“The 9/11 truthers focus on minutiae like the melting point of steel in the World Trade Center buildings that caused their collapse because they think the government lies and conducts ‘false flag’ operations to create a New World Order.” Michael Shermer

Shermer article offers glib dismissals of ‘conspiracy theories’

By Craig McKee
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
June 24, 2017

In his articles and talks, Michael Shermer puts a great deal of emphasis on the perils of self-deception. What he seems less concerned about are actual deceptions.

The founder of Skeptic Magazine is a professional conspiracy denier. Name a potential conspiracy, and Shermer will tell you why it didn’t happen. But rather than offer solid evidence that can stand up to scrutiny, he’ll reach for a humorous one-liner that he knows will satisfy an uncritical audience.

For example, in his 2010 TED Talk “The pattern behind self-deception,” Shermer uses a joke to dispense with people who challenge the official 9/11 narrative:

“They think it was an inside job by the Bush administration. You know how we know that 9/11 was not initiated by the Bush administration? It worked.”

The line gets a big laugh, as it is intended to do. But is the inherent argument rational? Or is it rhetorical manipulation? The audience members leave not only pleased with Shermer but with themselves. They get to feel superior to those incompetent government types who could simply never pull off a conspiracy this clever.

In his articles and presentations, Shermer offers colorful examples of “theories” that he claims have no credibility, and he deftly hints that these are typical of many or most “conspiracy theories.” Using one flimsy example or another, he guides the audience to pat dismissals of any challenges to mainstream narratives. After all, why go through the hard work of confronting real evidence when flippancy is so much more economical?

In the same TED Talk, Shermer points to the unsubstantiated theory that the Bush administration placed explosive devices in the levees around New Orleans so that the city would be flooded during Hurricane Katrina. He alleges that there are those who purport to have found some of these devices after the fact.

Why is this example typical? We never find out. We are just expected to accept that it is.

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