon was going to burn you to a crisp unless you immediately gave me $100, you’d just hand over the money, would you. Wow, that is an extraordinary claim. Where do you live. I’d like to drop by, with my dragon, of course.

Since the OP mentioned HAARP, here is a video showing why a modicum of skepticism is a healthy thing, and pure credulity is not.

serenade's avatar

Well, we hand over lots more of our money every day to fight invisible terrorists, so I guess that delusion is pretty benign.

Rarebear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr kinda fun to read that isn’t it? It’s like a breath of fresh air. Fluther was starting to get too rational anyway.

Seek's avatar

It was an enjoyable book. I read it much like I read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon and Atlantis novels.

flip86's avatar

@ETpro Thanks for the laugh. The first few minutes of that video were pure hilarity. I’ve never heard anything so stupid, yet funny, at the same time.

Rarebear's avatar

@serenade Do you really believe what you’re writing or are you putting us on? Just wondering.

serenade's avatar

I pored over this stuff fairly exhaustively for three or four years. And so you know I have a brain, I graduated from what was then (and still is) a top 50 private university according to US News and World Report’s annual college rankings.

I don’t say much about it anymore, because, as I said before, I figured out how to move on. So when you ask if I really believe it, the answer is yes, but the belief is not red hot like it used to be and there are “bigger” facts that for me greatly diminish the importance of these things—the shift is not a backtracking on facts so much as a deepening understanding of the context that contains those facts.

I’m also not evangelizing anyone (although I certainly tried that before), so it doesn’t matter to me whether you or anyone else agrees. It’s just my answer to the question.

Rarebear's avatar

@serenade The mere fact that you have to feel that you have to evangelize your position is a testament to the invalidity of it. Religious fundamentalists evangelize. Scientists critically think and teach.

The fact that you graduated from a “top 50 private university” is entirely irrelevant and doesn’t impress me even a little bit. False authority fallacy.

antimatter's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Fingerprints of the Gods was a bit informative fun.
I got a rule, I will not believe it if I don’t see it and I will not accept it if I cant find an explanation.
Because there is always possibilities and explanations.

serenade's avatar

@Rarebear, you should work on your reading comprehension. I said that I’m not evangelizing (and when I did, it was following plenty of critical thought), and I was providing you with a minimum of background since you sought the need clarification of my sincerity. I’m not touting my degree or claiming any authority that has to do with my degree. I’m simply giving you a frame of reference. If you’re questioning my sincerity, that seems like a reasonable way to respond. If you want to get your panties in a wad over that, then I suppose there’s nothing to stop you.

serenade's avatar

sorry, bad phone editing

Rarebear's avatar

No, you said regarding evangelizing “although I certainly tried that before”. That infers that you used to evangelize but have since given up when you tried to argue with people.

serenade's avatar

@Rarebear, Sure, I’m a reformed evangelist. You got me.

What does any of that have to do with your question about whether I really believe what I’m writing? Are you saying I somehow haven’t answered your question?

By what logical argument does a medium or method invalidate a message? Specifically, how does evangelizing a message necessarily invalidate that message?

Rarebear's avatar

@serenade A good question. When you evangelize something it implies that you are trying to make people believe in that thing whether or not you have evidence. For example, fundamentalist evangelical Christians will evangelize that the Earth is 6000 years old and that humans rode on the dinosaur backs. That is, of course, complete bullshit, but it doesn’t stop people from trying to convince other people that it is so.

The story is similar to many conspiracy theories, such as the one you inferred-contrails. Conspiracy theorists believe that contrails are secret government plots to spread gases to control the populace. Like humans riding dinosaurs, this is, of course also complete bullshit, but it doesn’t stop people from trying to convince other people that it is so.

(For those of you who are interested, contrails are actually crystallized water vapor resulting from the high altitude air flow turbulence and exhaust from airplane wings, propellers, and turbines).

Your statement that you once evangelized, and your other statement of contrails, implies that once you tried to convince people (evangelize them) to a point of view that contrails are actually “chemtrails”, but were run into a brick wall from people who could look at data critically and objectively, and who actually understood the science.

For others who want to know more about chemtrail conspiracy theories:

I will add that point taken. Some scientist “evangelize” their point of view. For example, I will evangelize evolution, the Big Bang Theory, gravity, and that Zachary’s spinach and mushroom stuffed Chicago style pizza is the best pizza in the world. But I only do so because there is indisputable scientific evidence that all of those are true.

Seek's avatar

Goddammit @Rarebear, now I want pizza.

Rarebear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I had that pizza once when I was brewing beer at home and my brewing partner said, “You’ve just changed my life.”

serenade's avatar

@Rarebear, Okay… so you’re saying that one can evangelize or not evangelize independent of whether one has evidence or no evidence, then? This seems to be the case given your examples. This would seem to belie the “mere fact-ness” that you drew upon above.

Also, you’re making pretty broad assumptions about what my experience has been without any evidence. Not very scientific or logical.

For your edification, I would say that your summation of chem/contrails is consistent with what I characterized before in that the details are muddled and chosen from incomplete discernment.

You still haven’t acknowledged whether I answered your question and what any of the follow up has to do with your question.

Rarebear's avatar

@serenade No, that’s not what I’m saying, but that’s okay.

But the science on contrails is NOT muddled. There is a very crystal clear scientific explanation behind them. (@Seek_Kolinahr will chuckle at that) which have nothing to do with government plots, but everything to do with the physics of rapidly moving objects propelled by hot turbines through freezing skies.

And you’re right. I am making assumptions on your point of view based upon limited evidence. I may be completely wrong, and you may have a rational scientific mind. If you are to show that to be the case, I apologize in advance. In the meantime I stick to my statements.

Seek's avatar


serenade's avatar

Okay… science on contrails. Here’s a study. According to this paper, contrails can either persist and form “natural looking cirrus clouds” or not based on various atmospheric conditions and the degree to which aerosols are present. The paper looks directly at increases non-persistent contrails over time, and it looks directly at increases in cirrus cloud cover over time as a means of estimating the effects of persistent contrails, but does not directly look at persistent contrails over time nor does it directly look at the degree to which aerosols affect contrails from past to present.

In drawing attention to this, I am not saying the above proves anything other than what the paper concludes. I can agree with you that contrail science is predictive and not muddled—what I was referring as muddled was your description of the conspiracy theory and not any science. Instead, what I am making an assumption about, i.e. my opinion, based on the information I’ve read over the years is that aerosol-influenced contrails, which are recognized in this paper as being a thing, are qualitatively different and more prevalent today than they used to be. I can agree with the paper that increased air traffic is a factor, but I don’t believe that accounts for the quality or prevalence experienced in my observation, and I do believe that aerosols are generated or added significantly beyond a baseline of what one would expect in the course of normal operations. So I think there is intent to add reactive material to the air.

It seems safe to assume that the increased cloud cover, however it has been generated, has increased radiative forcing and therefore weather and/or climate. Additionally, it is my opinion that the added material I mentioned also provides a medium to artificially influence weather or influence the earth in other ways as intimated in the original question.

Perhaps I am unaware of scientific literature that addresses the gap that I am filling with my informed opinion, but I welcome anything you can find.

Again, this is my opinion in response to the OP’s question, and I would add that all of this discussion is a huge sideline to your original question to me about whether I actually believe this. I find it curious that you want to throw up so many objections but somehow can’t bring yourself to acknowledge whether I answered your question. Can you explain why you are behaving this way?

I would point out to you that your attempts to discredit my opinion haven’t really moved any needles, mine or anyone else’s. Predictably, you are getting your high-fives from science minded folk, and perhaps someone has seen a degree of merit in my opinion. Unfortunately, my inability today to let the discussion go has eaten up a good bit of my time that I could have used for other things. For your sake, I hope you enjoyed the cheerleading and lambasting of dissenting opinion.

Seek's avatar

Serenade, the thing is that this isn’t a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of facts. Facts are that which is. You can make any claim you like – that is your right – but that claim can be unfounded and/or incorrect. It is not under protection because you wish to attach the word ‘opinion’ to it.

‘The Beatles were the greatest band of all time’ is a statement of opinion. One might prefer the Stones or Floyd. And that’s ok.

‘the government is poisoning us with chemtrails’ is a statement that demands evidentiary support, because it can be either correct or incorrect.

Rarebear's avatar


I’m a little unclear as to which question you are demanding I answer. Please restate.

Rarebear's avatar

Just skimmed through the paper. I have no problem with it, as it appears to be good science. It’s certainly plausible that contrails and jet exhaust affect global climate.

But it’s not a conspiracy.

serenade's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, I’m not claiming it’s protected, and I don’t care how it’s deemed. I’m answering the OP’s question. What is perplexing (@Rarebear) is how a question about whether I really believe something has become an exercise in justifying one opinion against another. At no point am I saying, “prove me wrong,” nor am I attempting to assail someone else’s beliefs, opinions, or facts. I’m just stating what I think to be true and in response to growing incredulity attempting to explain further why I think that is so.

The purpose of conspiracies is to hide evidence, so naturally they begin with an absence of evidentiary support. Please explain how is it reasonable to “demand evidentiary support” in such a case? If you really believe that evidentiary support is demanded, then why are you bothering to argue this point? It would seem self-evident that any conspiracy theory would hardly be worth addressing, since they are all begun as ill found opinions with little or no evidentiary support. Why make a fuss?

Rarebear's avatar

Simple. Because it’s fun.

serenade's avatar

@Rarebear, well, hey, if you’re the type who enjoys trolling more than honest dialogue, more power to you. Fool me once.

Rarebear's avatar

And you’re one who enjoys throwing names about in ad hominem attacks. Fool me once.

In all your verbiage you basically asked, “Why do I call you on your beliefs”. I answered honestly. I enjoy debate and find it fun but your feelings were obviously hurt, and I do regret that. So I’ll know better next time to treat you more gently. Most people around here can debate without resorting to name calling. You obviously can’t. And you don’t know me, so I’ll give you a pass this time around.

Look. I liked the paper you posted. It was an interesting piece of science, and ultimately it’s only the science that matters. However there is nothing in that paper to suggest a conspiracy theory which is what the OP was about, unless, of course, I missed it. I’m a doctor, not a climatologist.

Quakwatch's avatar

@Rarebear I don’t think that @serenade expected you to actually read the paper. The majority of people see a legitimate science paper and just move on.

Rarebear's avatar

@Quakwatch Of course I read it. Usually when people debate me on stuff like this they point to a website that has a gazillion papers. Argumentum verbosium. When that happens I usually call them on it and don’t bother. But @serenade actually found a single paper, which I respect. So I read it.

ETpro's avatar

@serenade I read the paper too, and it says absolutely ZERO about contrails being evil poison chemtrails. This is exactly the sort of nonsense conspiracy theorists routinely trot out as “evidence” of their imagined global government cover-up

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro Exactly. As I said, it’s a good paper. I appreciate good science when I see it.

Rarebear's avatar

Looks like @serenade has left the building.
My bad guys, sorry.

andrewsarower's avatar

I appreciate all the different viewpoints yall are expressing, thank you. Sometimes these sorts of debates turn into fights more than civilized discussions.

ETpro's avatar

@andrewsarower I regret seeing @serenade leave, but there are some things worth fighting for. Healthy skepticism versus wild credulity is one of those, because a democracy can not survive long when the voters are gullible and easily led about by ridiculous rumors.

Rarebear's avatar

And generally @ETpro @Seek_Kolinahr and I are often 3 peas in a pod. I’m the bad cop, she’s the good cop, and ET is the reasonable conciliator. The whakaloons never know what hit them until it’s too late.

Rarebear's avatar

One thing to learn about us is that although we are all three attracted to bunkum and woo like flies to shit, we are all decent people here wanting to stem the tide or misinformation. Only occasionally does it degenerate but even then its sometimes fun.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Rarebear . . . So you’re bragging about running off a member of a q&a site that had an opinion different from yours and it took three of you ganging up on that person to do it?

Seek's avatar

Yay! I’m good cop!

Rarebear's avatar

@Blondesjon Chill. I wasn’t bragging. I was apologizing and explaining. Nothing I said or wrote was remotely offensive. And I debate people who I disagree with all the time and they don’t run off with their basketball pouting.

Blondesjon's avatar


Rarebear's avatar

@Blondesjon Whoops! You’re right. Bad word to use. But I still wasn’t bragging.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If two or more people “conspire” it’s a conspiracy. Alien reptile people running things from behind the scenes is an entertaining thought but is fiction. When times get a little rough for people the conspiracy porn tends to get amplified. I think that most are highly entertained by it but are not gullible enough to really buy into it. It’s not a bad way to keep your mind off reality so it has become its’ own little industry. For sci-fi buffs it can tickle the imagination so in that sense I “get it” and am entertained by it. I really do believe that keeping an open mind is important but not so open that all bullshit filters are removed leaving your mind like an open sewer.

serenaid's avatar

@Rarebear, @ETpro, @Seek_Kolinahr and others:

For the record, my brief departure was not a pout and it was not precipitated by @Rarebear. As I will elucidate a little further down, I left this discussion and cancelled my account primarily due to a response from @ETpro.

@Rarebear, (and since I’m guessing you will be the last to understand this, I am inviting @ETpro and @Seek_Kolinahr to consider this as well,) you are correct that I did not know what hit me until it was too late. Now that I have some perspective, I realize that this scenario is similar to times when I’ve encountered subtly abusive or manipulative people or people who habitually tell lies. Often when someone enters a discussion assuming they are dealing with a reasonable person, it can take some time to figure out that they are dealing with someone with a few issues.

What I am referring to in your case is that you have misread or disregarded what the actual context is here and that your behavior is inappropriate for the context. Specifically, the question asked is “Who believes?” The question is not “Is it true?” I was answering the question, and it doesn’t take much to prove that someone believes something. Logic does not have much work to do to prove a belief is believed.

I assumed that you understood this context when you were “just wondering” whether I believe what I believe, which is why I offered more detail about the development of that belief. People frequently stereotype those who subscribe to conspiracy theories, so I think it is useful sometimes to dispel that stereotype using first person testimonial as an example.

Again, since I did not know what I was dealing with, your contextually inappropriate response did not stick out then as it does now. What I see now, though, is that you were all too eager to draw me into a little logic showdown so you could prove I was wrong.

@ETpro & @Seek_Kolinahr, even you all must find it a little odd that @Rarebear interpreted my reference to my schooling as some sort of proof of my authority. Does anybody really claim authority based on a Bachelor’s degree? Isn’t it more reasonable to interpret that as just a reference point to say I’m not a dummy? Or, as I put in plain English just so you know that I have a brain? Does this not smack of someone who’s a little too eager to pick a fight so that they can try out their karate?

Secondly, do you not find it odd that @Rarebear insisted on further dragging past evangelism into the present context as proof that I’m wrong? Taken together, do you not see this as a gross misreading of the question and my response?

Do you see at this point how I sought clarification regarding how these arguments pertain to my contextually appropriate response to the question of whether I believe what I believe? I get that you think my belief is dumb. I don’t have a problem with that, but set that aside for the moment and evaluate the behavior and the context. It is not criminal behavior, of course, but saying that it is inappropriate is not a mischaracterization.

@Rarebear, there is another example of your misreading of the discussion. You said “In all your verbiage you basically asked, ‘Why do I call you on your beliefs’. This is plainly incorrect. I chided you earlier about your reading comprehension, but frankly I do not know how else to explain how you missed this. You asked me initially whether I actually believed these things, and I said yes.

From that point forward, you proceeded with another line of inquiry as if I somehow had not answered your question. I would guess it is because you felt so compelled to begin a test of logic. I would say in this case that you don’t yet have the wisdom to know when it is best applied.

Following that, you claimed to be unclear about which question I demand you answer. Again, these things are available in plain English, so how do I explain this other that a problem with reading comprehension? Knowing now that you are well enough schooled my only other option is to assume you have problems reading social context and offering appropriate responses.

At this point, (also @Seek_Kolinahr & @ETpro), I would like to take a minute to address so called ad hominem attacks on my part. Such a defense is appropriate to arguments and logic. Hopefully, we’ve satisfactorily established that this discipline only travels so far in the context of this question. As such, an ad hominem accusation does not really apply, nor was I attempting to use such a fallacy to prove an argument. My comments were solely referencing the inappropriateness of @Rarebear‘s behavior in this context. I think it’s an agreeable point that people have many and varied responses to unexpected and inappropriate behavior in social contexts ranging from pity to hostility, and I don’t think my response was particularly remarkable.

What I do find remarkable is @Rarebear‘s seeming inability to read and gauge social cues. In addition to what’s already been mentioned, @Rarebear deigns to “give me another chance” for suffering and commenting on his inappropriate behavior! How generous!

Here’s one thing @Rarebear, and it’s another gross misread that you characterized as “obvious” to you. You did not and have not hurt my feelings. You don’t know me either, and what you don’t know (despite my alluding to this at the very top of this discussion) is that I’ve been around here a very long time relative to the age of this site, and that I’ve debated with plenty more difficult than the likes of you. I’m not saying that as a pejorative towards you. I’m saying that as a fact. You just happened to show up after I’ve already played enough times to be satisfied. You failed to notice earlier that I wasn’t attempting to argue with you, but you might think about that now.

Which brings us to @ETpro and why your comment sent me over the edge.

This is your comment:

@serenade I read the paper too, and it says absolutely ZERO about contrails being evil poison chemtrails. This is exactly the sort of nonsense conspiracy theorists routinely trot out as “evidence” of their imagined global government cover-up

Here’s the thing. If you had bothered to read my accompanying analysis of that paper, you would know that I made no such claim. My point was that there is a gap in the research and that my belief fits in the gap. Again, since it is beyond the context of the question to argue the truth or falsity of my belief, my offering was not an argument or attempt to logically prove my point. It, as I said consistently and repeatedly, was only to further explain my belief in response to what I thought was forthright inquiry or seeking of clarification, this time beginning with science as an attempt to meet @Rarebear on some familiar ground. This would be before I understood that @Rarebear was responding inappropriately to the context.

@ETpro, here’s the thing. This is your time in the Fluther limelight. FWIW, you are at the top of your game, and I can relate to that because I had a time like that too. And it comes with some social capital, and I can appreciate that as well. So to first have to deal with obstinate and inappropriate behavior from someone I don’t know well, and then to see you lay out such a turd of an accusation that made obvious how you completely ignored what I wrote and dismissed my point of view, I had to ask myself just what the fuck I am doing here. Do you get it? I mean, more power to you if you still think that’s a decent response, but I was absolutely disheartened and can’t say much more for this site if that’s going to be my place in the pecking order.

@Rarebear, despite your concessions of verbiage, I think you suffer from a lack of self awareness. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, you seem to have trouble accepting corrective feedback and as eager as you are to apply logic to arguments, you began right away by contradicting yourself and then dismissing your contradiction. This post is long enough already, so rather than step through your logic, I’ll just say my take away was that “evangelists are all bad and dumb and sometimes I evangelize about science because that’s different.” I don’t need to draw this point out further.

It’s possible to apologize and brag and you were bragging. I’m guessing that the idea of bragging doesn’t jive with your self image as one of the good guys who wins, but I think there are plenty of examples of your boorish behavior already cited, so it’s not really credible for you to dismiss the characterization. Ditto “nothing I said or wrote was remotely offensive”. Frankly, you acted like a jerk, which is a fair characterization of the inappropriate behavior.

@ETpro (and to a lesser extent @Seek_Kolinahr), regarding your comment that “there are some things worth fighting for. Healthy skepticism versus wild credulity is one of those, because a democracy can not survive long when the voters are gullible and easily led about by ridiculous rumors”.

A small point first is that I am no more gullible or easily lead than Bernie Madoff’s customers, and by that I mean no more than any of us are, including people who are far more wealthy, successful and powerful. Nor am I wildly credulous. I do have an open mind, and I apply it.

Here’s the main thing: my exploration of and belief in conspiracy theories has engendered an evolutionary step in my personal development in that I am no longer deluded in the belief that the world need be anything more than it is. It is not Groundhog Day for me when I wake every day to determine what political misdeed and injustice I must essay to reshape. I am not deluded in the belief that there is gullibility that requires my correction because I am one of the smart people. And I don’t have to post 500 iterations of what is essentially the same question and lament about how if only more people understood logic and common sense we could make some progress.

I can appreciate all of that, however, because that was me not too many years ago, and I know how necessary it is to do if that’s your feeling. I would encourage you to assess, though, whether it’s really for the benefit of others or for your own edification. For me, it was the latter.

At the tippy top of this thread, what I mentioned (and what was wholly ignored), is that my not insignificant journey into “bunkum and woo” has resulted in some significant insights, both personal and worldly. While I can appreciate your impulse to protect us from ourselves in service to democracy, I have to say your comment smacks of the allowability only of “correct opinions.” I do understand that “a well informed…,” but these ideas would not be so prevalent if our democracy was functioning better. “Ridiculous rumors” can be an effect of dysfunctional democracy as well as a cause, and again claims are only made extraordinary by the strength of one’s disbelief. One thing that this kind of exploration offers is the opportunity to stretch one’s imagination and open one’s mind well beyond common discourse, and to that end I’m grateful it’s not the logic and skeptic police who make the decisions about what’s available for consideration.

That all being said, my mind isn’t changed. I still believe these things, although they aren’t as important to me now as they were. I believe I said just as much in the beginning and not as argument. Maybe next time, you’ll know to just hear that and let it lie.

Rarebear's avatar

Wow. You know what? I don’t really care to read about someone’s whining. This is getting tiring.

@serenade you have had you greatest wish come true.see you around.

Seek's avatar

Wow, that was an eyeful.

I’m simply going to address a few points quickly.

Re: Appeals to authority with regards to your college career -

George W. Bush attended Yale, and I’m pretty sure his DNA is a little closer than most to an orangutan. The fact that one was accepted into a college is not a relevant testimony to their intelligence.

I’ve never been to college. I feel perfectly comfortable not thinking myself brainless for this missing life experience.

Re: ad hominem attacks -

They are never sound logical reasoning. They are the last grasp of one who has nothing relevant to add in support of their case.

Re: evidence

Yes, in order for your beliefs to be valid, you need it. Evidence that contrails may lead to rising global temperature doesn’t logically lead to chemical conspiracy. A conspiracy in the gaps argument is fallacious.

Re: the purpose of the thread -

The purpose of the thread is to spark discussion. If you did not wish to discuss the evidence supporting your beliefs, at any point you had complete freedom to cease responding to posts made here. No one has forced you to take part in this or any conversation. I understand it can be difficult to base an argument on lack of evidence, and trust me I know how frustrating it is to simply want people to say ‘I respect your belief’.

But then, beliefs aren’t automatically deserving of respect. People, in general, are. But no one has disrespected you as a person, called you names, insulted you. And no one has really insulted your belief really, simply asked for your evidentiary justification for holding it. For those of us with scientific minds, this is an obvious step. Claim -> evidence -> analysis -> agreement.

ucme's avatar

People on the internet…tee-hee.

serenaid's avatar

College- point taken, but a also useful data point against a common stereotype.

Ad hominem- doesn’t so much apply when there is no argument.

Evidence- I don’t need it to believe something whether it’s valid or not. The question asks only whether one believes. Again, it’s not fallacious if it’s not an argument.

What the question asks is one thing, and the purpose of every question is another thing. I think you can agree that discussion is give and take. When one party requires answers to 50 questions and the other party is not given the courtesy of an answer to one question asked multiple times, it ceases to be a discussion and ceases to be respectful. Misread: I am not asking for respect of my belief.

If beliefs are not above scrutiny and not automatically deserving of respect, then the same is true of behavior.

Seek's avatar

You were asked for clarification regarding the question you were seeking an answer to. You did not provide it. Rereading the thread – I can’t sleep – it appears you asked several times whether @ETpro‘s question was answered. That question being ‘How did you establish that as a fact?’.

The answer is simple – no, you have not sufficiently answered the question. You have not established your belief as fact.

serenaid's avatar

No… @Rarebear asked whether I really believed what I was saying or putting “us” on. I said I did, which magically became an exercise in the validity of what I said I believed in. My repeated question was whether I had satisfied @Rarebear‘s question about whether I believed these things, because he was behaving as if I had not responded satisfactorily.

Seek's avatar

Which further emphasises the fact that no one knew what question you were taking about.

Now, I’m done here, unless there’s a point you’re planning on making.

mattbrowne's avatar

I don’t. A conspiracy becomes fact when historians find proof by using different sources of evidence. Holocaust deniers, for example, are trying to depict this organized mass murder as just a baseless conspiracy theory. This claim can easily debunked. Therefore the holocaust is a fact.

ETpro's avatar

@serenaid Finally, something we can agree on.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther