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Thread: Occam's Razor And 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

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    Occam's Razor And 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

    Occam’s Razor and 9-11 Conspiracy Theories
    Are You Sure Laughing at Conspiracy Theories Makes You Smart?
    Thanks to somebigguy

    http://twains_ghost.typepad.com/my_b..._razor_an.html

    (Gold9472: Good article. This does attack Phil Jayhan, and his crew, but the logic is sound.)

    Posted by Ron Leighton on Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    One of the favoritest pastimes of nationalist ass-kissers, deaf, dumb and blind flag-wavers and those who just want a shortcut to looking smart (and this) is to laugh about (most) Conspiracy Theories, a category of weirdness far worse, it is felt, than say ‘liberal’, for instance. As for booby prizes, they go to those, right, left and center, who chuckle the loudest and most-snearingly about “Conspiracy Theories”, while the raspberries are reserved for those who consider them to one extent of another, no matter how carefully. It’s a sure sign of intellectual pretension to ridicule “conspiracy theories.” Rarely is much thought given to distinguish one theory from another or to evaluate any of them on their merits. For instance, Bill Clinton being a secret Communist who consorts with bisexual dwarves is put in the same “Conspiracy Theory” category as is questions about 9-11. A relevant example is the post of a ‘Svenis’ person at this site. He or she mixes crazy and more plausible theories about 9-11, smearing and dismissing the latter in the process. The problem, in part, is that one of the persons he argues with, one ‘Bushwhacker’, doesn’t help when he mixes stuff himself without apparently evaluating some of them.

    There are always really wacky or just plain factually challenged theories, and they never help either (which raises potential questions about the origins of those ideas ). The only thing that matters, though, to the Conspiracy-mockers is the question: Does the Conspiracy Theory reflect badly on their beloved America (the concept, not the place or the people)? And this is crucial. If so, it is rejected out of hand as mere “anti-Americanism.” If the Conspiracy Theory, on the other hand, reflects well on their beloved America (the concept, not the place or the people), it gets the reverse treatment: blind and complete acceptance. Republicans and others, without seeing the irony, call the science behind the idea of global warming “junk science.” Something similar happens with “conspiracy theories”. Case in point is the competing theories about 9-11. The Official Conspiracy Theory starring Osama Bin Laden and 19 mysterious hijackers is simply unquestionable no matter how many questions and contradictions remain, no matter how “junk science” it is. Conversely, any theory, and there are many, of various quality, that questions the Official Conspiracy Theory starring Osama Bin Laden and 19 mysterious hijackers is immediately and completely laughable, by default – and this is considered obvious, not challengeable, putting the entire matter in the realm of faith, not reason.

    The more sophisticated of the Conspiracy Theory mockers who fancy themselves debunkers deploy the logical principle known as Occam’s Razor, or often merely appear to. Occam’s Razor is a logical principle “attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham)” which “states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed.” Of course, it happens that Occam’s Razor is often thrown around carelessly and thoughtlessly, a prop for political theater posing as serious, open-minded discussion, much like Republicans scream “junk science” when defending junk science. Sometimes the Razor-wielder doesn’t realize how dripping with irony it is to ridicule a Conspiracy Theory via Occam’s Razor while failing to recognize how deep it might cut into their own preferred, politically-correct, pro-America theories.

    The best recent example I can think of that deploys the logical principle of Occam’s Razor in such a way as to discredit conventional theories in favor of a “conspiracy theory” is BYU physics Professor Steven E. Jones’ paper ‘Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse’. In this paper, which I invite everyone to read, Jones makes a plain, clear and convincing case that, from a physical point of view, the controlled-demolition-caused collapse theory easily trounces the conventional fire/damage-caused collapse theory. That is, the former accounts for the facts far better than the latter while making fewer assumptions, in keeping with Occam’s logical principle. But do you think this will cause the thoughtless Bin Laden-haters, Bush-lovers and people who think they’re smart ‘cos they read Christopher Hitchens (or at least his headlines) to even think twice? It should, but in too many cases I think it won’t. The funny thing is, Jones’ paper will likely be cited, without even being read or seriously considered, as an example of crazy conspiracy theories.

    A lesson is that, yes, not every conspiracy theory stands up to scrutiny – an example being the what Michael Rivero over at What Really Happened (www.whatreallyhappened.com), calls the Pod People (cited above). Not all conspiracy theories fare well in a confrontation with Occam’s Razor. And we shouldn’t latch onto them if they don’t. But don’t take anyone’s word for it. Scrutinize the scrutiny. Evaluate the case made by those who laugh at conspiracy theories, and look at what they promote in their place. And we shouldn’t adopt a belief because it does not contradict what we already know or wish to believe, either. But the relevant lesson for those knee-jerk Conspiracy Theory-mockers is that their own beliefs and counter-theories often do not fare well under such scrutiny either and that some of the theories they choose to mock, because its politically-correct and socially-acceptable to do so, fare much better under serious scrutiny than they could bear to realize. For instance, the more one looks, the more one realizes that the Official Conspiracy Theory starring Osama Bin Laden stands up to scrutiny about as well as the Pod People’s theories and the notion that Clinton was secretly a Communist dwarf-humper.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
    somebigguy Guest
    Oh, I forgot, they attack Phil in this article, I'm gonna hear it now...

  3. #3
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    Just let it go... try to convince those that are mad to start focusing on what we do agree on... the fact that there's a massive coverup, and that those responsible, need to be held accountable.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #4
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    And how do we go about doing that...
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #5
    somebigguy Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    And how do we go about doing that...
    Who do we trust the most? DRG? Hufschmidt? Steven Jones?

    We get behind them and push out the truth.

    "Now That You Know, Here Is What You Can Do."

  6. #6
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    Hufschmid won't talk to 911Truth.org
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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