Conspiratorial thinking is generally frowned upon unless a proposed conspiracy is blatantly obvious in its existence.
The line is thin between evidence based conspiracy theories and schizophrenic levels of delusional, paranoid, dialogue. People who take controversial stances which deviate from the average are often subjected to manipulative attacks on their sanity, legitimacy, and logic.
Below are barriers to look out for when sticking your neck out on particular issues you deem the majority to be wrong about.
You’ll Be Grouped Together With Extremists of a Similar Stance
Every stance on the majority of issues worth speaking about falls within a continuum. Your controversial stances will often deviate from the middle but not venture far enough to be labeled as completely off the rocker.
Whichever side of the continuum your stance leans toward will likely have extremist opinions further down the same line. Those extremist points will generally agree with your stance in addition to raising points which go a little too far.
Those who try to delegitimize your opinion will group you with the extremists found later on the same continuum your stance falls within. They’ll challenge you to explain the stances of extremists in your neck of the woods and entrap you in sympathizing with them.
Be wary of speaking about, or for, extremist views which agree with yours but take things a little too far. Quickly disassociate yourself from people who may agree with you but who bring new controversies to the table.
Straw-men: Your Nuanced Points Will Be Summarized in Broad Terms for Shock Value
Intelligent individuals come up with ideas by way of a series of steps and processes. A hypothesis is first laid out due to noticing a pattern of some sort. Then, evidence is sought on each step of the way to confirming that hypothesis.
Your controversial stances, if they’re worth their weight in salt, will be thought out and refined. You’ll likely go over your thinking processes, the evidence which backs your claims, and the patterns you’ve noticed in the world around you with a fine comb.
Those who seek to minimize your act of refining ideas before presenting them will summarize the points you make in simplistic and attention grabbing soundbites. The purpose of this behavior will be to make present your controversial conclusions to have been made without giving the stance serious thought.
A secondary purpose to this behavior is to create soundbites which sound worse than they turn out to be. An explanation of your thinking often softens the blow of what you conclude to be the painful truth.
Your Past Behavior Will Be Combed Through and Used to Prime the New Ideas You Present
As someone who’s willing to stick your neck out for what you believe truth to be, you’ll be wrong more than someone who plays it safe. Your controversial ideas will sometimes pan out to have been incorrect. This fact that comes with the territory of being a brave communicator will be used against you as you present new and improved controversial ideas.
Your track record will be cited and used to devalue the new ideas you put forth. People who attempt to discredit your thinking will cite times you’ve been too controversial, wrong, or inconsistent in the past. They’ll cast an immediate bias upon your new unrelated ideas in hopes of priming audiences against those ideas prior to them getting a chance to thoroughly examine them.
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