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#1 of 73 Old 04-29-2015, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Conspiracy Theories

Things cease to be theories if they are true.

Then they are called facts.

Please explain to me how the Dr. Thompson scandal is a "theory".

Please explain to me how Dr's Krahling and Wjcowsike suing Merck over the MMR vaccine is a "theory".

Please explain to me how Dr Thorsen being on the the OIG most wanted list is a "theory".

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#2 of 73 Old 04-29-2015, 08:17 PM
 
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Things cease to be theories if they are true.

Then they are called facts.

Please explain to me how the Dr. Thompson scandal is a "theory".

Please explain to me how Dr's Krahling and Wjcowsike suing Merck over the MMR vaccine is a "theory".

Please explain to me how Dr Thorsen being on the the OIG most wanted list is a "theory".
Facts are facts, and the theory part comes in when you're figuring out how to explain the facts, and how (and whether) to extrapolate from them to make broader generalizations about people, institutions, fields, society, etc.

ETA: There are probably lots of factual issues in dispute related to the above things and I make no statement one way or the other about any of them.
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#3 of 73 Old 04-29-2015, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Facts are used to support or deny theories. Not the other way around.

Please consider my example:

Theory: Sub-prime mortgages played a role in crashing the economy.
Fact: The economy did indeed crash
Fact: Many mortgators with sub-prime loans were forclosed
Fact: Massive foreclosures crashed the economy

Theory: There is a great deal of corruption concerning the safety and
efficacy of vaccines.
Fact: Dr Thompson is a senior scientist at the CDC who is claiming
he discovered causal relationship between vaccines and
autism and was told to cover that discovery up.
Fact: Two virologists, who work for Merck, are suing their employer
over the efficacy of the mumps component of the MMR
Fact: Poul Thornsen is an individual whose studies are cited as
proof there is no relationship between vaccines and autism.
Poul Thornsen is a wanted felon.
One does not need to "extrapolate" too much here.
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#4 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 07:07 AM
 
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Facts are facts, and the theory part comes in when you're figuring out how to explain the facts, and how (and whether) to extrapolate from them to make broader generalizations about people, institutions, fields, society, etc.

.
The term "conspiracy theorist" is aimed at non-vaxxers at the slightest provocation. It is often an accusation based on very weak evidence. My 2 cents.

Regarding the bolded: humans have tipping points when they decide whether or not to trust an institution, field, etc. This tipping point is subjective and hard to quantify...but I firmly believe it exists in all of us a self preservation mechanism.

Consider the Mumps/Merck case.

Person 1 reads that Merck is accused of burying data that shows the mumps vaccine is not as effective as once thought. They may decide this is only a merck issues, is probably a one-off that this sort of stuff does happen once in a while in all companies, etc.

Person 2 reads the same accusation. They may have noted that the pharmaceutical industry in general has more than its fair share of scandals, and that this is just another example. The person might be reaching their tipping point in terms of trusting the pharmaceutical industry.

Fwiw, I do not easily trust car mechanics, the cold-cut meat industries, the insurance industry and I am not too keen on lawyers. My distrust of the pharmaceutical industry is the only thing that has ever got me labelled a conspiracy theorist. There is a saying - find out who you are not allowed to criticize and you will find out who rules over you.

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#5 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 09:38 AM
 
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Changing the perception/usage of the term "conspiracy theory" itself might have been a very clever conspiracy.

This is not my original thought and unfortunately I can't remember where I read it to give credit but one person in speaking on labelling people conspiracy theorists:

(paraphrasing here)

"how about the mafia? Terrorism? gangs? Do you believe in those? Because those are conspiracies."

Knowingly omitting bad results from a clinical trial/study constitutes a conspiracy as long as at least two people are in on it.
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#6 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 10:58 AM
 
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Conspiracies and corruption are real and when they are uncovered they frequently hit the news.

But also, propaganda and astroturfing are also real, as we all recently discussed. A lot of the prominent "conspiracy theorists" like Alex Jones, Mike Adams, etc, are masters at propaganda. There are people like that pushing anti-vaccine misinfo because it fits with their larger narratives about tyranny and government control over the people, which of course directly profits them, because they get more attention and sell more junk.

I think a reasonable suspicion of conspiracy, with evidence, can turn into a ridiculous conspiracy theory if a person tries to use it as broadly applicable to all of society when there is no evidence. I don't think vaccine rejection is always the turf of conspiracy theories, but in my experience, fervent rejection of vaccines nearly always requires acceptance of conspiracy theories with broader implications, and with more tenuous evidence, than what the mainstream will typically accept.
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#7 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 11:10 AM
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I don't think vaccine rejection is always the turf of conspiracy theories, but in my experience, fervent rejection of vaccines nearly always requires acceptance of conspiracy theories with broader implications, and with more tenuous evidence, than what the mainstream will typically accept.
Yes, we are all wackos and most deeply religious and in cults too!

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#8 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 11:27 AM
 
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In real life I know a number of families who are non-vax. Some are religious, some are not. Some are conservative (usually the religious) and some are not. The common denominators are that they are all health conscious and none are conspiracy theorists.

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#9 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 11:28 AM
 
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Conspiracy theorist: I don't think it means what some would like it to mean, and I reject most revampings of the word.

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.
 
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#10 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 11:32 AM
 
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In real life I know a number of families who are non-vax. Some are religious, some are not. Some are conservative (usually the religious) and some are not. The common denominators are that they are all health conscious and none are conspiracy theorists.
Being "health conscious," would you say that they believe vaccines have an overall negative effect on health?

I'm curious what their explanation would be for why vaccines would be recommended to every child in the US (and worldwide) if they reduced overall health.

The only two answers to this that I have encountered can be broadly summed up as 1) the experts are actually ignorant and do not know what health is, and that's why they recommend vaccines or 2) someone intentionally wants to harm people/cover up evidence of harm for motive x.

I have encountered both of these. The second one obviously (to me) requires some acceptance of conspiracy theories, while the first may or may not.
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#11 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 11:39 AM
 
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Conspiracy theorist: I don't think it means what some would like it to mean, and I reject most revampings of the word.
Is there an actual definition of conspiracy theorist that you'd accept?

I'm pretty sure Alex Jones and Mike Adams are definitely conspiracy theorists. I don't think you have to be bugging out in a literal tinfoil hat to be a conspiracy theorist.

Most fundamentally all you have to do to be a conspiracy theorist is assert conspiracy while lacking evidence. If you do this on a variety of topics, then you're probably a bonafide conspiracy theorist. If you do it on only on one topic, then maybe not.

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#12 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 11:48 AM
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I'm pretty sure Alex Jones and Mike Adams are definitely conspiracy theorists. I
You are now saying they are theorists? Want to back that up?

Calling someone a theorist is quite harsh and does have ramification.



Want to call these the same? -

Rand/Ron Paul
Bill Maher
Robert Kennedy, Jr
Sharyl Attkisson

and lets add Dr. Sears too - how about him?

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#13 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 11:54 AM
 
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Being "health conscious," would you say that they believe vaccines have an overall negative effect on health?

I'm curious what their explanation would be for why vaccines would be recommended to every child in the US (and worldwide) if they reduced overall health.

The only two answers to this that I have encountered can be broadly summed up as 1) the experts are actually ignorant and do not know what health is, and that's why they recommend vaccines or 2) someone intentionally wants to harm people/cover up evidence of harm for motive x.

I have encountered both of these. The second one obviously (to me) requires some acceptance of conspiracy theories, while the first may or may not.

I think you are trying to make a case where none exists.


It does not make one a conspiracy theorist to look at recommendation and decide those recommendations are either flawed or do not work for your family.


Are all those who give birth at home automatically conspiracy theorists?


Are those who eat differently that the food pyramid automatically conspiracy theorists?


You are creating a false dichotomy: one where non-vaxxers either believe experts are ignorant or out to harm everyone and that is simply not true. There is often a much more common third option: vaccine recommendations are blanket public health recommendations. Parents make decisions for their individual child looking at individual circumstances. You can believe the Hep B makes sense at birth on a population basis (not my argument) while still thinking your own child does not need it.


In any event, I think the answer you are looking for is closer to your number 1 than your number 2. Most of the non-vaxxers I know are smart consumers of allopathic medicine - they use it when they feel (based on numerous reasons including research) that it is the best path and do not use it when they don't. In some areas they obviously feel that allopathic medicine has it wrong. Wrong=/= ignorant, btw. I think numerous pro-vaxxers on here are wrong....I do not think all of them are ignorant. If we played vaccine quiz 101 or even 301, I think most people here would do fairly well.

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#14 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 12:40 PM
 
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What is a conspiracy theorist then? Is it totally made up and descriptive of no real people? Only a dismissive insult?
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#15 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 12:49 PM
 
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Maybe 'conspiracy theorist' should not be outright rejected as a label. Otherwise anyone with a systems analysis will be afraid to make a case for fear of being identified as equivalent to Alex Jones. I don't want to be at the linguistic mercy of ostriches.
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#16 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:17 PM
 
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Maybe 'conspiracy theorist' should not be outright rejected as a label. Otherwise anyone with a systems analysis will be afraid to make a case for fear of being identified as equivalent to Alex Jones. I don't want to be at the linguistic mercy of ostriches.
Feel free to back up your claims if you want people to believe them and dont want to be unfairly labeled.
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#17 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:27 PM
 
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Feel free to back up your claims if you want people to believe them and dont want to be unfairly labeled.
Ostriches come around when it is convenient, not when given backstory.
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#18 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:29 PM
 
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Ostriches come around when it is convenient, not when given backstory.
Ok, well good luck with your ostriches.
They don't sound like reasonable people so maybe it doesn't matter what labels they apply to you.
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Agreed. I believe their fear overrides the free play of their reason, so they then reason very narrowly.
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Are people considered conspiracy theorists if they don't believe the government should stick their noses in personal medical decisions for their children, medical decisions that carry risks I might add?
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#21 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:35 PM
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Ok, well good luck with your ostriches.
They don't sound like reasonable people so maybe it doesn't matter what labels they apply to you.
Maybe PRO vac talking points should realize this too is another lost cause.

When others things don't work - label!

Sounds quite desperate, but what the talking points have been don't seem to resonate. I'm sure it will only be a short time and the PRO agenda will need to reinvent once again!

Going after anyone who dares to question!!
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#22 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:38 PM
 
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Are people considered conspiracy theorists if they don't believe the government should stick their noses in personal medical decisions for their children, medical decisions that carry risks I might add?
Well, if you are pro-vax choice and vaccinate, then that is fine.

If you are pro-vax choice and don't vaccinate, unless your child is medically exempt, then you are a conspiracy theorist.

See how that works?

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#23 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:38 PM
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Are people considered conspiracy theorists if they don't believe the government should stick their noses in personal medical decisions for their children, medical decisions that carry risks I might add?
You got it!

Open your mouth & question ANYTHING and the next day your are on the ANTI list! Who's list you may ask- the PRO!

One little side step and bingo!
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#24 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:40 PM
 
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Are people considered conspiracy theorists if they don't believe the government should stick their noses in personal medical decisions for their children, medical decisions that carry risks I might add?
No. Those are personal values, not theories about conspiracies.
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#25 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:43 PM
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No. Those are personal values, not theories about conspiracies.
Really?

NO

They are not personal values just to ask questions. They are questions!

Please tell us who (like in the names I listed or others in a high profile) that have come out and asked anything about vaccines and didn't get attacked & labeled for doing so?
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Well, if you are pro-vax choice and vaccinate, then that is fine.

If you are pro-vax choice and don't vaccinate, unless your child is medically exempt, then you are a conspiracy theorist.

See how that works?
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You got it!

Open your mouth & question ANYTHING and the next day your are on the ANTI list! Who's list you may ask- the PRO!

One little side step and bingo!
What a way to create a world of independent thinkers (total sarcasm)
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Really?

NO

They are not personal values just to ask questions. They are questions!

Please tell us who (like in the names I listed or others in a high profile) that have come out and asked anything about vaccines and didn't get attacked & labeled for doing so?
What questions?
Did you read what I responded to?
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#28 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:46 PM
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What a way to create a world of independent thinkers (total sarcasm)
Yea!

I'll hold my breath to see who has been able to come out & not be labeled!!!!

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#29 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:47 PM
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What questions?
Did you even see what I responded to?
I did.
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#30 of 73 Old 04-30-2015, 01:58 PM
 
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Is there an actual definition of conspiracy theorist that you'd accept?
Sure.

A conspiracy theory is an explanatory hypothesis that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an event or situation which is typically taken to be illegal or harmful. wiki.

Calling someone a conspiracy theorist wrt vaccination implies they believe governments and pharmaceutical companies know that vaccines are dangerous and are covering it up for their own purposes.

I know that some vaccine critics are conspiracy theorists. They pretty much say so. I do not think they are a huge percentage though - perhaps 10%? On the flip side, I would bet money that all non-vaxxers who have spent time posting here have been called or had it implied they were a conspiracy theorist.

For example, the bolded below pretty much states that anyone that is passionate against vaccines is a conspiracy theorist. That is pretty sweeping. You know some people believe their children were seriously harmed by vaccines - of course they are going to be fervent!

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I think a reasonable suspicion of conspiracy, with evidence, can turn into a ridiculous conspiracy theory if a person tries to use it as broadly applicable to all of society when there is no evidence. I don't think vaccine rejection is always the turf of conspiracy theories, but in my experience, fervent rejection of vaccines nearly always requires acceptance of conspiracy theories with broader implications, and with more tenuous evidence, than what the mainstream will typically accept.
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Maybe 'conspiracy theorist' should not be outright rejected as a label..
I dunno. As it is frequently used to describe anyone who disagrees with mainstream doctrine, it is not an overly useful descriptor or label, IMHO.
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