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Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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animist
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Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#1 Postby animist » February 13th, 2017, 10:30 am

I am considering starting a course on this topic for my local U3A group. Any thoughts? The topic seems closely related to the growing importance of the internet and its misuse, while I hope to link it also with the common argumental fallacies that TH has already covered

https://educationblog.oup.com/theory-of ... ing-part-1

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Alan H
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#2 Postby Alan H » February 13th, 2017, 10:53 am

It looks good and very worthwhile, particularly in these 'post truth' days. I know Rob Brotherton although not read his book - he knows his stuff!
Alan Henness

"We're all in this together, but some are more in it than others."
— Me, with apologies to Napoleon

Zeff
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#3 Postby Zeff » February 14th, 2017, 5:57 pm

From the context, my guess is that TOK stands for Theory of Knowledge?
You might like to give a talk at the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) or Glasgow Skeptics if you're up this way, please. Speakers don't get much but they may pay travel expenses. (The Skeptics meet in a pub :-)

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Alan H
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#4 Postby Alan H » February 14th, 2017, 6:25 pm

Zeff wrote:From the context, my guess is that TOK stands for Theory of Knowledge?
You might like to give a talk at the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) or Glasgow Skeptics if you're up this way, please. Speakers don't get much but they may pay travel expenses. (The Skeptics meet in a pub :-)

Maybe the Glasgow SitP (I've given talks to about 24 different SitP) but I'll give the HSS a miss if you don't mind.
Alan Henness

"We're all in this together, but some are more in it than others."
— Me, with apologies to Napoleon

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animist
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#5 Postby animist » February 17th, 2017, 11:26 pm

Zeff wrote:From the context, my guess is that TOK stands for Theory of Knowledge?
You might like to give a talk at the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) or Glasgow Skeptics if you're up this way, please. Speakers don't get much but they may pay travel expenses. (The Skeptics meet in a pub :-)
absolutely right, Zeff: http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-p ... at-is-tok/
When I was a young philosophy student (er, quite some time ago) the phrase meant something a bit different, but the new meaning seems a lot more relevant. Thanks for the invite :smile:

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animist
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#6 Postby animist » February 23rd, 2017, 12:06 pm

I've now finished reading the Brotherton book (Alan H - do you mean from your comment that you know Rob B. personally?). Perhaps the most depressing thing in it is the revelation that we all exhibit the Confirmation Bias (even those of us who are not Conspiracy Theorists and like to think of ourselves as free spirits), and that in particular we like to read the opinions of people who agree with us. Il va sans dire, IMO, that everyone should make a point of reading informed comment which disagrees with their own views, learns from it, and then maybe answers it in a civil and informed way.

Here is one of several Brotherton talks available on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOmdd2-sQLc

Bryn
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#7 Postby Bryn » February 23rd, 2017, 12:38 pm

Before reading an excellent book about conspiracy theories, Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch, I wasn't that interested in them but now I find the whole topic fascinating. The book covers several of the main ones including JFK, 9/11, and the deaths of Diana, David Kelly and Hilda Murrell. I still don't really get how people can be so certain in their belief in something fantastical that their minds are totally closed to counter suggestions that they could be wrong. If you want to kill one of the most famous women in the world, is that how you'd do it? Wait for her to leave a hotel with dozens of paparazzi outside and cause a car crash while they are in hot pursuit?!

But stupidity over conspiracies about murdering individuals pale in comparison to those around vaccines and chemtrails, in which sinister forces are (allegedly) deliberating harming whole populations for some unknown purpose. What's that about? I find it absolutely bewildering.

Athena
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#8 Postby Athena » February 23rd, 2017, 12:56 pm

Alan H wrote:Maybe the Glasgow SitP (I've given talks to about 24 different SitP) but I'll give the HSS a miss if you don't mind.

He wasn't talking to you, silly!

Hey, Bryn, long time no see! :)
I've read DA's book too and highly recommend it. I know what you mean about the stupidity. Conspiraloons are incredibly active on twitter - mock chemtrails once and you'll be bombarded. Today's conspiracy concerns google's very welcome blacklisting of the Natural News

Silencing Natural News is all part of the globalist “script” for the enslavement of a population kept ignorant of reality


:hilarity:

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Alan H
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#9 Postby Alan H » February 23rd, 2017, 1:12 pm

animist wrote:I've now finished reading the Brotherton book (Alan H - do you mean from your comment that you know Rob B. personally?).
Yes, not well, but have met him a few times - I first came across him while he was doing his PhD under prof Chris French at Goldsmiths a few years ago. He lives in the US now - probably far more fertile ground for conspiracy theories these days!
Alan Henness

"We're all in this together, but some are more in it than others."
— Me, with apologies to Napoleon

Zeff
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Re: Critical thinking/conspiracy theories

#10 Postby Zeff » March 2nd, 2017, 11:20 am

Alan H wrote:
Zeff wrote:From the context, my guess is that TOK stands for Theory of Knowledge?
You might like to give a talk at the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) or Glasgow Skeptics if you're up this way, please. Speakers don't get much but they may pay travel expenses. (The Skeptics meet in a pub :-)

Maybe the Glasgow SitP (I've given talks to about 24 different SitP) but I'll give the HSS a miss if you don't mind.
I'll need to keep an eye out for you (and whoever Animist is). Thanks.


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