Monday, December 4, 2006

9/11 conspiracy theories : Bullshit! bullshit.

Because I  normally have much respect for Penn and Teller : Bullshit! , it pains me to watch them make fools of themselves on a topic as sensitive as 9/11. The team acclaimed for their witty ability to expose the flaws in "common knowledge" had to join the mainstream current and fall right into the trap of logical inconsistency. Because a few nuts are making absurd claims about what happened on 9/11, we must accept the official theory without further inquiry? Is that what scepticism is all about? 

David McGowan has so ineptly described the nature of this trap :

As several researchers have lamented, these [wacky] theories can only serve to damage the credibility of the 9-11 skeptics' case. To be perfectly blunt, I can't think of too many things that would be more counterproductive than trying to convince people that they didn't see what the entire world is pretty sure it saw (i.e., planes crashing into tall buildings). The effect is the same as if, in the years following the Kennedy assassination, while skeptics were presenting the case for Kennedy having been shot from the front rather than from behind, a group of researchers suddenly began arguing that he wasn't actually shot at all!

This 'emerging' evidence seems to be specifically designed to discredit, through the time-tested method of guilt by association, the evidence indicating that the Pentagon was damaged by something other then American Flight 77. Since the Pentagon evidence can't be discredited directly, it must be tainted indirectly, and the best way to do that is to introduce into the skeptics' literature dubious claims about the attacks on the towers.

Shame on you Penn and Teller for using your reputation of truth seekers to discredit every conspiracy theory, past, present or future, that actually make some sense. 

I guess you're real patriots after all...


Francis St-Pierre said...

"It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any outcropping of what is now called 'a conspiracy theory of history. For a search for 'conspiracies,' as misguided as the results often are, means a search for motives, and an attribution of individual responsibility for the historical misdeeds of ruling elites. If, however, any tyranny or venality, or aggressive war imposed by the State was brought about not by particular State rulers but by mysterious and arcane 'social forces', or by the imperfect state of the world – or if, in some way, everyone was guilty, then there is no point in anyone's becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds.

Furthermore, a discrediting of 'conspiracy theories' will make the subjects more likely to believe the 'general welfare' reasons that are invariably put forth by the modern State for engaging in aggressive actions."

-- Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty (New York: Macmillan, 1973), p. 62.

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