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Why Don't People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

Kwade is a freelance writer who is always in pursuit of education. He feels every subject is fascinating and worth study.


Why Would a True Conspiracy Be Ignored?

A true conspiracy is ignored for several reasons. Sometimes there’s a lack of publicly available evidence. Other times, trust in the conspiring party makes it difficult to imagine they’re responsible for atrocities. In many cases, there’s a believable lie being told that also makes sense. In some cases, the truth is so strange it seems impossible. Certainly not least among these reasons is that sometimes the way the information is presented seems crazy.

Example: UFOs

Let’s look at UFOs (unidentified flying objects) for an easy example. Just to be clear, I’m only talking about the objects in the sky many of us are familiar with—whether you believe they’re aliens or not.

UFOs are spotted every day. From strange lights to fast-moving objects to strange shapes in the sky, odd sightings seem a constant thing across the world. Most sightings can be accounted for as something ordinary seen in an unusual way. Some can be classified as hoaxes. Once we rule out those two categories, the remaining UFOs left are exactly that: unidentified.

“How can you say that, Kwade?!” you ask?

Easy. They’re not identified. It’s “unidentified flying object.” That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re aliens.

Some random schmuck declaring lights that look odd are “clearly proof that aliens are abducting people” does more harm than good in seeking the truth. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and too many of us are quick to jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, there are enough ridiculous claims, it makes truly strange events easier to ignore.


Quick Thought Exercise

Pretend for just a moment the U.S. government is covering up the existence of extraterrestrial visits. The possibility that aliens are visiting our planet isn’t that far fetched on its own. The idea that some within the U.S. government would lie, isn’t a stretch at all. The problems with this idea come in when claims are made that a cover-up is in place to hide such visits. A conspiracy of alien visitation would require a monumental conspiracy including thousands of people to keep a secret. It would also mean what many rational intelligent people believe about our world would be a lie. The evidence would need to not only be powerful but also overcome the cognitive dissonance and confirmation biases of people.

Even if all of these claims are true they seem so far removed from the reality we live in it sounds crazy.

Imagine if there was an official announcement unanimously given by the president and leaders of various branches of the government in which you learned the government was run by a cheese monster named Grum who feeds off the brain-waves of politicians. You’d need some serious evidence to believe it. Even with evidence, and even coming from government officials, it would be difficult to accept such a crazy notion. It falls so far outside of what we believe to be true, most of us would think it was a hoax or a gag.

The more strange compared to what we believe, the harder it is to accept it and adjust to information.

Even completely true information doesn’t stand a chance when faced with lies we truly accept as reality.


The Takeaway

Just as believing in a conspiracy theory that seems crazy can stem from intelligent thought and research; disbelieving theories often stems from intelligent thought and being rooted in reality. Even when the conspiracy theory turns out to be true, it isn’t just willful ignorance that keeps us from believing the truth. Often just the opposite, trust for someone who seems worthy and information that seems reliable can make it difficult to find the truth.

If you’re one of the “crazy conspiracy theorists,” try to remember your passion can come off as crazy and thoughtless. Share information with a focus on good solid evidence.

If you’re a “closed-minded skeptic,” try to remember the “crazy people” aren’t all crazy, and sometimes an odd source isn’t as important as verifying the information they give.

We need to keep open minds to find new truths.

Do you have anything you’d like to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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© 2019 kwade tweeling


kwade tweeling (author) from USA on August 30, 2020:

Taco, I'm not sure how I missed replying to you.

The official story is still that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter. The reporter in question is probably still not allowed to say any different.

On that note, there was a freedom of information act request to get the full details of the case declassified for the anniversary. The ruling was that the information being released would cause harm to someone living and that the case was still a matter of national security.

Let that sink in. "Revealing the truth about JFK's assassination would reveal details about someone living that would cause harm to the security of the nation."

kwade tweeling (author) from USA on August 30, 2020:

If that comment is directed at me, you might want to read the article. Otherwise, bravo, we agree.

Eva Appleby on August 30, 2020:

How can you call people “crazy conspiracy theorists, ”just because they have seen through deception and lies that some are not even good at anymore. The world is not what we've been told and some know this as fact.

Taco Smit on November 24, 2019:

We recently had the anneversity of the J. F. Kennedy murder and a journalist said that Lee Harvey Oswald was the murderer. If this journalist never heard of the deathbed confession of Howard Hunt, then he better shuts up and leaves reporting to colleagues who know the facts!

kwade tweeling (author) from USA on January 16, 2019:

Oh dear, Paula. Thank you for a delightful comment!

I'm glad I could make you laugh on top of your appreciation for my thoughts. To me, there is little better than that.

I've watched a trend in conspiracy theories over the last twenty plus years. Many have been proven, including some I thought were crazy. It's why I'm open to even the possibility of a cheese monster (even if there's a ton of doubt). But more than that, I agree with you. Grum, or whatever he represents, is in trouble. So many minds are becoming more open. There are loud voices that try and keep us closed minded, but more and more of us are seeing the truth. Most importantly, more and more of us are realizing we need each other, and we need each other safe, sane, and supported. Sometimes it feels ugly, and sometimes we have trolls, but those are just growing pains letting us know our collective body is changing. While it's easy to lose hope in the moment, I have a lot of hope for the future of humanity.

Suzie from Carson City on January 14, 2019:

kwade...I enjoyed this article & think I can sensibly respond both on a personal level as well as speculate in terms of the general public. I believe I have heard/read my fair share of the numerous conspiracy theories that abound, now as well as in the past.

I had to laugh when I read your words, "some random schmuck".....because this is noteworthy in relationship to credibility. It stands to reason, I would safely assume, that most individuals are much more credible if having "credentials" pertaining to the topic of the conspiracy they're attempting to expose. This fact may stand on it's own common sense merit.

As for my personal stance, I admit to being a serious skeptic, but not at all "closed-minded. I'm more apt to look further & deeper, discuss with more authorities, when & if possible and remain somewhat open-minded to any & all possibilities. I might say that the expression, "All things are possible, even those that seem "crazy" because we never truly know until we know." Suffice it to say, I've not ever lost any sleep due to pondering a conspiracy theory.

I realize there are those with wild, vivid imaginations who do, in fact, get a bit crazy and appear to go off the deep end. Those folks just need a productive hobby and a good shaking! Extremes in either direction are pretty easy to handle in a rational manner.

Finally, kwade, as for the possibility of that cheese monster named Grum who feeds off the brainwaves of politicians? LOL, In our current atmosphere, I would definitely believe that poor Grum has acquired a terminal illness at this point. His time is nearly over.

Peace, Paula

kwade tweeling (author) from USA on January 14, 2019:

I believe the problem you mentioned is largely because we have such widespread access to information and each other's opinions. True conspiracies have also been proven so often, it's easier now to imagine something that sounds nuts is true. We can find more blabber, but we can find more truth too. I look at it as growing pains. We'll find a balance, but it's going to take time.

Ashutosh Joshi from New Delhi, India on January 12, 2019:

Before, these folks were raising some valid concerns (even if they weren't fully backed) and now they mostly blabber and puke horse-shit on youtube.

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