Author Topic: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?  (Read 1885 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online arthwollipot

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4875
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2016, 08:13:25 PM »
I think it is far more likely that you know people who believe in various conspiracies, you just don't know it. They are simply too common among society at large.

I think so too. Unless arthwollipot only hangs out with skeptics.

I hang out with friends. My friends tend to have similar interests to me - otherwise why the hell am I hanging out with them?

I do know one guy who is a right-wing climate change denier - I don't know whether he believes in other conspiracies or not - but he is very definitely not a friend.

I honestly cannot think of a single person who is a friend of mine who believes in conspiracy theories. I know some religious people, but they are the cool liberal we-like-pokemon-and-gay-marriage type of religious.

I did have an old guy in my Uber once who spent the whole trip ranting about how terrible the very idea of government was. Does that count?

Offline Johnny Slick

  • "Goddammit, Slick."
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 11990
  • Fake Ass Skeptic
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2016, 08:29:52 PM »
Yeah, around here it's not even weirdo conspiracy theorists per se, although "someone other than Oswald killed JFK" is definitely a weirdo conspiracy theory. These are otherwise normal people about whom you wouldn't even know until you talked about November 22, 1963 and then they will bring up the magic bullet, the grassy knoll, and so on.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9857
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2016, 08:31:00 PM »
I don't know anyone like that.

You know nobody who thinks that Oswald was not the only person involved in the killing of Kennedy?

Not personally, no.
Lucky bastard!

Online arthwollipot

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4875
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2016, 08:35:39 PM »
I don't know anyone like that.

You know nobody who thinks that Oswald was not the only person involved in the killing of Kennedy?

Not personally, no.
Lucky bastard!

Not lucky, really. I just choose not to associate with those people. They're not my kind of people.

Offline InsanePat

  • Keeps Priorities Straight
  • ***
  • Posts: 292
  • coward among the cowards
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2016, 01:04:53 AM »
I remember one of the first sgu episodes, with an interview of a skeptic who runned a website... when something involved the government, he sounded like a conspiracy theorist... I guess we all have our loopholes.
Some people around me believe in insane things, I was a bit astonished when I was told mickael Jackson was killed by his doctor injecting "insoline" (sic) for reasons we shan't know, tried to argue a bit but with delusionnal people it seems pointless.

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9857
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2016, 06:53:59 AM »
I don't know anyone like that.

You know nobody who thinks that Oswald was not the only person involved in the killing of Kennedy?

Not personally, no.
Lucky bastard!

Not lucky, really. I just choose not to associate with those people. They're not my kind of people.
I try really hard to make that choice too. But people I like or even respect just always come out with one conspiracy theory or another. I often try to correct the erroneous information but it becomes apparent that they actually dont care and often even make fun of me for caring.

My response to conspiracy theories now is to just say nothing, because the social cost is higher than I would like and I would prefer to use my indulgence capital to talk to people about social issues.

Offline stonesean

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7406
  • Dumb sailor on the Sea of Awesome
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2016, 08:34:37 AM »
I don't know anyone like that.

You know nobody who thinks that Oswald was not the only person involved in the killing of Kennedy?

I have a buddy I've known for decades who is a James Randi fan, loves reading Hitchens, had P&T Bullshit watching marathons with, is an Atheist, and who shares most of my viewpoints on the world.  And yet, he is totally convinced that Oswald was not working alone with the Kennedy assassination.  It's the strangest thing.

I just make sure I never talk about Kennedy with him.  That's all.
Well.  There it is.

Online arthwollipot

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4875
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2016, 07:48:09 PM »
I don't know anyone like that.

You know nobody who thinks that Oswald was not the only person involved in the killing of Kennedy?

Not personally, no.
Lucky bastard!

Not lucky, really. I just choose not to associate with those people. They're not my kind of people.
I try really hard to make that choice too. But people I like or even respect just always come out with one conspiracy theory or another. I often try to correct the erroneous information but it becomes apparent that they actually dont care and often even make fun of me for caring.

My response to conspiracy theories now is to just say nothing, because the social cost is higher than I would like and I would prefer to use my indulgence capital to talk to people about social issues.

Nope. I don't know anyone like that.

I guess I'm just lucky.

Online Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10538
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2016, 07:53:44 PM »
I'd say you're unlucky.  Its a shame you don't surround yourself with variety, it makes life more interesting. 

Offline AQB24712

  • Not a Euphemism.
  • Global Moderator
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *****
  • Posts: 5382
  • Did you just call me..."Bacon girl"?
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2016, 08:02:12 PM »
I'd say you're unlucky.  Its a shame you don't surround yourself with variety, it makes life more interesting.

He's working as an Uber driver...talk about surrounding yourself with variety.
"There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."  Kurt Vonnegut
"You can bet your last money it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey."  Don Cornelius
"Wow! You spark up my entire thinking faculty."  A scammer/bot on a dating site

Online arthwollipot

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4875
  • Observer of Phenomena
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2016, 09:23:23 PM »
I'd say you're unlucky.  Its a shame you don't surround yourself with variety, it makes life more interesting.

He's working as an Uber driver...talk about surrounding yourself with variety.

Most small talk does not involve how many people were involved in JFK's assassination. It's quite possible - even likely - that some of my riders will have been conspiracy theorists, but it's not a conversation that I've ever had. And anyway, I was talking about people I hang around with regularly. Friends.

Offline palosun

  • Off to a Start
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Been skeptical since the Ginsu
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2016, 09:13:40 PM »
Our cab driver in New Orleans (out of nowhere) started ranting about "don' t go into those Voodoo shops. You'll be possessed by a demon!" Reminds me of people who are against things like Harry Potter and The Smurfs because Papa Smurf practices the dark arts." hahaha. Never quite know what to say after that. Start asking them questions I suppose and when they ask what you think...be honest. Be kind.

Offline Drosophila

  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
    • Wildly Into Nature
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2016, 12:24:45 PM »
Method:
I have a new approach I like to use whenever I come across a conspiracy theorist. I ask them if there are conspiracy theories they have looked into but do not accept as real. My goal is for them to (hopefully) name one such conspiracy, and then compare the rhetoric used with that conspiracy to the one they do accept as real. Since all conspiracy theories are pretty much the same, I hope to show them that the ridiculousness of the theory they don't believe, also applies to the one they do believe. Sort of get around their guarded pet theory and show the error in the general thinking of conspiracy theorists.

Results:
I've only had the chance to do this twice. The first time, I got no answer (this was online). The second time, I came across a conspiracy theorist who actually believed every single theory I could list, that he had heard of. The ones he hadn't heard of seemed more than plausible, according to him. Every. Single. One.

Discussion:
More research is needed in order to determine if this is an effective approach.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 12:29:40 PM by Drosophila »
Be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do! The world is your sandbox!

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9857
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2016, 12:34:38 PM »
I like that.
Most that Ive seen do claim "Well obviously X is ridiculous, but Y is different"
Asking them to consider if they have actually changed their minds or not is an interesting idea.

Offline Noisy Rhysling

  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
    • Hyperwar, WWII in Hypertext.
Re: How do you approach or handle everyday conspiracy theorists?
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2016, 12:37:02 PM »
When I was in high school one of my neighbors was a "FDR let it happen on purpose" guy.

He was also a veteran, having served with Washington at Valley Forge.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

 

personate-rain
personate-rain