What makes people believe absurd conspiracy theories?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
1,465
Location
Manchester UK
And so isnt subject to your version of evolution?
its not my version of evolution, its the official version, not admittedly what you were told a elimentary school were they tend to dumb it down a bit for the audience

i said viruses tend to mutate to be come less deadly, which they do

you offer the bubonic plauge as a counter argument, which isnt a virus and so not subject to my statement above

it did however disapear of its own accord from Europe and was less deadly where it did occur so it follows similar patterns though not something ive looked into more deeply than that

be honest, you thought it was a virus? didnt you?

it wasnt helped by the fact they killed all the cats and dogs, as they though they were the carriers, who were keeping the rat population down, so half arsed controls that do more harm than good are not a new thing
 
Last edited:

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,066
Reaction score
3,759
Location
Covington, WA
Just to say, covid-19 was an example, not the point. Derailing the thread with a pointless discussion about a specific conspiracy theory is actually a logical fallacy. It's called a red herring. To be honest, I have no interest in engaging in conspiracy theorists within their specific conspiracies. That just doesn't seem like a very healthy discussion to have. We went that route and in the face of overwhelming evidence, a few folks on this forum (4 or so, IIRC), just doubled down into

The point is that if someone has been drawn into belief in a conspiracy theory, having a meta discussion about being drawn into conspiracies, in general, is kind of pointless. At best, it results in some ironic (or funny) posts that demonstrate lack of self awareness. But mostly, it just seems mean spirited and unproductive. What I mean is, of course the person will point to other conspiracies and say, "Look at those nutters. Glad I'm not like them. The things I believe in (e.g., that the Earth is flat, or that Trump is waging a secret war against deep state pedophiles with links to the Democratic party, or that COVID19 is a hoax, hospitals have a vested interest in artificially inflating covid death rates, or that 5g networks are controlling peoples' minds, etc) are very reasonable. Not like those other conspiracies like... (insert same list here)!"

I know we have some folks with some actual credentials in mental health. I'm very interested in how we begin to deprogram people. I mean, what do we do with people who are sucked in?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
8,472
Reaction score
2,588
Location
New York
I know we have some folks with some actual credentials in mental health. I'm very interested in how we begin to deprogram people. I mean, what do we do with people who are sucked in?
So first: I'm not addressing any specific conspiracy theories either. Or confirming or denying that any of your list is a conspiracy theory. With that out of the way..I'll answer this question.

The actual answer to this is that it's kinda tricky. It starts with leading them to figure out what the truth is on their own, asking questions where they have to answer with the opposing evidence/statements to what they already said. Then pull a very subtle columbo "Just one more thing" on it. But ultimately you need to get them to convince you of what the truth actually is. If it turns into what they're arguing, the resistance to it goes away, because now they need the truth to be correct for them to remain right, rather than the fiction they've convinced themselves of.

It doesn't sound easy, and it's not as easy as it sounds. There are fields of therapy devoted to this for specific truths (cognitive depressive truths, substance abuse, schizophrenic truths, etc.). And it's not always exactly like the above paragraph, but that's what all of them seem to boil down to.
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
1,465
Location
Manchester UK
Just to say, covid-19 was an example, not the point. Derailing the thread with a pointless discussion about a specific conspiracy theory is actually a logical fallacy. It's called a red herring. To be honest, I have no interest in engaging in conspiracy theorists within their specific conspiracies. That just doesn't seem like a very healthy discussion to have. We went that route and in the face of overwhelming evidence, a few folks on this forum (4 or so, IIRC), just doubled down into

The point is that if someone has been drawn into belief in a conspiracy theory, having a meta discussion about being drawn into conspiracies, in general, is kind of pointless. At best, it results in some ironic (or funny) posts that demonstrate lack of self awareness. But mostly, it just seems mean spirited and unproductive. What I mean is, of course the person will point to other conspiracies and say, "Look at those nutters. Glad I'm not like them. The things I believe in (e.g., that the Earth is flat, or that Trump is waging a secret war against deep state pedophiles with links to the Democratic party, or that COVID19 is a hoax, hospitals have a vested interest in artificially inflating covid death rates, or that 5g networks are controlling peoples' minds, etc) are very reasonable. Not like those other conspiracies like... (insert same list here)!"

I know we have some folks with some actual credentials in mental health. I'm very interested in how we begin to deprogram people. I mean, what do we do with people who are sucked in?
you just want to take any one with a different view than you and dehumanise them and belittle them by calling their mental health in to question.

you want to insult people but not engage in exploring those views, that rather coz you cant win a reasoned debate, so adhom
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
1,465
Location
Manchester UK
So first: I'm not addressing any specific conspiracy theories either. Or confirming or denying that any of your list is a conspiracy theory. With that out of the way..I'll answer this question.

The actual answer to this is that it's kinda tricky. It starts with leading them to figure out what the truth is on their own, asking questions where they have to answer with the opposing evidence/statements to what they already said. Then pull a very subtle columbo "Just one more thing" on it. But ultimately you need to get them to convince you of what the truth actually is. If it turns into what they're arguing, the resistance to it goes away, because now they need the truth to be correct for them to remain right, rather than the fiction they've convinced themselves of.

It doesn't sound easy, and it's not as easy as it sounds. There are fields of therapy devoted to this for specific truths (cognitive depressive truths, substance abuse, schizophrenic truths, etc.). And it's not always exactly like the above paragraph, but that's what all of them seem to boil down to.
but what if any one conspiracy they belive is substantialy correct, then the therapy becomes state sponsered brain washing

the uk govenment lied about the wmds, people who called them out on it were called conspiracy theorists, but hell they were right
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,115
Reaction score
1,812
Location
Southeast U.S.
Just to say, covid-19 was an example, not the point. Derailing the thread with a pointless discussion about a specific conspiracy theory is actually a logical fallacy. It's called a red herring. To be honest, I have no interest in engaging in conspiracy theorists within their specific conspiracies. That just doesn't seem like a very healthy discussion to have. We went that route and in the face of overwhelming evidence, a few folks on this forum (4 or so, IIRC), just doubled down into

The point is that if someone has been drawn into belief in a conspiracy theory, having a meta discussion about being drawn into conspiracies, in general, is kind of pointless. At best, it results in some ironic (or funny) posts that demonstrate lack of self awareness. But mostly, it just seems mean spirited and unproductive. What I mean is, of course the person will point to other conspiracies and say, "Look at those nutters. Glad I'm not like them. The things I believe in (e.g., that the Earth is flat, or that Trump is waging a secret war against deep state pedophiles with links to the Democratic party, or that COVID19 is a hoax, hospitals have a vested interest in artificially inflating covid death rates, or that 5g networks are controlling peoples' minds, etc) are very reasonable. Not like those other conspiracies like... (insert same list here)!"

I know we have some folks with some actual credentials in mental health. I'm very interested in how we begin to deprogram people. I mean, what do we do with people who are sucked in?
Wow. That clarified a lot about you.
We all have the right to our opinions and I usually enjoy arguing a point with most anyone but you sir are an exception. I don’t think credentials apply to you but mental....
Downright creepy.
 

JowGaWolf

Grandmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
9,617
Reaction score
3,041
I asked him "Is there like a fence on the edge so we won't fall off?" His eyes brightened when he told me, "No! That's one of the problems!"
I can actually picture this. You make a statement think it something would click in his mind and make him think a little more. But No. His little train just keeps going and says "No! That's one of the problems!"

The more I hear stuff like this the more I wish there were lions and tigers that would just pop out of no where and eat them up. lol I looked at some of their models of the Universe which are the most interesting things. The repeating theme is that The earth is flat but everything else, the sun the, moon and other planets are spherical.

But wait. if the earth is flat why don't we fall off?
Answer: "from speaker Darren Nesbit, who referred to the "Pac-Man effect" as the reason why planes don't fall off the edge of a flat Earth, according to the science news website Physics-Astronomy.org. When a plane or other object reaches the edge of the horizon, such as when Pac-Man reaches the end of the screen, that object will teleport from one side of the planet to the other, a la Pac-Man entering from the other side of the screen"

People like that cannot handle reality at all. Like they really don't understand how large this planet is. This is a must watch.
 

JowGaWolf

Grandmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
9,617
Reaction score
3,041
The one's that are genuine about it, I just feel bad for. Can you imagine living with the fear that if you go out on a boat you might fall off the ocean? Or the paranoia that literally everyone who has been important for the last 500 years has been lying to you about something that obvious?
They should be the first tourist shot into space. Let them take video and photos. They probably still won't believe but it would be interesting to see what they come up with as an excuse.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
8,472
Reaction score
2,588
Location
New York
but what if any one conspiracy they belive is substantialy correct, then the therapy becomes state sponsered brain washing

the uk govenment lied about the wmds, people who called them out on it were called conspiracy theorists, but hell they were right
The thing with that method is that it hinges on them being incorrect. You won't be able to make much progress on convincing someone based around their contradictions, if there are no contradictions to begin with.
 

JowGaWolf

Grandmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
9,617
Reaction score
3,041
I have a something that's true.

I'm actually an alien species that come from a planet far away. My people used the same material that money is made of to enter a metamorphosis phase that grows wings on on our backs. These wings allow us to safely travel through space, but now I'm having trouble gathering enough money in order to start my metamorphosis. There are about 5000 of us on this planet, which explains why rich people are so reach. We have to hibernate on top of money for 80 years.

Humans have been helping my kind return to our planet. if you want to help me or my kind. send money to.

Jowga wolf
333 my wallet
Thakya, Ga 45555

In appreciation. I will send you one of my old feathers as proof. Not actual size. Actual size is 50 ft. which is why it takes a lot of money to get my wings to start growing lol
512j1deX6GL._AC_SX679_.jpg
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,066
Reaction score
3,759
Location
Covington, WA
you just want to take any one with a different view than you and dehumanise them and belittle them by calling their mental health in to question.

you want to insult people but not engage in exploring those views, that rather coz you cant win a reasoned debate, so adhom
All right, big guy. You want some attention. I'll give you a couple of minutes.

I think you're just confused and upset because the discussion I'm interested in isn't the one you're interested in. For some reason, you take your inability to take the discussion down whatever rabbit hole you want personally. I'm not interested in debating whether or not a particular conspiracy theory is whacky or not, whether that's covid, the flat earth society, flying spaghetti monsters, or that the earth is only somewhere between 6k and 10k years old. I don't know what you think is dehumanizing about that, but that's really your cross to bear.

I am interested in hearing from some folks strategies for talking to people about these things, but I want to be clear, I have no one on this forum in mind. I really don't entertain any hope of convincing folks of anything here. I do, however, have some people in my life whom I care about, who are deep down the QAnon train. I can let them go, or I can try and bring some of them back. Not sure how successful that will be, but they're worth the effort, I think. For better or worse, when folks are so deep in a conspiracy, it is a mental health issue. Or more precisely, it's something that people who are trained therapists will have some insight into. Not suggesting that it's actually mental illness.

So, bottom line, I know this is going to be hard for you to accept, but this isn't all about you. In fact, it's not about you at all. You could literally be pulled out of this thread and I wouldn't miss you at all.

That you see of this as an insult and react the way you do says two things to me. First, that on some level, you are worried that you're being manipulated into believing some crazy conspiracies (or at least, that your behavior or beliefs lead others to see you that way). And two, that you have a broken and outdated view of mental health. Again, it's a shame, but that's on you, not me.

Alright. That's it. Have a nice day.
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
1,465
Location
Manchester UK
All right, big guy. You want some attention. I'll give you a couple of minutes.

I think you're just confused and upset because the discussion I'm interested in isn't the one you're interested in. For some reason, you take your inability to take the discussion down whatever rabbit hole you want personally. I'm not interested in debating whether or not a particular conspiracy theory is whacky or not, whether that's covid, the flat earth society, flying spaghetti monsters, or that the earth is only somewhere between 6k and 10k years old. I don't know what you think is dehumanizing about that, but that's really your cross to bear.

I am interested in hearing from some folks strategies for talking to people about these things, but I want to be clear, I have no one on this forum in mind. I really don't entertain any hope of convincing folks of anything here. I do, however, have some people in my life whom I care about, who are deep down the QAnon train. I can let them go, or I can try and bring some of them back. Not sure how successful that will be, but they're worth the effort, I think. For better or worse, when folks are so deep in a conspiracy, it is a mental health issue. Or more precisely, it's something that people who are trained therapists will have some insight into. Not suggesting that it's actually mental illness.

So, bottom line, I know this is going to be hard for you to accept, but this isn't all about you. In fact, it's not about you at all. You could literally be pulled out of this thread and I wouldn't miss you at all.

That you see of this as an insult and react the way you do says two things to me. First, that on some level, you are worried that you're being manipulated into believing some crazy conspiracies (or at least, that your behavior or beliefs lead others to see you that way). And two, that you have a broken and outdated view of mental health. Again, it's a shame, but that's on you, not me.

Alright. That's it. Have a nice day.
so your not intrested in if theory is wacky or true, just in how to stop people beliving the wacky or true theory, makes sence?
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
1,465
Location
Manchester UK
The thing with that method is that it hinges on them being incorrect. You won't be able to make much progress on convincing someone based around their contradictions, if there are no contradictions to begin with.
would you think it ethical or even legal to use that against the contradictions of say an organised religious belief
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,066
Reaction score
3,759
Location
Covington, WA
They should be the first tourist shot into space. Let them take video and photos. They probably still won't believe but it would be interesting to see what they come up with as an excuse.
Didn't one of them actually kill himself trying to "prove" the earth is flat by shooting himself into space on a homemade rocket? I'll have to see if I can find that.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,066
Reaction score
3,759
Location
Covington, WA
so your not intrested in if theory is wacky or true, just in how to stop people beliving the wacky or true theory, makes sence?
LOL. Sort of. It's not that I'm not interested. I mean, it's fun sometimes to watch Ancient Aliens and hear about what the Ancient Alien Theorists are proposing.

If someone believes that aliens are the reason we have jet planes, you really don't owe them a counter argument. It's just not needed.
 

JowGaWolf

Grandmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
9,617
Reaction score
3,041
Didn't one of them actually kill himself trying to "prove" the earth is flat by shooting himself into space on a homemade rocket? I'll have to see if I can find that.
I heard about that, but didn't know he was a flat Earther. I thought he was just someone who didn't realize how much math is required to get into space.

Just read up on him.
Dude was nuts. He was trying to get into space in a steam powered rocket? Man he was totally unprepared. In space with steam?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
8,472
Reaction score
2,588
Location
New York
would you think it ethical or even legal to use that against the contradictions of say an organised religious belief
As a member of a government, no. As a mental health counselor (ex-now), not unless there was significant evidence that it was contributing to a negative mental health state (that never came up while I was counseling, the only ways I could see it coming up are if someone was clearly in a cult, or they believed the religion was telling them to go out and kill people/themselves or something similar). And I'd be focusing purely on the positives/negatives they get from the religion, rather than the religion itself, if I were to address that at all. In my state trying to dissuade someone from a religion (or persuade someone to a religion) for theological reasons is a good way to lose your license. As someone discussing those things with friends, I don't see a reason why it wouldn't be ethical/legal.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top