The Instigator
Morganic
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TBSmothers
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Conspiracy theories are damaging to our society.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/14/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 455 times Debate No: 79716
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Morganic

Pro

The first round is for acceptance only.

Sources must be provided when stating fact.
We are not debating the validity of unproved conspiracy theories.

I will be arguing that conspiracy theories are damaging to the wellbeing of our society.
TBSmothers

Con

I accept and wish the pro the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Morganic

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and look forward hearing his position, I also wish him luck.

My premise is simple, I Believe that the prevalence of conspiracy theories expounded online and across Facebook are damaging to our society. This is because these theories distract from the real issues our world is facing and regardless of the veracity of these claims without evidence they serve no useful purpose.

They dilute the efforts of people who are trying to get the word out about real atrocities committed by governments and corporations worldwide.

There are some very disturbing practices that both governments corporations are involved. These are not conspiracy theories and there is an abundance of evidence but the message is lost amongst a sea of pseudoscience, inaccurate stories and wacky conspiracy story's posted by people online.

Until we learn to look at the sources of these claims and stop being distracted by hypothetical stories we will not be able to fight the real mundane evils of this world.

Take for example the situation in Syria here in the UK it has recently emerged we have sold
"12 billion worth or weapons to various dictatorships including to Syria, these weapons have devastated these countries and been used against innocents and we have blood on our hands
The U.S. profited from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s by arming both sides, resulting in a war lasting almost a decade. In 2012 Americas weapons sales totalled $86 billion.

Or in the corporate world take the huge number of company's that profit of the backs of some of the poorest people in the world in order to reduce the costs of making their products at the same time avoid paying their fair share of taxes in the countries here in the west. In the UK one in four of the U.Ks top companies do not pay tax. In the U.S. This has been estimated to be as much as $200 billion in lost taxes

This list is endless, I can talk about companies like Monsanto or Walmart, the tourture of prisoners by supposedly civilised governments, the genocides that go unreported by mainstream media such as the genocide in East Timor.

These are just a few of the issues that are drowned in the effluence people spew across social media with no grounds and no sources thus distracting from real issues and therefore damaging our society.

http://www.projectcensored.org...

www.wsj.com/articles/companies-avoid-paying-200-billion-in-tax-1435161106

www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/how-10-percent-of-s-p-companies-opted-out-of-paying-u-s-taxes

www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2015/feb/15/london-tax-dodge-tour-visit-companies-dont-pay-dues

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287216/Revealed-One-UKs-companies-pay-tax.html

http://www.independent.co.uk...

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk...

http://conflictarm.com...

http://www.commondreams.org...

http://www.nytimes.com...

http://nationalinterest.org...
TBSmothers

Con

In this debate I will be arguing that Conspiracy theories are necessary to our society, but before doing so I will be listing two definitions that are crucial to this debate.

Conspiracy-
an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.[1]
Theory- a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural[2]

So from these definitions we can conclude that a conspiracy theory is the unproven belief that a planned treacherous act has been or will be committed. The key word here is unproven because although they are "unproven" they still can be proven true. The Pro stated above that "these theories distract from the real issues our world is facing and regardless of the veracity of these claims without evidence they serve no useful purpose." Now allow me to disprove that conspiracy theories without evidence serve no use. The Pro mentions things such as "the tourture of prisoners by supposedly civilised governments". which was and still is a conspiracy theory. In December of last year it was announced that the CIA(Central Intelligence Agency) had been torturing terrorist detainees during George W. Bush's presidency[3]. Before this news was released there were many conspiracy theories on this topic, though there was little to no evidence to prove this. It is also believed that these tortures are still taking place, but there is no evidence towards this so it is a conspiracy theory. So although there may be no evidence for many conspiracy theories it does not mean that they are purposeless or incorrect.

The pro also states "These are just a few of the issues that are drowned in the effluence people spew across social media with no grounds and no sources thus distracting from real issues and therefore damaging our society." In this he is saying that conspiracy theories without sources/evidence are drowning out those that do have them. As stated earlier conspiracy theories without valid evidence can turn out to be true. Also as stated earlier a conspiracy theory is unproven, therefore if there was valid evidence for it then it would not be a conspiracy theory.

So in conclusion conspiracy theories "with no grounds" are not necessarily bad and can turn out to be true. I await the pro's response.

Sources
[1]
http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2]
http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://www.cnn.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Morganic

Pro

My opponent attempts to refute my claim that civilized governments engage in torture by pointing to this example and claiming it as a conspiracy theory. As he has used George Bush's administration as an example I will focus on this issue as it provides me the opportunity to prove a point. However I would like to make it clear that I am not confining my argument to the US.

It is ludicrous to suggest that this torture of prisoners is conspiracy. If my opponent is unaware of the evidence he has gone someway to proving my point.

* The Bush Administration decided the Geneva Conventions would not apply to detainees held in Guant"namo Bay (a decision later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court) Article III of the Geneva Convention
* The Justice Department"s Office of Legal Counsel produced a series of "torture memos," which mutilated the law so as to restrict the definition of CID and to make certain torture practices seem legal under U.S. law;
* U.S. interrogations of suspects in the "war on terror" have included such cruel and inhuman techniques as prolonged isolation and sleep deprivation, intimidation by the use of a dog, sexual and other humiliation, stripping, hooding, the use of loud music, white noise, and exposure to extreme temperatures;
* The CIA used waterboarding " illegal as torture under international and U.S. law " to interrogate three "high-value" detainees;
* The U.S. began to send detainees for interrogation to countries known to use torture;
* President Bush admitted that several high-level officials in his Administration met secretly to authorize specific interrogation methods otherwise prohibited.

Numerous instances of torture and CID by U.S. personnel " confirmed by U.S. officials who took part in or witnessed these events " have been fed by a climate of impunity and the failure of either the executive branch or Congress to conduct a comprehensive, impartial, and independent investigation into detention policies and practices.

http://www.amnestyusa.org...
http://www.theguardian.com...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

This is no conspiracy! these things are happening there is enough evil in the open in this world, we should be dealing with these issues but instead we spend our time complaining and accusing but so few do anything about it.

My opponent also stated "conspiracy theories "with no grounds" are not necessarily bad and can turn out to be true"

Let me be clear I am not suggesting that the investigation of these matters.
Claims made by whistleblowers or victims of these atrocities should be delved in to; however in the someway as an FBI agent investigating a drug cartel would be ill advised to post his progress online until there is evidence there is little use in shouting conspiracy, apart from anything else if the claims are true posting vague conjecture and accusations online gives the opportunity to cover up.

I would also point out that when it comes to the bigger conspiracy theories we are giving gravitas to the idea that there are governments and organizations with the power to control the world this belief is one of the things that drives the apathy we see when it comes to politics in my generation, we the people are what gives these organizations their power. we must never forget we can also take it away.

By telling each other that there are forces in the world capable of such devious acts as faking moon landings, staging events like 911 or JFKs assassination we give them the illusion of power when in truth if you look we see ineptitude.
there really are evils in this world, but evil is mundane and by assuming agency where only greed and incompetence prevail we ignore the flaws in our human form.

Conspiracy theories are nihilistic and provide no hope.
TBSmothers

Con

Although this debate is not strictly about torture in the US, I will be focusing on this because I feel as if this is a solid example to
explain my thesis. The pro stated that "It is ludicrous to suggest that this torture of prisoners is conspiracy". I did a poor job explaining why this is a conspiracy theory above so allow me to do so now.

First when I stated that "the tourture of prisoners by supposedly civilised governments' ...was and still is a conspiracy theory" I was focused on torture in the US during George W. Bush's presidency. It is now a well known fact that torture did take place during this time but there was a period of time in which there was not enough evidence to confirm this, so it was under the conspiracy theory category. This is very important because The United States is considered to be one of the "moral leaders of the world" and without this theory being released it is quite possible that these immoral acts may have not been exposed. So long story short, many scandals(that needed to be exposed) were once conspiracy theories. Therefore conspiracy theories do have some purpose.

I would also like to address the following statement made by the pro " an FBI agent investigating a drug cartel would be ill advised to post his progress online until there is evidence there is little use in shouting conspiracy, apart from anything else if the claims are true posting vague conjecture and accusations online gives the opportunity to cover up." I strongly disagree with this statement because of how much the internet has grown over the years. If a massive scandal(even one with little or no evidence) is posted online it will attract a lot of attention which, will make it nearly impossible to cover up.

As in his previous round argument the pro talks about "big conspiracy theories" being a crutch to mankind because it causes people to " ignore the flaws in our human form." when this is actually the exact opposite of what they do. Conspiracy theories(true or not) allow people to see that human nature is flawed. If not for conspiracy theories people would not believe true scandals when they are released because they would be far to unbelievable for a society that does not here things of this nature often.

For these reasons I stick to my original belief that conspiracy theories are necessary.


Debate Round No. 3
Morganic

Pro

Morganic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Morganic

Pro

Morganic forfeited this round.
TBSmothers

Con

Vote con!!!
Debate Round No. 5
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No votes have been placed for this debate.