Monday, June 18, 2007

Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Teresa at 12:43 PM
Dennis Prager recently wrote an article that
discusses why people believe in governmental
conspiracy theories; from JFK to 9/11. He lists
six reasons why people believe in these theories.
And they are as follows:

1. Many people find it impossible to believe that a
few utterly unimpressive individuals can do so much
damage. Lee Harvey Oswald, a man who can best be
described as simply a loser, could change history all by
himself? It doesn't seem to make sense.

2. Many people want to blame those they loathe for as much
of what they do not like as possible. Just about everyone who
believes in hidden conspiracies attributes those conspiracies
to those they hate. People who hate President George W. Bush
blame him and his administration for 9/11. Egyptians who hate
Israel have blamed AIDS on Israeli prostitutes. Indeed, attributing
to Jews hidden conspiracies -- the "world Jewish conspiracy," the
"Protocols of the Elders of Zion" -- is the oldest and most common
belief in a hidden conspiracy.
Continue reading here

3. One should never underestimate the power of boredom -- and
the subsequent yearning for excitement -- to affect people's thinking
and behavior. Belief in a hidden conspiracy is far more exciting than
accepting prosaic truths. Figuring out the "mystery" of who killed JFK
is a much bigger thrill than accepting that one jerk was responsible.
Deciphering who was "really" responsible for 9/11 is a lot more interesting
than accepting that 19 Arabs with box cutters did it.

4. People who feel powerless over their own lives are far more likely to
believe that some invisible force controls their fate than people who believe
that they are the masters of their lives.

5. There is, apparently, a great yearning among many people to believe
that there is hidden knowledge and that they have access to it. It makes
them feel special, perhaps even superior to the rest of us who do not have
access to this hidden knowledge.

6. In Western societies, it appears that secular people are more likely to
believe in hidden conspiracies than the more religious. It may be that the
religious already believe in an invisible power that governs the universe
-- God -- and therefore seem to have much less of a psychological or emotional
need to believe in invisible powers on earth.

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