Are Humans a Bad Idea? When people think life is a well-designed game

Are humans terrible? Is civilisation a bad idea? People don’t realise it but these ideas, along with fate, karma, and anarchy, appeal because people think that reality is a video game. But is life really a game?

In the past  I have argued that humans have had a net negative influence on life and that Earth might be better off without them. I have also been tempted on occasion to say, “to hell with this silliness,” and leave the complexity of modern civilisation behind in favour of a simpler existence. But I have not been able to sustain either of these positions. They both crumble for the same reason.

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Are science deniers also conspiracy theorists?

Conspiracy series:

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Why do people NOT believe in conspiracy theories?

 

There is a strong association between belief in conspiracy theories generally, and denial of scientific facts. But does that mean anti-vaccination, climate change denial, anti-GMO and creationism are just different forms of conspiracy theories?  There are three possibilities I can think of: Conspiracy, incompetence, and conformity.

Scientists have been wrong

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Why do people NOT believe in conspiracy theories?

Conspiracy series:

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Are science deniers also conspiracy theorists?

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Most people, especially in academic and scientific institutions, regard belief in conspiracy theories as unjustified (or to put it another way: crazy and paranoid). But they accept that conspiracies can occur, as evidenced by Watergate and other exposed scandals. But they regard most popular conspiracy theories as unlikely. Why is that? This can be called ‘default scepticism’, and it has several components.

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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Conspiracy series:

Why do people NOT believe in conspiracy theories?

Are science deniers also conspiracy theorists?

Why do people believe conspiracy theories? The same reasons anyone subscribes to any ideologically-charged belief. If you were looking for differences in cognition, IQ, psychosis, paranoia, susceptibility to certain biases or persuasive methods, then you would be disappointed. One study included in its predictive profile of a conspiracy theorist the tendency to leap to conclusions from scant evidence. But this was just one component among many such as mistrust of others, dislike of authority and alienation from society. The tendency to leap to conclusions is neither sufficient nor necessary to predict if someone is a conspiracy theorist.

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