Should We Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

886 words - 4 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed
VIEW DOCUMENT
Preview

There are a great number of conspiracy theories in the world and their popularity is higher than ever. For example, there are many conspiracy theories around the bombings of the world trade center; one of these theories proposes that the world trade center bombings were executed so that the United States could invade the Middle East. An important question that arises, when considering conspiracy theories, is should we believe them? Brain Keeley discusses this problem in his paper, “Of Conspiracy Theories”. But what exactly is a conspiracy theory? According to Keeley, “a conspiracy theory is a proposed explanation of some historical event (or events) in terms of the significant causal agency of a relatively small group of persons … acting in secret.” (Section III, 116) Keeley points towards something interesting about this definition, the conspirators must act in secret because if the “truth” was known their plans will fail. So in-order to stop their “evil plans” we must believe in the theory. (Section III, 116) The plan of the conspirators being evil is one characteristic of the type of conspiracy theories Keeley discusses in his paper. For example, a small group of friends acting in secret to throw their friend a birthday party is, according to the above definition, a conspiracy. So to draw a distinction between birthday-party type conspiracies and the conspiracy theories Keeley wishes to discuss he lists certain characteristics to differentiate them. These characteristics are: (i) the explanation a conspiracy theory offers clashes against the official story, (ii) conspiracy theory bring together events that are not related (iii) the secrets of a conspiracy theory are protected, and (iv) a tool called errant data, which is divided into unaccounted for data and contradictory data. (Section III, 117) Unaccounted for data are data that the official story does not explain but the conspiracy theory does and contradictory data are data that contradict the official story. (Section III, 118)

One of the reasons that conspiracy theories are so popular is because they can explain events that the official story cannot and also – by evoking a conspiracy – the conspiracy theory can explain the official story as well. So it of course seems wise to believe a theory that explains things better than another theory. However, Keeley argues that just because a theory explains all the events, it does warrant justified belief. (Section IV, 119) This is because not all events may be true, or completely true and so a theory that explains false events is likely to be false.

Another problem with conspiracy theories is that evidence against them turns into evidence for them. (Section IV, 120) In other words, a conspiracy theorist will simply...

Find Another Essay On Should We Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

Why We Should Have Computers In Elementary Classrooms

686 words - 3 pages Every day in our life we use technology to do our basic communication, such as a telephone for talking, a computer for seeing and so on. In school, teachers communicate to different students by giving them class lessons about math, reading, writing, science and etc. According to Robinson, schools are teaching students as “factory base.”—Where elementary students are accordingly kept by their age instead of their skills and talents. How does the...

Should We Go Gentle In To The Night?

985 words - 4 pages the United States."This is euthanasia, a topic that has become synonymous with the name Dr. Jack Kevorkian. While his work was indeed controversial, he made public the topic of extreme patient suffering and a doctor's role in confronting it. Whether you oppose or support Dr. Kevorkian's work, we should all remember that there is only one certainty in life - the fact that it will one day end. It is my hope that you are...

In This Paper, We Are Checking Out Two Theories Of Intelligence; Charles Spearman And Howard

897 words - 4 pages Scholars have attempted for many years to gain an understanding about the nature of intelligence; and they have yet to agree on a single definition or theory. Many theorists analyze the results of intelligence tests and identify clusters of abilities. Others believe that intelligence encompasses many abilities that cannot be captured by tests. (Encarta msn, 2007) In this paper, we will be exploring two theories of intelligence; ...

In Praise Of Big Brother: Why We Should Discover To Stop Worrying And Love Government Surveillance

1897 words - 8 pages Part I: James Stacey Taylor's article, "In Praise of Big Brother: Why We Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Government Surveillance" begins reviewing the concept of "Big Brother" as it was originally presented in George Orwell's 1984. The Big Brother started off as a fictional character in 1984-- a dictator of Oceania within a totalitarian state. Set within a society in which everyone is under complete surveillance by the authorities...

Misundertanding of Algebra: Why We Should Continue to Have It in Our Math Programs

2706 words - 11 pages national sample of transcripts that saw mathematics, starting with algebra, had almost double the number of F’s and D’s compared as other subjects (Is Algebra Necessary). It also mentions that only nine percent of students who took the SAT in 2009 received more than 700 in math (Is Algebra Necessary). As more students are failing to understand algebra, the debate of what should be the minimum level of math keeps growing. I believe we need to...

Should we use Stem Cells in Order to Cure Other Diseases?

932 words - 4 pages for it is easier to discard the embryos and make a new ones. This action looks horrifying for many people, because it is shocking to even imagine this situation. This is why there’s this debate, where some people believe that it is not fair to clone an embryo and just use it for his stem cells and when this is done the embryo gets discarded. Scientists are literary killing and curing at a same time. So we get to choose one side. They have been a...

Should We Ban Violent Video Games For Fueling Violence In Teens?

2245 words - 9 pages If the readers are familiar with video games, then ripping someone’s heart out right in front of their eyes and beating them to death with it should obviously ring a bell. Due to realism in today’s video games, many gamers are immune to strong language, blood, death and violence shown. As video games evolved, many critics believe that the strong content in video games are making gamers aggressive and lazy. There is an on going debate between...

To What Degree Should We Accept The Veiws Offered In This Source?

1333 words - 5 pages places where “internationalism is to believe in peace…” But it is hard or rather borderline impossible to find times when “Nationalists… cause world wars and [are] supporters of genocide,” that is since they are not. Nationalists are purely people who honor their nation; it is the ultranationalists that originate the wars and that start the genocides. It is by using this information we can gather that the source has a fairly bias origin in assuming...

In Response To The Prompt: "We Are Not Morons": Governments Should Butt Away From Young Individuals's Life.

1098 words - 4 pages that same motive to justify limiting other freedoms of ours. In contrast, our Rights to Education and Good Role Models have been neglected by our somewhat hypocritical culture, which teaches us that binge drinking is acceptable, that following the crowd is paramount, and that we should aspire to such dubious role models as Corey Worthington. Often the very problems which our government tries to fix through freedom-restricting laws are caused by...

Should We, As Citizens, Be Morally Concerned With All The Poverty And Hunger Rampant In Our World Today?

2606 words - 10 pages white people had continued to keeping the power.Poverty and hunger are important problem to discuss, because it is not acceptable that in the year of 2006 when we can walk on the moon, clone animals and do the most incredible things but not succeed to give every human being an acceptable standard of living.The poverty is the main reason for starvation. Starvation is the biggest consequence of poverty.Justice is an important...

We Should Fight Sex Trafficking In Europe

2506 words - 10 pages are not protected the way they should be. The government in Europe does not consider cases dealing with sex trafficking as a priority and in return people’s lives continue to be in danger. These women have asked for help from the government, but they are often not seen as physically abused victims so they are not usually saved. The number of asylums increased at a large rate between the years of 1992-1997 (Morrison 34). An asylum is...

Other Should We Believe in Conspiracy Theories? Essays

Should We Believe Beyond Evide Essay

1692 words - 7 pages statement as true unless we have good evidence to support its truth" (Voices of Wisdom, 346). James wrote his essay, The Will to Believe, as a response to Clifford's essay where he endorsed a philosophy called pragmatism.Pragmatism is described in the book as a method for settling philosophical disputes. It is based on the pragmatic theory of truth. This theory says that a "proposition p is true if and only if the belief that 'p is true' works...

Should We Be In Iraq? Essay

1369 words - 5 pages Should We Be In Iraq?Since the invasion of Iraq in operation Iraqi Freedom on March 19, 2003, 363 American soldiers have lost their lives along with many other soldiers from many other countries (Military). The actions and events taking place in Iraq are viewed as...

We Should Stop Bullying In Schools

1045 words - 4 pages Baylor College of Medicine professor, recommends targeting anti bullying efforts at neither bullies nor victims but a third party: bystanders ... Twemlow and a colleague found that schools that focus on punishing bullies and counseling victims report more violence that schools that engage bystanders in understanding that saying something about what you see isn’t always tattling” (Cloud 43). He means that schools should change their focus to...

Should We Restrict Laws In Other Countries?

651 words - 3 pages Essay On Article: Teens Flogging Posponed Although we believe that physical abuse is wrong for punishment, the Islamic court uses it traditionally and without remorse. The question has come into play about whether countries such as Canada and the United States should take action and challenege the Islamic "Sharia" law, as it is called. It is wrong for Canada and...