Thursday, 4 July 2013

Conspiracy Versus Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy Versus Conspiracy Theory

It is important to be able to distinguish between a genuine conspiracy and a conspiracy theory. We live in an age that seems at times to be consumed by belief in both conspiracies and conspiracy theories. This post is designed to help us to both define our enemies beliefs as well as to defend ourselves from such charges.

A conspiracy is a plan made in secret, with others with the aim of carrying out some kind of action. A plan and action carried out by an individual is by definition not a conspiracy because it doesn’t involve others. A conspiracy can be for good or for ill, for example conspiring to organise a surprise party is good, conspiring to rig a jury is not good.

A conspiracy theory is the theory that a conspiracy exists. The defining divide between a conspiracy and a conspiracy theory is the role of evidence. The further along a conspiracy is the more evidence will be available that the conspiracy exists. In the case of a conspiracy theory the lack of evidence is taken as proof of the effectiveness of the “conspiracy”. Furthermore any evidence there is, is taken as proof no matter how distant the different strands may be from each other. In most cases the theory is the starting point and evidence is then sorted to fit the theory.

In further posts I will be looking at other political theories, some of which rely on conspiracy theories to form the platform upon which they exist. Namely Nazism, Communism and Feminism.

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