The Validity of Conspiracy Theories

Discussion in 'Compendium Of Kerrrr-azy Conspiracies' started by ska invita, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. gurrier

    gurrier Registered Abuser

    It's not quite obvious at all. In fact it's nonsense. It is trivial to demonstrate that a large number of people with materialist views on the world have an abhorrence for capitalism and vice versa with people of a non-materialist bent. How anybody can really believe that there is any causative link between scientific mindsets and capitalism is beyond me and makes me think that they came to their conclusion without actually looking at any of the evidence. For a start there is the glaringly obvious fact that all previous economic systems that we know anything about, which were all much less materialist than capitalism is, were also generally much more brutal and filled with suffering and exploitation for the vast majority of the population and that materialist mindsets have inspired by far the largest and most hopeful attempts to replace capitalism with something nicer.

    In short, you can only come to the conclusion that the social ills of capitalism are caused by materialism if you ignore the entire history of the world before materialism became a strong influence on human thought. Again and again we find, in history, that by far the most 'pleasant' and human of the social systems for the population have been those where materialism was strongest and spirituality weakest. By the 3rd century BC, for example, the Athenians hardly believed their own god-stories any more and their civilisation sounds vastly more pleasant than anything that existed before - or indeed for almost all of the next few millenia.

    This is ahistorical, contradicted by all the evidence and logically contradictory. According to the materialist view of the world humans are the makers of their own destiny, all that is good and the concept of good itself has been created entirely by humans. To paraphrase an old folk tale - all glory and honour is ours and ours alone - we even invented the concepts. We are the authors of our own destiny and can do pretty much whatever we set our mind to collectively. Their are no laws that bind us or govern us other than the iron laws of the universe which we can measure and understand. We can, if we so choose, organise ourselves in a way that is as pleasing as possible to as many people as possible. The fact that such marvellous things as ourselves emerged from the chaotic playing out of a box full of sums produces much more wonder and awe than any all powerful mystery ever could.

    On the other hand, to those who advocate spirituality we are just fleas at the mercy of some mysterious power which we can never really know anything about.

    Which one sounds like a humanist?
  2. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    With weary predictability, Gurrier misses the point again, weaves away from the real argument, and blunders off into an impenetrable thicket of complete irrelevancies. Look, capitalism does *not* foster a materialist mindset, it fosters a *fetishistic* mindset. Money, which rules the capitalist world, is not a material but a metaphysical phenomenon. Capitalism inculcates the notion that this purely imaginary entity is somehow real. This is, as should be obvious, the exact opposite of materialism. The covergence of capitalism and science does not consist in materialism, but in empiricism: the naive, childlike view that the world as it is immediately given to us, the world of experience, is the real world. Not that this exonerates science from the materialist fallacy, but this fallacy, as I've said before, has nothing to do with capitalism.
  3. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    No, according to the materialist view of the world, human beings create nothing. On the contrary, human beings are themselves created by material circumstances. Materialism rules out the possibility of subjective human agency altogether. In fact, philosophers use the terms "anti-humanism" and "materialism" interchangeably.
  4. gurrier

    gurrier Registered Abuser

    This message is hidden because phildwyer is on your ignore list.

    The annoying thing about vbulletin is that the email thread notifications don't respect the ignore list. :(

    Still as full of shite as ever I see phil.

    * blocks ears / turns off thread notifications *

    Please nobody quote him.
  5. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    Once again Gurrier beats a hasty and ignoble retreat, heaping yet more disgrace on himself and his entire profession. But in all seriousness, this "la la la I can't hear you" approach to intellectual discussion is deeply symptomatic, and all-too typical of our contemporary scientists. Their claim to have discovered the single possible means to truth is only sustainable through a resolute refusal to give a fair hearing to their critics. This wouldn't matter if the effects of their bigotry and pig-headedness were confined to the academy, but unfortunately the assumption that science is a privileged means to truth has deleterious effects throughout society. I don't mean to blame Gurrier personally for the impending nuclear holocaust and total destruction of the environment (although since he claims to be a scientist he must shoulder his share of the responsibility.) But the know-all arrogance and absolute refusal to engage with alternative viewpoints that he exhibits here has, in the hands of more exalted scientists than him, led us all to the brink of destruction.
  6. laptop

    laptop Freudenschade

    So we have another answer to the original question.

    Conspiracy theories are shit because they lead people to attempt to argue against rational argument.

    Then others conflate rationality with science - because they simply don't understand and, anyway, both are conspiracies to stop them spouting whatever they damn well please unchallenged, aren't they?

    Then we end up with another tedious attempt at the proof by intimidation that science - all of it - is shit, for the same reason.

    Had we in fact disposed of rationality and of science, it seems we'd be left with primitivism. Step forward someone qualified to produce a primitivist critique of conspiranoia, please...
  7. ZWord

    ZWord Freedom Next Time

    Well, I'm hardly unbiased here, but, as far as rational argument's concerned, I haven't seen a lot from you or gurrier, but I have seen a lot of rhetoric and other bullshit.

    Why can't you answer any of the questions or points that are put to you?
  8. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    Hard to tell if these arch observations are aimed in my direction, but personally, when asked about scientific rationality I'm with Ghandi: I think it would be a fine idea. I think true rationality takes into account the *purpose* which it is serving, and I don't think modern instrumental science does this. Which is not surprising since it was founded on F. Bacon's repudiation of the search for *telos,* or "final cause," in favor of the exploitation of nature through manipulation of "efficient causes." I don't think science is necessarily "shit," but I do find that twenty-first century science is serving the interests of death, destruction, oppression, greed, vanity, lust, pride and gluttony above all others. And now I'm off to the pub.
  9. laptop

    laptop Freudenschade

    So phildwyer is into religion (or "telos" if you find Greek is sexy). This we knew.

    Does the reiteration of this commitment in a thread on the validity of conspiracy theories amount to acceptance that religion and evidence-untroubled anti-rational ramblings are somehow connected?

    Or is it merely a narcisstic derail?
  10. ZWord

    ZWord Freedom Next Time

    And there is an obvious connection between our society and materialist science, + darwinian orthodoxy. At least it seems obvious to me, that the model of life as a struggle of competing variants, and the survival of the fittest, is actually quite influential in the model of human nature as competitive and brutal, which is used as an argument that capitalism is the system most suited to human nature. And perhaps in some sense it serves the continuation of phenomenal waste of money on weapons and "defence" A non-materialist non-darwinian worldview has a much harder time justifying this waste of money, whatever George Bush's "christianity" says about it.

    Why can't you answer any of the points and questions put to you laptop.

    What's your explanation for toads falling out of the sky, for one.?,
    well not wishing to make assumptions,
    What's your explanation for reports of toads falling out of the sky, or appearing to have fallen out of the sky?
  11. gurrier

    gurrier Registered Abuser

    That's rubbish. I have made many clear and falsifiable statements on this thread and I am happy to back them up with as much evidence and argumentation as you want. The description of my contributions as rhetoric is most unfair.

    I can't discern any particular questions that I've failed to answer either. Maybe you could spell them out succinctly?

    Incidentally, when I refered to the "300 people in you head" I was not implying that you were mad, just that you appeared to be arguing against all sorts of things that have not been brought up on this thread. I therefore surmised that you were engaging with imagined versions of your opponents and you were not paying sufficent attention to the details of what your opponents were actually saying.
  12. ZWord

    ZWord Freedom Next Time

    Oh right, well maybe I misinterpreted you, sorry. It did seem that way.
  13. ZWord

    ZWord Freedom Next Time

    There was the greeks and your dialogue between ZWord and Euclid, followed by this apparent suggestion that I was imagining things, and then just recently, the -I've got you on ignore- post to phil.

    But I do imagine things, I mean that's how we all think really, is by imagining things out of incomplete data.

    I asked you earlier, how the view I stated about the origin of DNA that you said you agreed with, more or less, how it could be falsified?

    I don't think you replied. But in a way the question about the toads is more interesting I reckon. :D

    (I have a paranoid streak, there's no denying it. Possibly when arguments get heated, and people start getting at me personally, I over react.)
    I find it difficult to tell, but in a way, I suspected you were playing on that with your post poking at my mentality. And again, I wondered how that was falsifiable. After all it was you who said that a non-falsifiable statement was useless. I thought that was kind of extreme, I thought normally people held this view when they were talking about scientific hypotheses, not for life in general.
  14. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    Laptop you serpentine scoundrel, you're the one who brought me into this thread with the following totally unnecessary and uncalled-for comment, when I wasn't even contributing:

    "Are you phildwyer's other login? One of his themes (apart from some form of made-up religion and creationism) is that he resents the authority with which science gets to speak and wants [whatever-it-is-he-teaches] to get the same respeck'"

    Well, what have you got to say for yourself now? Why bring me into it, I wonder just how sexy you do find my Greek?

    You cheeky monkey Lap
  15. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    The first part of what you say here is true--indeed your statements are not merely "falsifiable" but falsified. But the latter part is visibly false; in fact, when challenged, you hit ignore and, I gather, put your fingers in your ears.
  16. Jazzz

    Jazzz the truth don't care Banned


    I would like to draw people's attention to this thread which should form the basis for settling this debate gentlemanly.
  17. Azrael23

    Azrael23 Banned Banned

    No you`re right, I was overgeneralising so I could wax lyrical. The unfortunate side effects of hangovers and AK-47 eh?
    Spirituality is not confined to a belief in Gods. It is a journey inside yourself, I`m sorry I guess I should`ve explained myself better, I always forget I have to speak Newspeak. ;)

    Half of me wants to destroy that post, however a slightly better half knows thread hijacking is bad for the greater good.
  18. gurrier

    gurrier Registered Abuser

    You could demonstrate an alternative. You could find a physical law which was broken by the theory. You could even demonstrate the statistical improbability of it - which is what creationists attempt to do, except they aren't honest and so just make up the numbers to suit their conclusion.

    I don't know anything about toads, but I don't find it particularly hard to imagine perfectly ordinary explanations for the incident you are referring to.

    * are there known examples of fairly large things being picked up by the wind? - yes (storms, hurricanes, etc) therefore, we have a perfectly ordinary and well known mechanism for something like this.

    * are there known examples of fairly large things being carried long distances through the air - yes. birds can be carried thousands of miles on convection currents without using virtually any energy at all. Even squirrels can float on air for surprisingly long distances. It doesn't take any great leap to imagine that such a thing is possible with toads.
  19. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    That's right. Darwin's long-disproved explanation for evolution--that it is caused exclusively by the competitive adaptation of individual organisms--was indeed based on the economics of Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus and, beyond that, on the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. It is a fine example of suppoedly objective science being influenced by, or rather formed out of, ideology. As Darwin himself admits:

    "In October 1838, that is fifteen months after I had begun my systematic enquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus' Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence [a phrase used by Malthus] which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be a new species. Here then I had at last got hold of a theory by which to work."
    -- Charles Darwin

    Would that our modern scientists were so candid!
  20. laptop

    laptop Freudenschade

    And how much was Adam Smith influenced in turn by (a misunderstanding of) Robert Boyle's model of Perfect Gases?

    The fundamentalist-free-market tendency use a model which is logically equivalent.

    Theirs leads to the conclusion "there is no such thing as society".

    Boyle's leads to the conclusion "there is no water (at room temperature)" - for the same reason, which I don't have time to go into.

    Boyle understood the limitations; Smith did too, by the evidence of the conclusion of Book One; but the fundamentalists don't.

    Difference is, this suggestion is addressing the content of the models.

    You're still doing a literary-criticism of the antecedents, because that's what you can do. To someone who has only a hammer, all problems look like nails...
  21. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    You're right of course, that's why I post about such matters here. But there's nothing wrong with doing science as part of the history of ideas. This is very interesting about Boyle, who is himself incredibly interesting for the transition from alchemy to chemistry. This has always struck me as the paradigmatic instance of the Baconian revolution. I would hypothesize that the logical equivalence to which you allude is due to the discliplines of economics and chemistry simultaneously abandoning natural teleology as the basis of their investigations.
  22. Azrael23

    Azrael23 Banned Banned

    Disciplines definitely overlap. A recent example being that the behaviour of air molecules (i.e. their random movement but with predictable consequences) matches almost exactly the random action of a consumer. The most interesting find of this discipline is that all capital movement can be predicted and patterns of capital creation and utility marked and even predicted.
    According to these calculations only 3% of the worlds population actually have any economic power in their own right. So you can say that its scientifically proven that 97% of the worlds population are slaves.

    Nice. :rolleyes:

    PS Gurrier I think you`ll find many evolutionists have done the maths on the story of creation and come up with equally staggering odds. Please don`t generalise and certainly don`t bad mouth on a subject you clearly have some kind of biasness on.
  23. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    That's torn it. Run, hide, flee the wrath to come...
  24. Azrael23

    Azrael23 Banned Banned

    I will not be drawn into any kind of petty conflict. I`m here to make the odd point and enjoy some sensible discussion. Not to engage in playground antics.

    PS I agree with a lot of what you post phil. Keep the good work up! :D
  25. gurrier

    gurrier Registered Abuser

    Not a very accurate portrayal of the findings. By comparing transfers of wealth between individuals in our society to various physical laws, the research showed that for 97% of the world's population (where the data matches boyle's law), there is no net increase in wealth over time, while there is a constant accumulation of extra wealth by the top 3% where the data matches a different law. It allows you to predict that the top 3% will continue to get rich over time and the gap between them and the static remainder of the population will continue to widen. It doesn't allow you to predict anything else. While it is always nice to have as much evidence for
    something as you can, I don't think that this finding was particularly earth shattering as it is common knowledge among anybody who cares to look at the world at all closely.
    Not at all accurate.

    My 'biasness' [sic] could also be described as 'understanding what I'm talking about'. I don't think you'll find any serious scientific 'evolutionist' propounding the statistically impossible argument against non-directed abiogenisis. You certainly won't find any doing so who don't believe in invisible 12 dimensional bunny rabbits. To put it simply, we lack so much of the data that would need to form the parameters of any attempt to calculate the probabilty of such a thing, therefore, anybody who claims to be able to put a specific number on the calculation is a charlatan and a fraud.
  26. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    Lack of data never stopped Darwin, or his gradualist followers, from insisting on their theory of evolution. In fact, Darwin used the lack of data--the alleged gaps in the fossil record--to justify his theory, since that theory is contradicted by the available empirical evidence. With regard to applying the methods of natural science to the formation of capital, I would point out that such an approach leaves out of account the true nature of capital. Capital is not part of the natural world, but a symbolic representation of human activity. It is at root *human*, and so can only be usefully studied using the methods of the human sciences.
  27. pk

    pk drink flounce rinse repeat

    Conspiracy journalism????

    What journalism?

    A bunch of clearly invented paranoid bollocks repeated by fuckwits obsessed with The Matrix???

    This has been done to death - "Dr" Jazzz posts up a "theory" and it gets demolished by proven fact, then he'll counteract with selective quotes from cunts like Jeff Rense which are also lies, and they are demolished also, then you get the predictable "at least I'm open minded" bullshit.

    In the meantime gullible twats take Jeff Rense's shit as fact, and blame the Jews for everything.

    That's not journalism that's what I'd call a smear campaign, and one which Urban75 should not risk an ounce of credibility by entertaining.

    Fuck all the conspiranoids.
  28. fela fan

    fela fan sunny thailand

    You seem obsessed with drj pk.

    I'd advocate a kind of journalism we had in the pre-murdoch days, you know, like when the mirror took up the job of the fourth estate and acted as the public's watchman agaisnt the excesses of those in power, ie government and whoever is pulling their strings.

    Undoubtedly many things happen that we don't hear about, or that we hear the wrong version touted as 'truth' and 'fact'.

    I'd imagine niksatavia was saying that journalism has regressed and is allowing the big powers (whoever they may be) to get away with their crimes.

    Hardly any investigative reporting goes on these days. Perhaps that is in part due to the USG's experience over reporting of the vietnam war.

    For example, is it conspiracy to claim that the US are using uranium in their weapons in iraq? Yet, that is not what you hear in the mainstream media, with the exception of writers like robert fisk.

    Is he a conspiranoid in your mind?

    I think sometimes your obsession with this word and 'conspiracy theory' blinds you to a reality.

    Like urban in fact. The terms have been completely hijacked to silence debate about the wrongdoings by the US and UKGs. It's got to the stage where folk get derided completely unfairly. And that is a big pity. I'd say that going hand in hand with this regressed jounalism is an increase in the crimes of those we elect, supposedly to serve us.

    Our freedoms are suffering.
  29. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Do you think he needs to take a look in your 'mirrors' and get his 'perspective filters' realigned?
  30. lockjaw

    lockjaw New Member

    Contrary to the views of some people , I don`t think `conspiracy theorists` are anti-Jewish (although some undoubtedly are), but many are anti-Zionist which is very different.

    For instance, one group of Jewish `conspiracy theorists` - the Neturei Karta - on their websites list what they believe is evidence that Zionist leaders conspired to allow the deaths of many of their fellow Jews at the hands of the Nazis, in order to facilitate their political goal of Israel, which the Neturei Karta see as an anti-Judaical, heretical state in its current and modern historical form.

    My point is that there is a danger of overgeneralisations on the subject matter in this thread.

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