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What are some suggestions for avoiding bitter arguments with your conspiracy-loving friends or colleagues?

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One thing is to avoid is banter. Conspiracy theorists are very thin-skinned.

Starting your disagreement with “Look, I know how clever you are, but...” could be a tactic.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

A year ago vaccine passports were the talk of “conspiracy theorists”.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Just don't talk to them again until they grow up. Life is short and spending valuable time with people who think the earth is flat, there was massive fraud in the 2020 elections or vaccines contain microchips is entirely useless.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Admit they were right all along and apologise for being so stupid

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Come up with a crazy theory as well. Something utterly ridiculous. And defend it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Just go back to sleep and believe whatever CNNBCABCBBCCBCO'BrienGummintPfizerPressreleaseWaPoNYTPrinceCharlesTheTimesKlausSchwabBuzzfeedStFauciJT tells you. Coz you know they love you and have your best interests in mind.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Just go back to sleep and believe whatever CNNBCABCBBCCBCO'BrienGummintPfizerPressreleaseWaPoNYTPrinceCharlesTheTimesKlausSchwabBuzzfeedStFauciJT tells you. Coz you know they love you and have your best interests in mind.

Ah yes, either believe doctors, scientists and journalists, or a guy on the internet named after the area between the anus and the scrotum. Though choice, eh?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

JsapcToday  10:17 am JST

Just go back to sleep and believe whatever CNNBCABCBBCCBCO'BrienGummintPfizerPressreleaseWaPoNYTPrinceCharlesTheTimesKlausSchwabBuzzfeedStFauciJT tells you. Coz you know they love you and have your best interests in mind.

Ah yes, either believe doctors, scientists and journalists, or a guy on the internet named after the area between the anus and the scrotum. Though choice, eh?

There are loads of completely credible doctors, medical scientists and journalists who don't swallow the official narrative and have solid, peer-reviewed and clinical evidence to back up their views. But you wouldn't know it if you just consumed a diet of "mainstream" junk from people with a financial motive to either look the other way or deliberately misinform the public.

But pop yourself a Restoril and take a nap as history rolls right over you.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

What is a "conspiracy loving friend or colleague"?? someone who doesn't agree with you? Or doesn't agree with what is put out by the authorities or various media outlets?

I pretty much never have "bitter arguments" with anyone - life's too short.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I simply fail to engage and then steer the conversation back to every day topics like sports and sex. In some ways, I think Facebook has made human beings into idiots.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just don't talk to them again until they grow up. Life is short and spending valuable time with people who think the earth is flat, there was massive fraud in the 2020 elections or vaccines contain microchips is entirely useless.

Well, the earth IS flat. A few years ago a friend of mine began a trek to the edge. He never came back.

Unfortunately, media like to label as “conspiracy” any theory they disagree with and their sponsors want squelched. Some are indeed demonstrably groundless and exist only to get social media hits, but others are worthy of serious consideration. The biggest problem today is that the traditional media, once functioning as the sole gatekeeper now must contend with competition from alternative media. They are so consumed with retaining what little market share they have left that they demand that the newer, alternative channels of information be strangled by charging them with spreading “conspiracy theories”. That is a handy and lazy way to accomplish the murder.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Gooch

There are loads of completely credible doctors, medical scientists and journalists 

Can you name one?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Avoid and ignore anyone who spouts the sort of nonsense associated with conspiracy theories, whether it is QAnon, Stop the Steal, Critical Race Theory, or religion of any sort.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

VrethToday  01:52 pm JST

@Gooch

There are loads of completely credible doctors, medical scientists and journalists 

Can you name one?

Sure. Once my work for the day is out of the way I'll list a few.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Just let them speak, nod politely and make sure all of those words go out through the other ear. It'll help keep your friends and avoid making enemies. I tried using the let's agree to disagree approach but some people are just as stubborn as a mule. arguing with them just adds more fuel to the fire.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What are some suggestions for avoiding bitter arguments with your conspiracy-loving friends or colleagues?

Oh this is funny. And so yesterday. Didn’t you get the memo, Jon Stewart says conspiracy theories are ok now. Silly MSM.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I just say "oh yeah, anh ha, that's cool" and change the topic. Have to do this with some of my family members who far right-wing. The same with some far left friends.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many to 2020's 'conspiracy' theories are becoming 2021's conspiracy fact.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Oh, I've had a few characters I'm my realm become a bit quiet recently.

They actually believed the Russian conspiracy hoax, the "good people on both sides" hoax, the "drink bleach" hoax, and a host of others. When presented with all the available facts later on, even the MSM backtracking, they were like deer caught in headlights, still mouthing the conspiracy theories because they had invested so much of themselves into them that they couldn't, and wouldn't admit they were suckered in.

On fella became so irate at me months ago for even suggesting the Wuhan Lab leak theory that he shut me out altogether.

Theres nothing you can do to help these people, really. They're in a cult but they don't even realize it.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

I've tried talking sense to some people, even with trustworthy, academic references and all - doesn't work.

Therefore:

1) avoid the topic all together, or, if that's not possible

2) unfriend them.

Brutal, but it allows you to breath again.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I heard one interesting take on conspiracy theory pathology. Humans are pattern seeking mammals which is part of the reason we survived as a species. We are descended from creatures who were more likely to regard a rustle in the bushes as a predator rather than a gust of wind, even when in the vast majority of cases it was just a gust of wind.

A good survival strategy.

This can misfire in the sense of seeing imaginary patterns, and this is a possible contribution to the growth of religion - throwing live babies into active volcanoes to placate imaginary gods. In my experience, conspiracy theorists tend to be emotional rather than logical and quite religious. They like patterns. Randomness is to be feared.

I listened to one unkind commentator who believed conspiracy theorists to be emotionally stunted in the sense of never getting past the childlike stage of asking why to everything and seeing patterns which don’t exist. As we know, children can have great imaginations:

‘Why are some rocks jagged’

‘So animals without hands can scratch themselves’

Delightful.

Maybe regarding them as children is a useful strategy but the question posed did mention ‘colleagues’.

Surely any decent company wouldn’t employ these people in positions of responsibility.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Anyone that asinine wouldn’t be a friend. Life is too short to waste it on complete idiots.

Jimizo, interesting take on their mind set.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Jimmy! Thats a heck of a hot take right there.

It reminds me a certain character right here on JT a few months ago who repeated the long-since debunked "good people on both sides" hoax.

I provided for him the actual transcript of President Trump's statement and he had the good sense to say "yes, I guess I was mistaken",

Not 2 weeks later, the little imp repeated the same conspiracy theory again!

I agree. Its a child-like state of mind for the very brittle.

Gosh, what WAS that lad's name again........

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Just keep nodding and smiling.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jimizo, interesting take on their mind set.

It’s a fascinating study. Not my view. Just relating the view of experts.

The emotional aspect is truly fascinating. Some fly off the handle just because someone relates an opinion.

Hysterical.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Johnny, Jenny,..?

Nah, that wasn't it....

Tip of my tongue.......

who was it who insisted on the conspiracy theory......

Jack? Jeb...?

Started with a J....

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

But a self-diagnosis is half the battle!

Once an addict recognizes his affliction, the healing can begin.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Just keep nodding and smiling

Yes, and if they have hysterical meltdowns, surely we need to offer a helping hand.

We need to be sympathetic.

One poster here had something approaching a psychotic episode after believing the trash conspiracy theory about 2020 election fraud, and compounded it with a disturbing belief that the result was going to be overturned.

Not the brightest.

I came across other commentators who have observed that conspiracy theories play to people with subpar intelligence. They lead people into the belief that they are more intelligent and perceptive than they actually are. Some have linked it to the millennial/Gen Z generation who are brought up to believe everyone is special. Nice in some ways but destructive in others.

Fascinating stuff. I’m just relaying what I’ve read.

The poster I mentioned once claimed to have read half the books ever written about WW2. We can laugh at this but education has clearly failed this poster. I remember one of my old teachers deflating egos by telling us the idea of an educated person is someone educated enough to know how ignorant they are. This poster was never taught that.

We need to show sympathy when dealing with childlike minds, and when they turn hysterical and lash out it’s best to ignore it.

Just don’t employ them.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Just lean in, and suggest they have hammered there point thru the table.

They either chill or leave. one or the other.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It works, nine time out of ten, often they have had one sherbet to many drink/sake , then must be forgotten.

The izakaya must never be associated with work/office.

It is open to all forms of debate.

All hopefully unheated, sometimes we learn with one sake to many our feelings. But never Judge.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jimmy! Another hot take and I completely agree with you on the conspiracy theorist as enormous loser narrative.

Would you agree on my theory that these people are innately twits and not successful in their lives?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

A conspiracy is a conspiracy and that is what it is, so there is NO point in arguing about it

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jimmy! It was almost lost on me that you studied under the venerable Richard Feynman!

Certainly THAT wasn't an education wasted! I can only imagine the great triumphs in the game of Life no conspiracy theorist would have as notches on their belts.

Marriage, children, a great house somewhere, a career. Satisfied wife.

No conspiracy theorist in that perpetual state of childhood has these things. There they are in their 40s, typing away on their keyboards in their 2DKs , no kids, no cars, no real possessions, nothing to show for their time on earth.

I think you nailed it.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

In the old days, there weren't as many crazy people. Adults would shun them and kids would point and laugh at them.

Now they're everywhere. You can't escape them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It works, nine time out of ten, often they have had one sherbet to many drink/sake , then must be forgotten.

Do you think alcohol abuse could be a contributing factor to the conspiracy theory mindset?

Fascinating.

Imagine an unintelligent, temperamentally unstable, conspiracy theorist loaded up on a box of bargain basement Costco wine?

Fascinating. Unpleasant, but fascinating.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Just agree with them... 'yes...it's all very fishy'. They wander off happy.

There are several thousand things I would rather be usefully doing than having an argument with someone. Their opinion is their own. They are entitled to it. Good for them. I have stuff to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What I find interesting is that there are people that believe (for example) that the country is systematically a racist nation, which means that certain people of an ethnic group is biologically born is inherited racist, this ludicrous notion has been going around for a long time and is the biggest conspiracy myth today, I hear these arguments all the time at a local bar where me and my friends (mix of liberals and conservatives) where we always have a great time, but our liberal friends we just have to chuckle and laugh and say, "bless your heart."

Being from California, the state is just one conspiracy cesspool and you can find hundreds of them, some even spewed by some of the most powerful people in Hollywood and the entire entertainment community.

You have a lot of great and wonderful people in that State, but you have to shake your head, chuckle and sigh at the nuttiness conspiracists.

There is one myth that White Nationalists are the biggest threat and anyone that has lived for a long time in California knows this is a myth that has spun out of control, Latin gangs make up for the majority of all street gangs, wield the strongest power, and influence, but the media deliberately distorts that fact feeds the masses a conspiracy that California is being overrun by Neo-Nazis and nothing could be further from the truth and the bad thing is, news travels and gets to people that were never in California or even lived and stayed there for a long period to form an opinion, but they will just cling on to the media's conspiracy theory and you just have to laugh it off and not argue, because, with facts or no facts, they're unwilling to see a different viewpoint. My father once said to "you whip a dead horse" The problem is there is so much misinformation about a lot of issues we deal with on a daily basis, but the only way to cut through it is to have people listen and sadly, a lot of people are more into hurling accusations, believing only what they want to believe and denounce all opposing viewpoints. So whether it's information about a UFO or coming from the FBI (where a lot of conspiracy theories were born and people believe in, look at the Kennedy assassination) there are a lot of conspiracy theories going around and they and skepticism will always be among us.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Jimizo, fair enough, I generalized, between friends and colleges. I arrange a get together two Fridays a months at a chosen Izakaya. You are correct it is a free for all food and drink wise.

No excuses

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A year ago vaccine passports were the talk of “conspiracy theorists”.

No, it was legit talk being considered by governments a year ago, and it was supported by most of us then as well. None of us claimed it was a conspiracy theory - rather it was a good idea that just needed the framework for implementation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Jimizo, alcohol does loosen the tongue.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

None of my friends are conspiracy types. I know a few people who are, but they aren't my friends.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no point trying to use logic in an argument with people who have abandoned logic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bassfunk:

What I find interesting .......(saving space)....... will always be among us.

Yes, dear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’ve previously recommended works by Michael Shermer regarding conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists. I can comfortably do so again, especially his course available on Audible.

I’d also recommend that people find out or think carefully about what a conspiracy theory really is. It seems that many people label an idea as a conspiracy theory when that idea does not fall into what is generally accepted to be a conspiracy theory.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Don't have friends who talk conspiracist nonsense. Interact with colleagues who do no more than is essential, deal with them on a purely professional, work-related basis, and don't socialize with them, ever.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Social Justice Warrior? Ok.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The fun thing about being an adult is that you don't have to interact with people you don't want to. You are not required to entertain anyone else's delusions. We all have enough stress in our lives without having to pretend to be interested in the fantasy world that some others choose to live in.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I heard one interesting take on conspiracy theory pathology. Humans are pattern seeking mammals which is part of the reason we survived as a species. We are descended from creatures who were more likely to regard a rustle in the bushes as a predator rather than a gust of wind, even when in the vast majority of cases it was just a gust of wind.

Quite correct, Jimizo.

The conspiracy theories are also more more likely to be receptive in those who are frustrated in some way at the modern world, and feel excluded. You can definitely see that with the QAnon theory - that there is a shadowy group controlling things, even down to its more popular expressions of electoral fraud. Not only does it provide an apparent order and explanation of things, it also gives them a sense of self-importance at being part of the group that understands things, unlike the rest of the sheeple/normies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The fact is that most of the folks following the Q garbage are evangelicals. So if you start off believing in talking snakes and a 6000 year old universe it is easy to believe anything you are fed. As Trump so famously said he loves the poorly educated.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/02/24/donald-trump-nevada-poorly-educated/80860078/

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The fun thing about being an adult is that you don't have to interact with people you don't want to.

With all due respect you must not have a job to say that. I get the most stress from coworkers, after that it is family who I am stuck living with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The fact is that most of the folks following the Q garbage are evangelicals. So if you start off believing in talking snakes and a 6000 year old universe it is easy to believe anything you are fed. As Trump so famously said he loves the poorly educated.

I wouldn't call that a conspiracy, more like a personal belief, and maybe for you a higher power doesn't exist but tell that to the millions of Muslims, Christians, and Jews and even liberals that believe in the almighty but some on the left are out of their minds, go right ahead they will say the opposite about you as well. Religion is a topic that has been going on since the very beginning. I wouldn't call someone mentally compromised because they believe in that which is the majority of liberal Blacks and Hispanics, so....

As Trump so famously said he loves the poorly educated.

It seems like the left doesn't, which translates to more votes for the GOP

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I just say to each their own and keep a friend. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and ideas. I do not pretend to have all wisdom or secrets of the universe as some do today. I am not that arrogant or narcissistic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Americans seem to be oppressively media-driven left wing, so avoid them might be a good start.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The term "conspiracy theory" was coined by CIA after assassination of JFK. Anybody who disagreed with official narration on assassination was labeled a "conspiracy theorist". Calling someone a "conspiracy theorist" allows to dismiss such person's doubts/questions/hypotheses without referring to the essence of his question. The term also loosely suggests that a questioner is at least gullible or maybe suffers from some psychiatric disorder. It is useful when you want to obfuscate.

I suspect that various groups infiltrate and support a zoo of flat-earthers, UFO-researchers etc to keep the intended connotations of "conspiracy theory" term.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder how many commenting on here used the word conspiracy theory a year ago when someone brought up the lab leak theory?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Keep an open mind; do not assume the "conspiracy theorist" is wrong.

Ah yes, either believe doctors, scientists and journalists, or a guy on the internet named after the area between the anus and the scrotum.

You mean either believe doctors, scientists, and journalists approved by Big Pharma or the creator of the mRNA vaccine technology (Robert Malone), inverter of PCR (Kary Mullis), top epidemiologists (e.g., John Ioannidis), top infectious disease experts (e.g., Didier Raoult), and many other very qualified experts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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