Rumors and Conspiracy Theories
A rumor is a subject of propaganda whose veracity is not hurriedly or ever confirmed. It is an account of events that are of public concern and circulate from one person to another. The information circulating could be true or false.
Rumors are the oldest form of media. Word of mouth was the only form of communication before the modern forms of communication were invented. With the new inventions, rumor has even become more specialized. However, there is little known about rumor, and it is a significant social phenomenon as it constitutes no man’s knowledge (Kapferer, 2011).
A conspiracy is any concurrence in action that in combination brings about a predetermined result. There are several theories that may be termed as conspiracy theories. These theories usually cannot be proven by historical method and are not similar to each other, even when verified.
The theories are mostly about religion, ethnicity, and race. They include: “the underground reich”, eurabia, Babylon and racist oppression, Armenian conspiracy, and anti-Semitic conspiracy among others.
The conception that the rumors are mysterious is erroneous. They comply to strict logic with mechanisms that can be illustrated. We can answer the many questions brought about by rumors and also translate the rumors. They play major roles in our daily lives. They help us comprehend on how to tackle situations in life. The very heart of rumors is their logic and the fundamental aspect of belief.
It would be dangerous to dismiss conspiracies as just mere curiosity of the given mass culture. Over time, many dramatic events have provided reminders of the link between mass violence and conspiracy culture. Conspiracy theories are often stories about global power; they fall among the rich societies, movements, and political cultures that feel marginalized. Some leaders may reach out to conspiracy theories to justify their economic failures and as a means of reinforcing their power (Byford, 2011).
Truth exists in an absolute way and cannot be relative. It consists of a speaker’s honesty with respect to what they believe. It is a real reflection of the things that exist. It is the same for all of us as it does not change it is an unalterable reality. In its discovery, truth serves a purpose.
Truth in the Eyes of the Beholder
Just like the cliché that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, it is also correct to deductively say that truth is in the ears of the beholder. We choose what to belief in. When we are pre-exposed to certain beliefs we believe in what they say even without the need of proof. It could be a source of identification with certain people and their culture.
Truth is in the ears of the beholder means that what you hear and if you believe in the accusations could be either true or false. Our opinion is made by what we want and need but not what we are told or know. Many people believe that if someone believes in rumors they are not as smart but credit is given to those who listen to rumors because they go ahead to find out how to give the reasons why they believe in the conspiracies.
Rumors spread because those that hear them are likely to believe in them and because opinions are made by the information that is most available at a particular time. However, the information that people lack is what makes their opinions not correct. They are constructed by needs of the people and their feelings based on their judgments.
Many people tend to believe in rumors against logic that may nullify their opinions. They reject the truth because it challenges their points of view. Lack of information on a particular issue will make people assume otherwise. The cause of truth may be hurt in the strive to make complex situations better; hence, there need be a closure to the quality of life. People’s opinions are based upon the information they receive from various sources and the rumors are fueled by the want to explain these situations.
There is a fascination with conspiracy theories. These many conspiracy theories have become so accepted that they create a significant part of our culture. They could be termed as “urban legends”, a part of our culture’s myths. Some argue that the government has grown wide and secretive thus creating a society susceptible to the epidemics of suspicion where conspiracy theories arise and multiply. Others say that the modern science has solved much of the daily life mystery and conspiracy theories arise to fulfill our want for mystery.
Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories
People who look at the world in the ends of good and evil foment such theories like those that surround the Sandy Hook shootings. They form their arguments from their view on reality, and when facts prove these perceptions wrong, conspiracy theories are formed.
The Sandy Hook elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012 left 26 people dead. Among them were 20 children and 6 adults. The shooting was carried out by a 20 year old man, Adam Lanza. He killed his mother then drove to the school. After the killing the people, Adam shot himself in the head as the first responders arrived.
This tragedy prompted a national wide gun control debate which made a proposal for new legislation where the sale and manufacture of semi-automatic firearms and magazines which exceed 10 rounds of ammunition were banned. There were several theories that came out from this tragedy; there were claims that it did not involve only one shooter but there were several shooters in the Sandy Hook Elementary School, others claim that two gun-rights activists were killed by the government death squads. These theories lack evidence thus they cannot be said to be true.
Some individuals claim the world to be a struggle between good and evil. In the Sandy Hook incident, for some persons the guns are good and the government evil. If the mass shooting happened, the arguments of gun management activists are supported, and if it was carried out by evil forces there is still no problem. They use the conspiracy to make this argument.
Conspiracy theories involve any and all explanations of sinister activities, including states of affairs. Conspiracy theories and rumors are a form of historical explanation of events. They could be regarded as rational theories if the explanations are international. They keep the society aware of the occurrences and explanations of nature. Those who are aware of the explanations can understand the truth about those statements. They choose what to believe according to their wants and needs. Hence, it is right to say that rumors thrive in the minds of only those who have been predisposed to believe them. Therefore, truth is in the ear of the beholder.
Byford, J. (2011). Conspiracy Theories: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan.
Kapferer, J.-N. (2011). Rumors: Uses, Interpretations, and Images.