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Conspiracy Theory - What is that?

Conspiracy theories - definition, examples and how to recognize them

What are conspiracy theories? Personally, I am happy when a discussion becomes more emotional, as long as you stick to the facts. But every now and then - and especially nowadays - I find myself in situations where people want to sell their personal opinion as fact without any evidence, even though it can be refuted in a matter of seconds on the basis of sober data and facts. Even if such conspiracy theories are completely unfounded, they unfortunately remain a topic of discussion for quite a long time.

They drive me crazy. After all, they're not facts, they're just crude, untrue theories and unsubstantiated opinions that aren't worth discussing or passing off as fake arguments. Ultimately, they can stop real social progress, endanger people and their relationships with each other and cause real harm.

In this article, I would like to give you everything you need to know about conspiracy theories - how to define, recognize and debunk them, how they work and which examples have gained particular notoriety. Let's go!

You can find a brief overview of the article here in advance:

  1. Definition
  2. Distribution
  3. Examples
  4. What to do?
  5. Closing words

What is a conspiracy theory?

Definition conspiracy theory

A conspiracy theory is understood to be the Suspicion that a group of people have come together in secretto achieve a common goal that may endanger other people. So a lot of subjunctive. In the end, it is only called conspiracy THEORY because there is simply no evidence for the supposed conspiracy.

So-called conspiracy theorists are people who nevertheless believe these theories. They usually firmly believe that a certain event only happened because certain people (the conspirators) conspired to bring it about. They do not believe in coincidence, but in a grand plan in the background. In the end, however, only Reality and invented facts mixed together.

Why do conspiracy theories work at all?

It basically only needs a culpritwho particularly benefits from the occurrence of a certain event, a theory that many people would like to be true, as well as people and the mediawho believe them, share them and spin them on.

Anyone who believes in a conspiracy makes it much easier to accept a true but rather undesirable fact. Information that does not confirm your own beliefs is completely ignored. Other claims and opinions are not allowed. Instead, those who express them are simply part of the conspiracy. That's it. Nobody scratches their own beliefs. There is no interest in logical, disproving explanations. What is interesting, however, is what supports the conspiracy theorists' own, but of course only real, truth. So it is actually even a conspiracy ideology.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

 Mark Twain

Especially with the help of (social) media crude conjectures often spread like wildfire online. Conspiracy theorists prefer media and people around them who reinforce their own desired image. Factual media are the "lying press" - alternative media that confirm the belief are the honest press. The more confirmation, the more the (mis)belief hardens of a possible conspiracy. And that's exactly how conspiracy theories work.

What are good examples of a conspiracy theory?

Actually, it's already too much to even write about. But I would of course like to give you some practical examples of more well-known but of course unproven conspiracy theories. Finally, because some of them can be dangerous to the environment, health or even life and should not simply continue to haunt the world.

  • Flat earth: "Flat-Earthers" believe that the earth is a disc.
  • Qanon: The Q-followers claim that an influential, globally active, satanic elite abducts, imprisons and murders children in order to extract a rejuvenation serum from their blood.
  • Bielefeld: In the rather satirical Bielefeld conspiracy, it is assumed that the city does not exist but is merely being convincingly faked.
  • Staged moon landing: It is assumed here that the moon landings from 1969 to 1972 were only faked by NASA and the US government.
  • Chemtrails: It is claimed that some of the contrails in the sky are not caused by aircraft exhaust fumes, but by the deliberate, global release of chemicals, for example to minimize the population.
  • Corona conspiracy: With the corona vaccination, rich businessmen around Bill Gates want to transplant microchips into humanity in order to control humanity and depopulate the world. (just one of many conspiracy myths about the pandemic)
  • 9/11: It is alleged that the American government of the time, led by George W. Bush, was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center in order to justify the subsequent war on terror.
  • Lizardmen: It is claimed that so-called reptiloids hold high office with the aim of enslaving humanity.

I won't go into more examples here, as I think they illustrate well enough what to expect from a conspiracy theory.

How do I recognize a conspiracy theory - and how can it be debunked?

For conspiracy theorists, you need someone to whom you can give the Attach guilt can - as a rule, it is people who actually or only in theory benefit from a certain event. But as a rule, there are also other people who benefit - and of course some who are not affected at all or even have to suffer as a result. A conspiracy theory ignores this: In principle, there is only the good victim and the evil conspirator(s).

"People are far more likely to believe a lie they have heard 100 times, than a truth that is completely new to them."

Alfred Polgar (more sayings under Honesty Quotes)

Complex relationships are therefore simplified to such an extent thatthat an assumption could theoretically be correct if the data situation allowed it. And again: a lot of subjunctive without evidence. But that's exactly how you recognize a conspiracy theory.

Only share a new message if you really believe it to be true and substantiated - because otherwise you are just adding fuel to the fire of the conspiracy theory, which it needs to spread quickly. Is the article very one-sided and does it create a mood against something, is the content substantiated or does it come from very dubious sources? This is another way of recognizing unfounded assumptions and debunking them. However, a certain amount of basic skepticism is generally never a bad thing.

Conspiracy theories can be dangerous!

An alu hat as a symbol of conspiracy theorists

If sufficient measurable evidence is available, it is an objectively true fact - and at this point there is no longer any discussion about the opposite. Because just because you would like the opposite to be true does not make it true. We cannot allow ourselves any fantasies and "alternative facts" if we want to develop as a global society and live together sustainably and peacefully on this earth.

You are welcome to believe in the staged moon landing if you want to. After all, freedom of opinion and freedom of belief apply in Germany. But as soon as a conspiracy theory endangers (other) people or scares them without any evidence, action must be taken against it.

I hope that the content of this article will equip you for the future - and that conspiracy theories, false claims and fake news will not fall on fertile ground for you.

Stay fact-based and fact-oriented,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Look you gladly still something more in the Knowledge blog um. Learn, for example, what is meant by the so-called Whataboutism that even conspiracy theorists like to fall back on. Have fun!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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