Author Topic: Washington Post on our "favorite" theory  (Read 1134 times)


Offline bknight

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Re: Washington Post on our "favorite" theory
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 10:35:40 AM »
From the article
Quote
Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard professor of the history of science, says all this conspiracy-mongering does matter when it comes to issues such as climate change and vaccine safety.
“Without trust in institutional authority — and particularly without trust in science — we are left with no way to correct disinformation,” Oreskes said. “And from there, it is a downward spiral.”

That about sums up the CTs, including the Apollo hoax believers.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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Offline raven

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Re: Washington Post on our "favorite" theory
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 12:19:25 AM »
Indeed. I've been saying it for years: conspiracism is from a distrust of the authorities, fairly reasonable in certain aspects but ballooned into something more.

Offline rocketman

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Re: Washington Post on our "favorite" theory
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 07:49:52 AM »
From the article
Quote
Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard professor of the history of science, says all this conspiracy-mongering does matter when it comes to issues such as climate change and vaccine safety.
“Without trust in institutional authority — and particularly without trust in science — we are left with no way to correct disinformation,” Oreskes said. “And from there, it is a downward spiral.”

That about sums up the CTs, including the Apollo hoax believers.

Ouch.  I really, really hope that's not what a Harvard professor actually said.  I've had highly edited/selective quotes of my own appear in the media, so I'll give the benefit of the doubt, but I hope that is not what was actually said.

How does the validity of the scientific method stem from "trust in institutional authority"?

Should people living in places with corrupt institutions reject science?

The head of the executive branch of the US government repeatedly claims that global warming is a hoax.  Should we trust in the authority of the institution of the US government executive branch?  (He used to promote the whole vaccine/autism thing, but seems to have dropped that.)

The Nazis argued that there was a scientific basis to antisemitism, and Stalin supported Lysenkoism.  It's a good thing not everyone had "trust in institutional authority".

The reason we should reject the goofier conspiracy theories is because they are not supported by facts and evidence, not because of "trust in institutional authority".

Offline onebigmonkey

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Re: Washington Post on our "favorite" theory
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 08:19:33 AM »
I understand your argument, but the statement can be read not just as 'blindly follow what you're being told' but also as 'trust that an authority is telling you the truth'. Obviously not all authorities, government or otherwise, are universally honest, but the perception for a lot of people is that none of them are, at any point, ever. The starting point for people is that authority is bad, mmkay, and if they tell you that one thing is bad incorrectly (or even a perfectly correct statement that just doesn't fit in with their world view), then absolutely everything they say is incorrect. Wearing a uniform? You're lying. White coat? Lying. Got a degree? Lying to protect your cushy salary and your research grants. And so on and so on.

It isn't that people should just accept what they are being told, it's that they refuse to accept what they are being told because of who is telling them it regardless of whether the information is correct.

Offline MBDK

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Re: Washington Post on our "favorite" theory
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019, 12:49:43 AM »
It isn't that people should just accept what they are being told, it's that they refuse to accept what they are being told because of who is telling them it regardless of whether the information is correct.
Yes.  It is a recognized logical fallacy.  From:
http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/engl1311/fallacies.htm

The Argument from Motives (also Questioning Motives): The fallacy of declaring a standpoint or argument invalid solely because of the evil, corrupt or questionable motives of the one making the claim. E.g., "Bin Laden wanted us to withdraw from Afghanistan, so we have to keep up the fight!" Even evil people with the most corrupt motives sometimes say the truth (and even good people with the highest and purest motives are often wrong or mistaken). A variety of the Ad Hominem argument. The opposite side of this fallacy is falsely justifying or excusing evil or vicious actions because of the perpetrator's aparent purity of motives or lack of malice. (E.g., "Sure, she may have beaten her children bloody now and again but she was a highly educated, ambitious professional woman at the end of her rope, deprived of adult conversation and stuck between four walls for years on end with a bunch of screaming, fighting brats, doing the best she could with what little she had. How can you stand there and accuse her of child abuse?") See also Moral Licensing.
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