Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Conspiracy theorists and some dangerous fallacies.
Basically, these two logical fallacies work together. The first is the so called Cum hoc ergo propter hoc in Latin. The second one is the Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Cum hoc fallacy assumes that some events which occurred simultaneously are causally connected.
For the exo-fantasists and conspiracy fans, this is fundamental since it’s relatively easy to convince true believers that a meeting of economists in Paris and an accident in Stockholm are related and consequently show a giant international conspiracy in action.
In the post hoc fallacy, the first event is associated causally with the second as effect.
The mythologist simply finds different events that are unrelated, and fallaciously associates them.
Since so many things happen all the time, it’s possible for the professional or amateur charlatan to associate different events and convince some people that these show the magnitude of the imaginary conspiracy.
If you analyze the structure of the conspiracy theories, you will find a massive utilization of cum hoc ergo propter hoc and post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies.
It’s easy to convince some individuals that behind an earthquake or a crisis there are the invisible hands of secret societies or extraterrestrials.
Unfortunately, the conspiracy theorists are irresponsibly affecting the psychological balance and behavior of people with paranoid personalities that will easily believe these fallacies.
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