Once again the debate rages—okay, “rages” is probably not the best term to use here because it’s more like a pouty little temper tantrum of the “is not, is too” variety—over at AlterNet about conspiracy theories, particularly conspiracy theories as they relate to the tragic events of 9/11/2001.
The problem is that both sides of the debate show a certain lack of critical thinking skills. On the one side you have the naysayers, the denouncers of conspiracies and conspiracy theorists who, in making their denunciations, reveal themselves to be unprepared for a rational debate. On the other side you have the conspiracy theorists who, in making their wild assertions, indicate that many of them need to adjust their tinfoil hats.
Clearly, there was a conspiracy afoot on 9/11; everything was too well planned and too coordinated for it to be otherwise. To deny the existence of conspiracy in the matter of 9/11 is to suggest that a series of unfortunate but random, unrelated incidents just happened to converge in the rubble of the twin towers, cause the collapse of Building 7, leave a gaping hole in the Pentagon, and put an ugly gouge in a Pennsylvania field.
The argument about conspiracies is diversionary in that it keeps either side from getting at the truth. Instead of arguing about whether or not there was a conspiracy, we should focus the debate on who owns the conspiracy.
That’s a debate worth having.