What is the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase: "Conspiracy Theory"?
Or if you prefer: What is the first thing you think when you hear a conspiracy theory. Do you dismiss it outright or consider the information before making a judgement? Why?
I consider the information, as not everything most people is true (the popular series "Adam Ruins Everything" discusses these). That said, I disbelief in the vast majority of theories I come across, as there's usually more counterevidence than evidence.
The first conspiracy theory that comes to mind is the infamous "the moon landing was faked" idea.
I always consider information but usually it ends up being a little far-fetched for me. I do tend to buy into the more fun ones despite my better judgment (like aliens at Area 51) because, well, they're fun. On the other hand I think a lot conspiracy theories can be harmful, like the Sandy Hook theories that have people harrassing families who have lost their children or vaccine conspiracies that have people not vaccinating their kids against deadly diseases... so my reaction really depends on the particular theory.
My first thought was the Sandy Hook theories that are forever floating around. I definitely don't buy into that one, but I think looking at the information is always a good practice. For example, is the theory based on actual evidence, or just playing on potential room for doubt?
As a middle school teacher, I listen to Illuminati Conspiracy theories all day every day. In general, I'm not a fan, but I think it is a good exercise in questioning.
I'm curious when I hear someone say, "Conspiracy theory" and I don't have to know what that theory is. I want to know what is being given that label and then why. So, perhaps that means wanting to know the truth of the matter too.
I usually think of aliens, funnily enough, because I've seen so many episodes of ancient aliens and other history channel conspiracy shows just for the heck of it.
After hearing a theory I try to understand it from as many angles as I can. It really depends on the evidence the theory has to back it up. However, sometimes a theory sounds so probable that I can't help but believe it before even looking at the evidence.
I think of people sitting around with tin foil hats on waiting for aliens to take them away. or area 51 and how it's changed over the years. When people throw these theories around most make me want to roll my eyes. The saddest and most ignorant is the recent sandy hook. IT was shear ignorance and lack of empathy or compasion that kept it going, that sickened me.
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