Occam’s Razor and 9-11 Conspiracy Theories

Thanks to The Professional for this:


Are You Sure Laughing at Conspiracy Theories Makes You Smart?

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.
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...

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.

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.

oooo...Let's Roll disciples

oooo...Let's Roll disciples aren't going to like that.

what is Lets Roll? is that

what is Lets Roll? is that an "official story" pushing website or something?

This is all I ask - I have

This is all I ask - I have no problem with backers of the official story presenting what they truly believe to be factual evidence, for honest debate.

But this "you're all a bunch of lunatics" is such a childish rubbish.

When a crime is committed, the first thing is for the prosecution to present evidence for a prima facie case. The judge never says, "This is just too weird, it just couldn't happen in America. Cae dismissed."

But that is the line of reasoning I hear from some people. They're either profoundly ignorant of history, or actively working for the 'dark side', IMO.

Let's Roll is a CT site that

Let's Roll is a CT site that supposes some rather bizarre extentions to the conecerns of the legitimate truth movement.
Some suspect they are a disinformation site that attempts to associate easily disproveable theories with justified concerns, in order to render the justified concerns laughable by association.

"No planes hit the towers" is an example, although I don't believe that's on the Let's Roll site specifically. Just an example of an easily disprovable concept I've read on what appear to be government sponsored disinformation sites.