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A COMMENT MADE . . . May 11, 2015

Posted by wmmbb in CLIMATE CHANGE.

Jo Nova has a discussion around the commentary by Maurice Newman in The Australian.

I think of it as a bizarre example of motivated, ideology-driven thinking. She doesn’t. But she does not convince me she is being scientific, if at all, in her reaction. For me, Newman’s piece in essentially a tactic, and from her point of view, a good one.

So I wrote a comment:

What are the conditions for a conspiracy theory? What are the conditions for a scientific theory?

One of the conditions for a conspiracy theory is motivated thinking ie political ideology. Why do people believe what they do? There is a hypothesis, if not a theory, that political ideology, or worldview, is more important in shaping beliefs than scientific understanding. One reason that might be proposed to explain why we defend our views so strongly, in some cases violently, is that we invest so much emotion in them. Empathy is an important mediator that can be forgotten. People claim that evidence dictates their beliefs, but is that true? This post and related comments look very much like a political argument, in which agreement is more important than evidence. At what point do these discussions become a cult, as is suggested?

Is world government a conspiracy? Similarly, is the TPP a conspiracy? The later case is suggested by objective criteria eg the lack of transparent process. Are the fossil fuel multi-national corporations engaging in a conspiracy, or it there behavior normal business practice,including the planned propaganda?

This comment is not meant as a criticism of any person, but as a general reflection. I am fascinated by the prospect that conspiracy theories can sometimes turn out to correct eg the JFK assassination? I was not going to comment since the emotional and political climate here is plain enough.



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