Monday, June 23, 2008

Does "Not False" Always Equal "True"?

Conspiracy theories thrive because of the assumption that something that is "not false" can be claimed as being "true" just by virtue of the fact that it is "not false".

Example: It is "not false" that I have more than two children. A conspiracy theorist who is interested in the subject of my personal family life might take this information and say that it is "true" that I have three children. In actuality, I have four children.

According to Webster's Unabridged dictionary, the definition of the word "logic" refers to "exact reasoning", not mere possibilities. It is precisely this definition that makes many of us skeptical of conspiracy theories. We who require "exact reasoning" will never buy into a conspiracy theory and those who will accept possibilities as fact will be the ones who eventually become obsessed with them.

logic. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. MICRA, Inc. (accessed: June 23, 2008).

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