Summary: 41st Gentle Thinkers Debate (Modern Technology and Relationships)

Does modern technology make us more connected or more isolated? How do technology and internet affect human relationships? Are these trends reversible?

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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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Summary: 27th Gentle Thinkers Debate (Ends and Means)

“When do ends justify means?
Sooner or later everyone – individuals, governments, companies – has to make choices about whether to put aside certain values to achieve a desired end. Michael Pascoe, an Australian financial journalist, has recently discussed this at http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/abandon-principles-and-pay-the-price-20140331-35tz4.html

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