View Full Version : Is there such a thing as a worthwhile CT ?
2008-Sep-22, 10:31 AM
Considering the vast numbers of CT's thrown around daily on the web (and here !), I wonder if there actually could be a worthwhile CT, something worthwhile covering up for public benefit or whatever ?
I personally think that truths are always better but I'm sure there are some scenarios where a good cover up might be the best choice.
What do you think ?
2008-Sep-22, 02:22 PM
What do you think ?
I think we should keep the discussion space- and astronomy-related for one, since we're here in this section.
And, then are there good, beneficial, space-related conspiracies? That's hard to fathom, if your defintion of conspiracy is along these common lines, Princeton Wordnet (http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=conspiracy):
a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)
a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose
2008-Sep-22, 06:59 PM
In before this thread gets closed :)
In everyday usage, "conspiracy theory" means specifically "not-worthwhile conspiracy theory". So, by convention: No. There cannot be such a thing as a "worthwhile" CT. If it were worthwhile, we wouldn't call it a CT.
Of course, in principle any conspiracy theory that was predictive and falsifiable would be worthwhile. And of course any conspiracy theory that actually made an accurate prediction, and withstood all readily-available falsification attempts, would be extremely worthwhile. Likewise any conspiracy theory that was supported by substantial evidence.
But normally we don't talk about such conpsiracies in terms of their theory: We talk about them in terms of their factuality and practice. I.e., there's probably a worthwhile conspiracy theory about Iran-Contra, but mostly we just talk about the fact of the Iran-Contra conspiracy itself.
You might have a worthwhile theory of the conspiracy to suppress Soviet space program failures, but if you called it a conspiracy theory you'd confuse everybody and invite a lot of criticism from a lot of worthwhile people.
2008-Sep-22, 08:35 PM
Conspiracies are often referred to as 'theories' because they've not been proven.
If they actually exist, then they are typically deemed as 'facts'.
Technically, any coup, revolution, or assassination is a conspiracy. But in historical terms, they're simply referred to as the events themselves. You rarely see the terms 'conspiracy' or 'conspirators' included in the accounts.
A worthwhile conspiracy theory?
I don't even know how to define that.
Roswell? JFK's Assassination? Tupac and Biggie?
That's very subjective.
2008-Sep-22, 08:45 PM
I think the original proposition is clear enough, but let me rephrase it: Could there be cases where it is necessary for the public's own good to conceal facts from them? Historically, I think most cover-ups have been demonstrably only for the benefit of some party in power. Of course military facts are routinely concealed, and one can see the necessity of that. But it's hard to imagine a space- or astronomy-related fact that should be kept from the public for its own good. Perhaps an asteroid strike where the location would be withheld until it is known more precisely, to ensure that the evacuations would be orderly.
2008-Sep-22, 11:24 PM
Could there be cases where it is necessary for the public's own good to conceal facts from them?
E.g., Troop movements in time of war: The military and civilian leadership actively conspire to move troops in secret, concealing the facts from the public. They may even go so far as to actively lie to the public about these troop movements.
2008-Sep-23, 01:09 AM
Moved from CT to OTB as a more appropriate location.
2008-Sep-23, 03:26 AM
...What do you think ?They really should be called "Conspiracy Hypotheses", until proven otherwise. :)
[The San Diego Chargers are conspiring among their players and coaches as we speak [Monday Night Football], in "a plot to carry out some harmful...act" on the New York Jets; 48-29.]
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