February 2, 2017
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Fighting conspiracy theories with reason and evidence on the Internet is often tiresome and irritating. It usually involves extreme details of some scientific, historical or technology topic and it takes a long time to learn both the broad picture and details. During the same time it takes for you to refute their misinformation, the conspiracy theorists have already put forward another twelve faulty claims in an unending cat and mouse game. There is thus a great need to combine these detailed refutations with broader objections that attack the general structure of conspiracy theories.
The six strategies to attack any conspiracy theory that will be discussed in this article cover many different aspects of the situation. The “no leaks” objection wonders how thousands of people can carry out complex and evil plans without there being any leaks. The “evidence gap” objection asks why there is so much evidence for conspiracies that turn out to be true, but hardly any for common conspiracy theories. The “inconsistent capabilities” objection wonders why perpetrators are deemed highly intelligent and efficient, but cannot take down websites and videos or stage “accidents” to get rid of conspiracy theories.
The “prediction horizon” objection discuss how the complexities of reality makes it difficult to make highly accurate predictions for detailed conspiracy plans. The “method-goal mismatch” objection points out that there are many easier ways for perpetrators to reach their goals than the convoluted ways indicated by conspiracy theories. Finally, the “non-falsifiable” objection concludes that conspiracy theories are often consistent with both evidence for and against them, making them fairly impotent as explanations for anything.
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