Why do people believe 911 was a conspiracy?

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ArgumentumAdHominem (January 31, 2008, 19:54:13 PM):
I just want to jump in for a second here and stop this ridiculous "where is the evidence?" / "have you been to the site?" loop that we are in here.

So let's talk specific examples. There is a lot of text to wade through (quantity is no measure of "weight of evidence").

Have you read any of the articles on either www.infowars.com or www.rense.com? You will find all the factual evidence you demand of me there.
So I picked an article at random from the 911 section entitled "Evidence MicroNukes Used On WTC".

Let me first bring to your attention that there is an impressive number of links in the articles, however, the vast majority link to other "troofer" websites (and thus are not independently verified facts), links to longer articles (with no indication of where in the linked document this evidence is to be found), and finally, a large number of broken links (but that's just the government shutting-up the detractors, right?).

The basic argument is that we know:
the US has developed nukes for demolition purposes,the "fact" of successful development of Minimum Residual Radiation (MRR) devices (with no corroborating evidence).
From these premises, the author goes on to say how MRR nukes were used in the WTC attack because (my emphasis):
Quote from: The US Government's Usage of Atomic Bombs - Domestic - WTC. By Ed Ward, MD
There are huge percentages of respiratory distress and loss of function. Multiple reports of 'irregular cycles' (miscarriages?). Most likely there will be several more types of cancer to follow. In particular, responders should be checked for thyroid cancer and function. There has been no noting of birth defects which also needs to be done. There is one thing and only one thing that can cause all these cancers and problems - RADIATION.

So wait; you can't use geiger counters to test Ed Ward's hypothesis because they were reduced radiation nuclear bombs (thus giving-off undetectable levels of radiation?) but there is enough radiation to cause cancer. Hold-on, there is a minimum threshold for radioactive exposure to cause cancer, and the geiger counter can detect radiation levels far lower than that. In order for the few people who have developed cancer to have been exposed (no matter how long or short a time period) to a level of radiation high enough to cause cancer, that level would be detectable by a geiger counter and would continue to be detectable today (actually, for the next 25 000 years). But it isn't detectable because they were MRR devices.

Being a student of formal logic, I recognise this as a logical argument which boils down to the structural fallacy called a tautology. This word gets bandied-around a lot on this forum, but this case can be conclusively shown as being such a fallacy with First Order Logic. In layman's terms Ed is having it both ways, no matter which premises are true or false, the statement is always true. Kind of like "The sun is shining or the sun is not shining".

And we all saw the news and how much dust and soot was around. We know that the dust in the lungs of the rescuers caused emphysema, bronchial damage and infection and even cancer. Why involve radiation?

Further in the quote we get to a section of logical leaps which draw the reader's attention to future evidence such as "responders should be checked for thyroid cancer" and "noting of birth defects [...] also needs to be done". If this is not done are we hiding the truth? This future evidence is cherry-picking in advance. Selective statistics is a very easy practice; did you know that as many as 95% of accident victims ate bread earlier in the day (Arrive Alive doesn't warn us about that one!) or that everyone who ate eggs in 1566 (all around the world) later died? You have to remember that in any normal population cancer happens. So I could survey people using the lift at a shopping mall (expecting that at least some would have contracted ovarian cancer - probably because of the music being played in the lift) and as soon as I have found just one I can jump up and down saying "You see? you see?"

And I simply cannot let the last statement from this quote stand. The only causes of these cancers is radiation? I'm wondering if "M.D" doesn't mean Medical Doctor anymore.

With regards to your last question, nothing could convince me of the 911 official report's authenticity

Socrates famously said; "Nothing can convince me but reason". The most important words being the last two words.

I am many things; a believer is not one of them, I need evidence. I am an atheist but no matter how much anyone goads me I will never say "Nothing can convince me of gods existence" without following it with something like "except if he poofed into existence in-front of me and turned my nose into a burning bush".

Anyone who says to me "Nothing can convince me" (without the important caveat; "but reason" or "except evidence") is immediately labelled an idiot in my book.

From my side; nothing can convince me of the 9/11 conspiracy except credible/verifiable evidence.

But please answer 'Luthon's longstanding questions first.
Mefiante (February 01, 2008, 10:16:33 AM):
Good to see you back again, AAH. Have you been very busy?

I just want to jump in for a second here and stop this ridiculous "where is the evidence?" / "have you been to the site?" loop that we are in here.
While the content of your post is impeccable, I’m afraid I must disagree with your approach because it entails you taking upon yourself the additional burden that, by rights, is Logic_Bomb’s to shoulder. In other words, you are taking it upon yourself to seek out Logic_Bomb’s evidence and to examine it critically, leaving Logic_Bomb in the favourable position where, for each debunking you provide, all s/he needs do is say, “Oh, but there’s lots more. Look again.”

Hence, and at the risk of being thought smug, allow me to cite from my own post (appropriate emphases added):
You’re obviously confused over the issue of “onus,” “burden of proof” and “no free ride” I mentioned earlier so allow me to clarify: It means that you present your case with the specific arguments plus supporting evidence that leave you convinced of what you’re proposing. Any forum member then has the right of reply to present counterarguments and evidence. What it decidedly does not mean is that – and I repeat – a general hand-wave at one or two websites (which, worse yet, also contain a glut of extraneous information) can be taken as a valid argument. If it were so, I would be entitled to argue that fairies exist because a Google search returns 18,500,000 hits, many of which assert that fairies are real. You will, I hope, agree that arguing thus is absurd.

ArgumentumAdHominem (February 02, 2008, 22:26:01 PM):
Good to see you back again, AAH. Have you been very busy?

Thanks :) glad to be back. Yes, I have been busy and somewhat inconvenienced.

I'm afraid I must disagree with your approach because it entails you taking upon yourself the additional burden that, by rights, is Logic_Bomb's to shoulder [and] leaving Logic_Bomb in the favourable position where [...] all s/he needs do is say, "Oh, but there's lots more. Look again."

Absolutely, you are right. The motivation was that I felt I had to do something. Believe me; I do not do this as a usual practice because there are so many resources of woo on the 'Net that I can spend months researching an opponent's side only to be told that I was going to the wrong sites or not reading them correctly (having not been issued with a decoder ring which tells you to only read the first word of every sentence).

Thinking: maybe this is an extension to the "On the usefulness of debating fundamentalists" thread ...

There are two sides to this argument and either side wins "points" for their camp by not crossing the line to explore the opponent's world. The reason I say this is because it most often leads to straw man fallacies. We are not supposed to search for the evidence to shoot down (as I did) and Logic_Bomb can potentially claim that refusing to find the evidence for ourselves is a win for the woo-brigade following this twisted logic...

Quote from: Logic_Twister
It is exactly as I thought! You are so (set in your ways / myopic / closed-minded) that you will not review the evidence. You are too afraid to follow the links that I have provided.

We all can see the glaring fallacy in that argument, but to the brigadier general and the more silent brigadiers it is perfectly sound logic. Whether this opinion is aired here on this forum, or perhaps on a personal blog linking to the discussion, it distorts the meaning of your statements. All that I was trying to do was avoid such an easy out.

Perhaps misguided, perhaps pointless, but I think a little more constructive than the merry-go-round we were on?

At the very least, I thought that a few sceptics might like to share the laugh I had at the article. I'm glad that you appreciated it :)
Mefiante (February 04, 2008, 13:39:54 PM):
Okay, yes, I see what you're driving at, AAH, but I would be strongly inclined to place a very, very low upper limit on the amount of effort that one should expend in such pursuits. Besides, the "Noddy Badge Team Award for Resistance to Line-crossing" idea seems to me considerably less relevant than appearances might at first suggest for these two reasons:

Such line-crossing has already occurred, quite possibly on both sides of the debate, andImagine being a plaintiff and, on being asked to substantiate your claim, telling the magistrate or judge, "Oh, the evidence is out there, Your Worship. The Court just needs to find it." With a response like that you'll be lucky not to get slapped with a Contempt of Court fine (for time-wasting) very shortly after your case has been dismissed with costs.
But I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't already know and, in any case, it's probably moot anyway because Logic_Bomb seems to have left the building.

bluegray (February 05, 2008, 07:50:52 AM):
Perhaps Logic_Bomb, instead of just (as Luthon calls) hand waving in the general direction of all the mountains of evidence, I propose you pick one or two of the absolute best pieces of evidence for us and start a new thread where we can discuss them.


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