Conspiracy Theories: Slippery Paranoid Slope?

I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person. For me they’re often fascinating takes on unsolved mysteries. Or even solved mysteries. Unfortunately some individuals take conspiracy...
Conspiracy Theories: Slippery Paranoid Slope?
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  • I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person. For me they’re often fascinating takes on unsolved mysteries. Or even solved mysteries.

    Unfortunately some individuals take conspiracy theories to a disturbingly excessive extreme.

    Ever been accused of being a government plant or paid off by “The Man”? Then you’ve never run into a hardcore conspiracy theorist. Be grateful, because such encounters are often as baffling as they are annoying.

    That statement may ruffle the feathers of those who view such a comment as an attempt to make conspiracy theorists look “bonkers” (a favorite accusation of the more paranoid conspiracy theorists…).

    However, at some point people need to be able to back up their arguments with facts and not the assertion that a total stranger is being paid to spread misinformation.

    There is a big difference between indulging in the belief that things are being purposely hidden by individuals with nefarious purposes and the need to accuse everyone who doesn’t think like you of being on the inside of some master scheme.

    It’s important to remember that unethical government and business practices are actually readily acknowledged by the average person as these events are often front page news.

    Just ask Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, or “Deep Throat”: Whistle-blowing is a time honored tradition.

    If we know this to be so, it’s easy to acknowledge that there are valid reasons to have conspiracy theories. In fact, some theories have been proven right.

    So when do conspiracy theories go off the rails?

    1.) When they are developed based on unsubstantiated fear and bigotry rather than supporting evidence. At the heart of the more bizarre conspiracies is often the belief that the theorist is in danger.

    Really, if what you knew was so dangerous, it’s logical to believe that you’d already be dead instead of living to blab all over Facebook and Reddit from a computer that’s more traceable than you think.

    There’s actually no reason to be afraid because…

    2.) You’re just not that special. Some people seek to uncover the truth in order to bring a very real wrong to the attention of the world. Others spend all day discussing their opinion on the internet because of a need to convince the world of how much smarter they are than everyone else.

    It’s easy to guess which group is useful and proactive and which group is full of ridiculously entitled windbags.

    At the end of the day, conspiracy theories are suppose to be centered around a mysterious event. When each discussion is brought around to you and your ego…you’ve lost the plot.

    3.) You are not entitled to know everything. Imagine that you knew everything there is to know about the universe and all events from the beginning to the end of time.

    You know how the universe started and will end. You know who killed Kennedy. You know what really led to the founding of Christianity and whether or not Jesus existed. You know whether or not there is an Illuminati and the members of every secret society that ever existed.

    Now…what can you possibly do with billions of years of knowledge in a single human lifetime?

    It seems like the easiest answer is to tell everyone as much as you can.

    Guess what?

    Not everyone is going to believe you or care about what you know.

    You will likely be dead anyway since that is often the fate of the men who know too much and then talk too much. C’est la vie.

    Even if you are magically spared an involuntary vanishing act, you will probably be extremely unhappy since being burdened with so much information will likely strain your mental faculties.

    Does this mean the pursuit of truth is pointless? Never!

    When overindulging in conspiracies threatens your ability to discuss world events sensibly or even function possibly, it’s simply wise to walk away. The best use of acquired knowledge isn’t just illuminating; it’s actually put to use.

    Anyone can mouth off paranoid theories on the internet. It takes a special person to put what they know to good use and improve the world around them.

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