Three ways to spot a conspiracy theory | BBC Ideas

Three ways to spot a conspiracy theory | BBC Ideas


Roswell… Bigfoot… Oh, that kind of thing. OK… Shape-shifting lizards.
Interesting. Conspiracy theories do require
a wild imaginative leap. I think we can explain it in
scientific ways. So why do we believe some
more ridiculous way. Yes and of course they
spread much more readily now with the advent of social media. Who can you trust? The term conspiracy theory refers
to explanations according to which events in the world
are caused by an evil plan plotted in secret by a small
group of powerful individuals. Some decades ago
there was this tendency to conceive conspiracy
beliefs as pathological, but psychologists have shifted this. They nowadays believe
normal functions of our mind explain why people
believe in conspiracy theories. The defining features
of the conspiracy theory are: the conspirator,
the conspiratorial plan – the sinister plan that
they’re trying to bring about – and the means of mass manipulation by which the conspirator
is keeping the plan secret. Sometimes the conspirator will be
defined in terms of a concrete body with an identifiable membership. The Illuminati, or the Freemasons, Jews, more recently things
like the Bilderberg Group, the Skull and Bones Society,
and various other secret societies. However very often,
the conspirator will be defined in much vaguer terms – the Big Pharma,
the military-industrial complex, global elites and so on. So they’re always balancing
between the need to define the enemy and the need to accept that the enemy
is always going to be shady, secret and so on. Conspiracy theorists will often argue that if you destroy a group of
powerful people in the world you will not destroy the conspiracy because the plan is the key thing. Very often, that plan is going
to involve world domination, but if one looks at the level
of cover up that would be required in order to keep
all these things secret it necessitates having somebody who
is actually in control of everything. Much of the conspiracist’s writing
will involve trying to analyse what strategies and what power
the conspirators have to keep their sinister plan
or their identity hidden. Very often the manipulation
comes from the plausible – things like science,
government, media ownership – to the ludicrous – paranormal manipulation,
use of occult powers, manipulation of brainwaves. Conspiracy believers, I think they
genuinely believe in the theories and they really strive for the truth. It may seem naive, but there
is this human tendency to underestimate the role that chance
alone can play in events that occur. This belief that the world
is ultimately controllable and that is a very powerful driver of conspiracy beliefs
in moments of crisis where there is almost
like a vacuum in explanation. We see this more social function
of conspiracy beliefs in the fact that people
believe in them or not as being part of
their social identity. The stereotype is that
they’re in their cellar on the internet, looking for the
most recent conspiracy theory. But most people are neither
believers nor sceptics but fall somewhere in the middle? And for me the key question is not what differentiates the hard
believers from the hard sceptics, but how do we interpret that section
of the population in the middle. Conspiracy theories
can be dangerous for society – people who believe that
vaccines cause autism and avoid vaccinating their children,
put them in danger. A thorough thinking person could
debunk one argument at a time but could not debunk
all their arguments. The most sinister
conspiracy theories, like the anti-Semitic conspiracy
theories of the early 20th Century, or if you talk outlandish in terms
of David Icke’s alien lizards, the fundamental error
is always the same, they’re all based on the fundamentally flawed assumption about how the world works. And I think that if one makes people more aware of what conspiracy theories are it enables them,
when they see a conspiracy theory, to see it for what it is. Thanks for watching! 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell to receive notifications for new videos. See you again soon!

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8 thoughts on “Three ways to spot a conspiracy theory | BBC Ideas”

  • Hilarious…BBC is having a laugh…
    The people who are conspiracy theoriests already work for media's…
    They stage deaths all the time…
    BBC knows Aldous Huxley and C's Lewis and Disney are killed by the Kennedys…

    BBC knows aliester Crowley and Lewis Carroll created jack the Ripper…

    BBC knows Kennedy's took over Disney…

    BBC rules in lies and illusions…

    Any director for BBC can create conspiracy….it's Thier job to create crimescenes…

  • Russia rules it people in lies and illusions…
    Britain rules it people in lies and illusions..
    France rules its people in lies and illusions…

    The all lied forces rule people in lies and illusions…

    The red white and blue all lied forces…

    Useing media's to create more liars and psychopaths…

    Strange experience being human….on a world of deception….

    The language of deception is called English…

    Earth is a world of liars and psychopaths who bring fantasy to reality…

    Be careful….you never know who might kill you…

    A world of liars and psychopaths bred by television and liarsvision…

    I guess the good die young to move onto a better experience…while the bad enjoy this existence…

    Suicide cheats a life of desception…

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