“Hate Speech”, Vaccines and Censor-Mindset: Is SERRC Killing Children? Lee Basham

“Do Crimes, Save Lives.” —Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg famously wrote, “I will never be able to go back to Sweden without knowing inside myself that I’d done all a man could do to save as many Jews as possible.” He also remarked of politics how relative the “truth” there is; mired in power games in a political system based on silence and semi-open secrets. Raoul Wallenberg would have been found guilty of hate speech had the National Socialist Schutzstaffel (SS) apprehended him. There has been a long debate on whether “The German People” knew of the death camps and the industrial extermination techniques. The only credible answer is many did, many did not, and many were in a confused state of uncertainty or denial. Rumors have power, but if a culture irrationally demands we ignore them, they become self-defeating. Open inquests were quite impossible because of Germany’s equivalent of “hate speech” laws; the expressing of treason against the values of the German people and The State … [please read below the rest of the article].

Image credit: Emily via Flickr / Creative Commons

Article Citation:

Basham, Lee. 2023. “‘Hate Speech’, Vaccines and Censor-Mindset: Is SERRC Killing Children?” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (1): 22-31. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-7vM.

🔹 The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers.

Articles in this dialogue:

❦ Riggio, Adam. 2022. “On the Worth of Trying.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (11): 29-37.

❦ Riggio, Adam. 2022. “The Dangers of Intellectual Honesty in a World of Lies: A Reply to Lee Basham.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (3): 61-69. 

❦ Basham, Lee. 2022. “An Autopsy of the Origins of HIV/AIDS.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (1): 26-32. 

The inversion of the object of these kinds of laws does not address the tense problem of why any democratic polis would resort to them. As we are by and large a rational polis with our democratic institutions, redress mechanism, and a mentality of concern and mistrust as evidence among much else, the mystery deepens. The censor-mindset appears the answer: Silence dissent and alternative views. The surest sign of a morally weak union of societies, one that either has deep, society-wide psychological disorders or pretends it does; either way, it does. So self-commitment to a multination mental hospital. One flew over the EU?

This mysterious situation increasingly describes an aspect of the collapse of rationality in the European Union, where silencing laws are now uniformly imposed even in countries that played no role and actively opposed the Holocaust. Censorship is a political act.

Corporations can be political, too, as the FBI/Twitter disaster shows. Conspiracy theorizing is again having a good day. As it should. So what is censorship? It is the use of force, either direct or covertly, to prevent dissemination of ideas and explanations. The censor-mindset is to impose censorship either through emotional denunciation or legal attack. This is objectionable in the realm of Social epistemology; the quality and intellectual honesty of our contributors illustrates this. To impose the censor-mindset and express “shock” when SERRC does not do the same, is the censor-mindset. In what follows,

(1) Let’s consider some cases where public trust failed and the censor-mindset prevailed;

(2) Contrast Evidence and Public Trust approaches;

(3) Notice when the censor-mindset takes control Public Trust is the dominant form of the subsequent crippled social epistemology, and;

(4) Turn to the heroic acts of Raoul Wallenberg as a helpful exemplar and summary of why the censor-mindset is intrinsically dangerous; criminalizing of thought and expression.

Legal Censor-Mindset: “Hate Speech” as Crime

Consider “hate speech”. The Twitter disaster exemplifies this in a country guided, at least nominally, by the first amendment. In the European Union the abuse is more blatant,

European Hate Speech Laws: Since the end of World War II, many European countries have witnessed a proliferation of hate speech legislation designed to curb incitement to racial and religious hatred. Though originally intended to guard against the kind of xenophobic and anti-Semitic propaganda that gave rise to the Holocaust, today, national hate speech laws have increasingly been invoked to criminalize speech that is merely deemed insulting to one’s race, ethnicity, religion, or nationality …[1]

A paranoia (irrational fear) of being slighted, even insulted is a condition fortunately few suffer, so the ultimate basis of these laws is unclear. Typically, insults are considered mindless, self-negating; occasions for a distancing sort of pity of the person making them. So why the laws? Is it a public pathology of imposing the appearance of mutual admiration, or a method of political control by authorities, one selectively targeted at dissidents, or a manner of conceit for one’s own views as long as they are in the majority?

Whatever the basis of these laws, it does not appear rational or particularly democratic. Even as public censorial behavior, not legally empowered, seems to be symptomatic of a person unsure of their convictions. Whatever they are at that moment or later, we might fear carry this manner of insecurity over to whatever they someday might become, with previous censored ideas still censored. This is the downward spiral of intolerance in the name of tolerance. The walls can only close in. The hate speech project becomes destructive, not constructive of intelligent, tolerant, and convivial persons. The censor-mindset is internally unbalanced.

For an extreme instance, what if NAZI Germany had hate speech laws—just aimed at Political dissent and protection of a racial class, Aryans—and they found that an author was defending the full humanity and equality of Jews with anyone else in Germany? Is this communication defamatory of the State, harassing and insulting of the true German race and nationality? All else follows,

In large part, the movement to circumscribe the bounds of free expression has its roots in three instruments of international law—the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 10 of the ECHR, for example, grants the freedom of expression to all, but the exercise of this right is conditioned on conformity with the restrictions necessary, inter alia, “for the protection of the reputation and rights of others.”[2]

Again: What sort of Union of Nations (the EU) would require these values be laws? So much for the truthful portion of the #me too’s accounts. Weinstein walks? Sometimes we can’t help but think the EU hasn’t really thought things through. The second question: When is reasoned, well-evidenced critique “hostility” and in some way worthy of “blame”? Let’s turn to Adam Riggio, as he appears an archetypical advocate of self-censorship, social censorship and perhaps more, as in the laws above. He’s far from alone in this emerging project.

For instance, Riggio is concerned that recognition of his defense of censorship is a “straw person”, even though he has consistently invokes “shock” and similar reactions to speech he dislikes. This includes an account of the most likely source of the HIV crisis as uncovered by Tom Curtis, Louis Pascal and Edward Hooper documented from an HIV infected polio vaccine tested en mass in Africa, and later a general reject of public rationality of a rational polis.[3]

Riggio announced that SERRC was blameworthy for allowing these discussions,

Someone could share Basham’s article on Telegram channels [or Twitter] that promote anti-vaccination propaganda, and guide conversations about it to make people further distrust any vaccines. If a parent’s conversation about that article solidifies an anti-vaccination belief such that they refuse all vaccinations for their children, not only against COVID, but also chickenpox, measles, pertussis; if one or more of those children contracts a virus and dies or suffers injury, Basham and SERRC bear some share of the responsibility.[4]

SERRC is crippling and killing children?

I think not. Those skeptical of certain vaccines already have overwhelming resources and they know where they are. Some of their concerns are well founded. More to the point, by Riggio’s reasoning if a convenience store sells you a lighter, and you commit arson, the store shares some measure of responsibility for your arson? No, it shares none. Riggio’s position is that certain reasonable, well-evidenced historic and contemporary concerns, even while he admits they are correct, should not be published. This is the censor-mindset.

His intentions are benevolent and in that praiseworthy. His intellect undoubted by anyone who reads what he writes. He gives voice to a powerful turn to censorship and the intellectual freedoms of Western Europeans. But the thesis is absurd. SERRC is not killing children, even as an accessory. People do that, information doesn’t. Failure to note this simple distinction might be one root cause of the censor-mindset.

It’s with the thesis of pro-censorship we concern ourselves. Good minds can and often should disagree. The bad news is there are no straw persons—effigies—required in the critique of this censorial thesis. The personal views requesting censorship are a matter of record.  personal views, shared by others These views mirror government enforced censorship, often accompanied by crippling legal costs and crushing penalties,

Among the panoply of other British hate speech laws is Section 5 of the POA, which makes it a crime to use or display threatening, abusive, or insulting words “within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm, or distress thereby.” Indeed, it was under this incredibly low threshold that Christian hoteliers Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, accused by a Muslim patron of calling Muhammad a “warlord”, were charged, but ultimately acquitted, in 2009.[5] Conversely, Harry Taylor, an atheist who placed drawings satirizing Christianity and Islam in an airport prayer room, was convicted in April 2010 under Section 5 and given a six-month prison sentence.[6]

This makes for neither sound epistemology nor functional democracy. If I was presented with drawings in my mailbox or classroom desk satirizing atheism, a skeptical view with which I have some appreciation for, I would celebrate and publicly share these as a sign of a healthy community. The censor-mindset would not. They would go to the administration and demand action. All that has been done in various exchanges graced by SERRC’s existence is quote Riggio and the like-minded and in context. The censor-mindset approach is often one not epistemology, but politically based social and legal attack. One expressing their politics of the moment, which will, of course, morph over time. An ironic example,

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI): The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is a unique human rights monitoring body which specialises in questions relating to the fight against racism, discrimination (on grounds of “race”, ethnic/national origin, colour, citizenship, religion, language, sexual orientation and gender identity), xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance [emphasis added] in Europe.[7]

The key word in this introduction is “intolerance”. Contradiction is immediate: We fight intolerance. Which at least means we are intolerant of intolerance.[8] The statement is self-refuting. Parallel to saying we should criminalize our opposition to criminalizing. This not an inescapable paradox. The way out is easy, “While we respect views that do not show tolerance towards other views, we encourage a rational, evidence-based discussion in every case. Let the pen, not the sword of the state, decide. Not public blaming or shaming, or legally coercive penalty. This is our mission and we believe you will find our viewpoint convincing”. Which in recent history, until the strange advent of hate-speech laws, it has been. If a micro-minority of people view some group with ethical, political or religious disdain publicly announce this, I am witnessing a healthy democracy. This polis is one that consistently ignores or critiques these outliers in evidential ways. Democracies are evidence driven or they are, whatever their material wealth and legally imposed and so pseudo-tranquility, failed states.

Another example from an influential self-identified democracy,

The show trials that took place in Stalin’s USSR had a very specific purpose for Stalin. The show trials were not held in secret but were, as their title suggests, in the open with foreign journalists invited [emphasis added] and were there to prove to those in the USSR who were interested  that ‘enemies of the state’ still existed despite the ‘Red Terror’ and that state leaders such as Stalin were at risk. There is little doubt that those who faced a show trial were going to be found guilty and they served the main purpose of Stalin – to get rid of anyone who might be a potential rival to him as leader.[9]

This was a conspiracy on two levels, the one indicated in the passage and the relentless pro-soviet support in socialist and communist circles that the trials were proof of the decency of the Stalin government. Much of the Western press supported the trials and subsequent executions. Support for the trials and their authenticity took many years—as much as two decades—to degrade among influential academics in the West. In the end, not trust, but evidence, won the debate. The position, “When the Peoples’ Republic under Stalin defends itself in open court against saboteurs, I trust Stalin.” is now laughable. But when one is told to “trust the science” and mingled for asking difficult questions, particularly when the empirical, evidence driven science actually indicates rather the opposite concerning, for instance, the efficacy of the COVID19 vaccines, we might stop laughing. Yes, history does not prergicelyrepeat itself, but again, it does rhyme.

A strange example,

A pro-life woman was arrested earlier this month for silently praying outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham, U.K. on the grounds that she had breached a speech buffer zone established by the local city council. Police told Isabel Vaughan-Spruce that she would be taken into custody for violating a “Public Spaces Protection Order”. Video footage of the arrest was captured by All Things ProLife and circulated by Alliance Defending Freedom, which is hosting a fundraiser for Vaughan-Spruce’s legal defense. When officers asked whether she was part of a protest, she replied “no.” They then asked if she was praying, to which she said she could be doing so “in my head.” Police then searched her, and patted down her hair, before handcuffing her and escorting her to the station.[10]

This from the contemporary UK. She was violating a UK “public spaces protection order”.[11] I would argue any such order attacks public spaces and the population at large. The issue is not the morality or immorality of nonmedical, on demand abortion but the idea that silently praying on a sidewalk is an arrestable offense. The censor-mindset knows no bounds. It should become cliché,  “There’s something wrong with my calendar, it says 2023 but it’s 1984.”.  If mental censorship is the new ambition, most of what authors like Dentith and me warned of is coming true. Is it time for silent sidewalk prayer to be a crime? Apparently. What says Riggio et al.?

The absurdity of this arrest is manifest to those in the US and I suspect to most in the UK. The censor-mindset’s pretense to hegemony is eroding as its folly has become more existentially evident to the general population, but it still grips the academic elites to a substantial degree. These are blame games in opposition to the truth. The attitude of fragility and blame is the seed of the censor mindset. Which turns our attention to the Twitter files.

A Popular Return to Evidence

When the censor-mindset displaces information some reason must be given to the populace for social and political activity. This returns us the extreme case of Stalin, Trust in Government and mainstream media. A failed approach epistemically, but it can be enforced politically. As we see in the misguided censorial binge above.

The good news: Many appear to be making the right move when it comes to evidence. The Twitter files are an instance. The new popular emphasis on skepticism of authority (public trust) and preference for evidence is encouraging. Not an institutionalized censor mindset. This is welcome. Tensions remain within trust and evidence approaches; often it is a trust or evidence position, where trust is still privileged among various elites. The emerging emphasis is on evidence, not trust,

People’s confidence in key institutions is associated with their views about the transparency of institutions. About two-thirds (69%) of Americans say the federal government intentionally withholds important information from the public that it could safely release, and 61% say the news media intentionally ignores stories that are important to the public. Those who hold those skeptical views are more likely than others to have greater concerns about the state of trust.[12]

That’s good news for the stability of an epistemology, transparently so in a democracy. That said, salience guided by a skeptical vigilance enables a functional democracy, trust does not, in the popular view. It undermines it and forces the state to indulge in an ever-creeping censorial mandate. The Public Trust approach is dwindling and we should welcome this. An evidence driven society is pleased to take its place. The censor-mindset will find little to do there.

Skepticism can and should negotiate with evidence. Sometimes these negotiations go well for skepticism, sometimes not. Consider again the critique of (even forced) mRNA vaccination. My approach is empirical by experience with the physical sciences. If I am told I should take a particular mRNA vaccine, I will research the history of this technology. Having taken courses in virology I had a good clue of what I would find: It is relatively ineffective, does not prevent transmission, highly temporary but also in the ways now conceded, dangerous to the healthiest among us. Hence mRNA therapies were discarded as credible vaccines in the 1960s and 70s. The people developing and marketing the drug knew this. But they did it anyway and launched a mass media campaign to distract and obscure these relatively elementary, long confirmed empirical observations. Reggio writes,

When I take a COVID vaccine, I do so trusting that the institutions and organizations involved in developing and distributing this medical technology have the knowledge they claim to have. I recognize that other people legitimately have different levels of trust in those institutions.[13]

Its good different are granted the right to varying levels of trust. That should end the argument. But it does not. This is a fine example of why thoughtful, skeptical, informed populations are a necessary condition for a functional democracy.

If we will simply trust the people administering the drug, so be it. I place evidence first in life, some place trust. Others keep their eyes on the lifeboats of free thought and evidence. I agree. The epistemologists approach is the lifeboat; evidence. The conformist’s approach, public trust, the Titanic. Rational analysis cannot be conducted by trust. That said, enjoy boosters and in sincerity, I hope it goes well and all experience no harm, even though given the current evidence, many will.


Concern of “Universal skepticism” is a straw person here. Universal skepticism of whatever domain of discourse or ordinary belief, as Hume noted, is beyond the reach of a finite mind. Would we be engaging in a straw person here? In the political realm, and in important personal decisions encouraged or imposed by the powers that be, should always be approached with skepticism, only to be resolved by unfettered discussion and evidence.

Again, censorship is a political act, and again corporations can do this, too, as the Twitter FBI disaster shows. For instance, Riggio suggests, “We simply have different ways of understanding the world, and any attempt to say that one is correct and the other is false reduces to censorship.”.[14] Not if “correct” means to not censor (see above “share of the responsibility”); “false” to use social and even legal force to silence. Which it does reduce to censorship when we are told by Riggio and like-minded we must not discuss these [insert list] of things. These are not “simply have different ways”; they are entirely opposed views. Riggio admonishes persons and publications to not speak of various things when the evidence strongly supports these persons and their views are correct; these publications well within not just their rights but respecting their duties; like SERRC.

The view that positions are worthless if they are currently, by most, thought to be false. Two reasons:

First, on the contrary, they retain great value in their reminder of past errors; we can simultaneously reject them while allowing them to be widely none, even by some embraced, as examples of apparent error and the need for epistemic vigilance. Again, a position many share.

Second, many with the censor mindset also miss the point that views rarely have final destinations. New evidence accrues, new adjustments and refinements are found, and the arguments evolve. It is the use of force, either direct or covertly, to prevent dissemination of ideas and explanation. This is censorship. Such censorial views frequently emerge as themselves false and, in some cases, very dangerous, both to society and epistemology. But for myself, in a Voltaire-like way—I’m no Voltaire—I welcome their publication. Riggio also suggests,

We need some kind of decision process(es) that will let us sort (1) [Epstein’s pedophile Island] from (2) [Sandy Hook murders] from (3) [petrol-industry proxy criticizing of global warming]. Maybe there’s something in Basham’s positions that I still don’t understand after nearly a year of engaging this debate, but I don’t see anything in what he offers that can tell the difference.[15]

Then Riggio and other like-minded are not familiar with my writing and that of epistemologists like Charles Pigden, Brian Martin, David Coady, M R.X. Dentith and Kurtis Hagen. Anyone who is familiar with our work and this literature would correct him. This goes back to 2001. I have clearly stated in our discussions and elsewhere what my basic standards for rejection are; internal coherence, evidence, the triangle of crime (more broadly, of cooperative deception; motive, ability opportunity) and consistency with well-warranted, stable background theories. These tests must be passed. There’s agreement with the items of this list. Until they are passed, rejection. Read these papers and those of others. Familiarity with the relevant literature is always critical; in this case it’s quite good and I think Riggio would find it enlightening. Unfamiliarity with any literature you wish to engage is always a minefield.

As we’ve seen, many even believe reasoned and rational argumentation should be illegal when it contradicts their current establishmentarian or other ideological views. Given the incomparable horror of the Holocaust and so much else, the EU, is a self-traumatized system of nation-states and its people have my sympathies, they really do. The nightmare goes back to Roman atrocities and slavery, then the burring alive of millions of people under the Catholic Inquisition. It’s surprising such a system of nation-states would find anything but studied suspicion of government even vaguely plausible. In this light hate-speech laws seem daft.

The instability of the position of both evidence and trust becomes especially clear when Riggio offers up a conspiracy theory about secret societies of racist controlling mainstream media and inducing them into “laundering” racist, anti-feminist, anti-socialist calls for violence against the same. Without significant evidence. This is a political piety of a preferred political faction. It does not appear supported by significant evidence. If it is, bring it forth and let justice be done to it.

Riggio adds,

I’d consider the Epstein case as (1), the Sandy Hook truther case as (2), and oil industry lobbies persuading people that climate change isn’t happening as (3). I think we need to be able to distinguish all these to guide our political and social action to the best outcomes. Otherwise, we’re paralyzed because we have to take all these incompossible perspectives on what’s happening and what’s a lie as equally legitimate.[16]

“Legitimate” is a cultural/legal term and really has little place here. Legitimate to voice, either by mere mention or actual endorsement? Of course. Rational to believe? Often not and by degrees given an individuals information and of the same. A simple distinction. So how did Riggio make these determinations? Because of trust in media and politicalized courts, or a study of the full evidence available in a horizontal information system of popular discussion? Which are best evidenced, which are not. No mystery. Upshot: Differences in evidence produces differences in probabilities. Only a horizontal system secures this. The literature on conspiracy theory discusses this at length.

In real-life terms, people approximate Bayes Theorem.[17] They look at how like a conspiracy explanation is, they look at how likely their evidence is, and if the evidence is unlikely to be accurate, they shrug their shoulders. They do the same with the official story, see it is much likely—even impossible the evidence, and go with the conspiracy theory that is competing with the official story.[18] But some minds are overthrown by political faction ideology. They mimic what they are told to, like church mice, living off the crumbs of communion with their political faction, their surrogate for church.

Conclusion: Raoul Wallenberg and the Censor-Mindset

We can only wonder what new internal political disaster Europe will eventually fashion out of their censor-mindset, legally empowered and morally financed by their Holocaust. Left with only a public trust doctrine? Not open discussion? The signs are disturbing. Are we familiar with the heroic efforts of Raoul Wallenberg to save European Jews? He made the right choice. He did not trust NAZI denials of anything more ambitious than deportation or work camps where the Jews could prove their value to the Reich. He knew the death camps were coming. He knew traditional Jewish Rabbinical public trust and their policy of Jewish self-censorship, silence, in a system that saw them as a subhuman was suicide. Rabbis would denounce Jews who shared their concerns, doubts and worst fears. This pattern of public trust endures to this day, writ globally.

Self-imposed silence does equal death sometimes. Yet on a long enough timeline censor-mindset frequently leads to catastrophe. He knew what people do to “nonhuman animals”. Swedish citizens were exempt from the death camps at that time. Wallenberg faked heaps of false Sweden citizenships to shelter Jews. He would run along the cattle cars as they left the stations and beg Jews to jump. Many did. He then hid them and helped smuggled them to safety. His was an evidenced based approach motivated by skepticism. Not public trust. Instead, he exemplified a studied suspicion anathema to the censor-mindset. In the end he was tracked down and in Stalin’s USSR he was executed. But he saved thousands.[19] With his mind, alone, on its own.

To the first and final question: Is SERRC crippling or killing children? Or is it promoting the mindset that took an ordinary person and made him great? A systematic honesty and open expression that hopefully make the need for future Raoul Wallenbergs rare? The latter. SERRC is saving children by taking its place alongside Wallenberg to encourage real-world discussion of the censorial program confronting our society, all of which always begin with social epistemology. Step two: Do crimes, save lives.

Author Information:

Lee Basham, labasham@southtexascollege.edu, is a professor at South Texas College known for his research on conspiracy theories, conspiracy in a hierarchical society and its significant implications for a functional democracy.

[1] See: https://www.legal-project.org/issues/european-hate-speech-laws; https://www.coe.int/en/web/european-commission-against-racism-and-intolerance/ (both retrieved 12/01/2022).

[2] See: https://www.legal-project.org/issues/european-hate-speech-laws; https://www.coe.int/en/web/european-commission-against-racism-and-intolerance/ (both retrieved 12/01/2022).

[3] Basham, Lee. 2022. “An Autopsy of the Origins of HIV/AIDS.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (1): 26-32 and Riggio, Adam. 2022. “The Dangers of Intellectual Honesty in a World of Lies: A Reply to Lee Basham.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (3): 61-69. There are other instances.

[4] Riggio, Adam. 2022. “On the Worth of Trying.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (11): 29-37.

[5] The Quranic account: While Muhammed (PBUH) had recruited a great general in Abu Bakr, Muhammed (PBUH) was largely an ideological and religious leader. After the Ascension of the Prophet, the split between Ali (the Prophet’s son-in-law) and Bakr lead to the Shia/Sunni schism, with the majority, Sunnis, following Bakr.

[6] Ibid, see footnotes 2 and 3.

[7] See: https://rm.coe.int/leaflet-ecri-2019/168094b101 (retrieved 12/02/2022).

[8] Which of recent, some have. The short lived “defund the police” movement in the US, for one example.

[9] See: https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/russia-1900-to-1939/the-show-trials-in-the-ussr/.

[10] See: https://news.yahoo.com/british-woman-arrested-praying-silently-200714572.html (retrieved 12/23/2022).

[11] See, for instance: https://nypost.com/2022/12/22/uk-woman-arrested-for-praying-across-from-abortion-clinic/ (retrieved 12/22/2022).

[12] The Pew Report. 2019: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/22/key-findings-about-americans-declining-trust-in-government-and-each-other/ (retrieved 10/23//2022).

[13] Riggio, Adam. 2022. “On the Worth of Trying.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (11): 29-37.

[14] Personal correspondence.

[15] See: https://social-epistemology.com/2022/12/22/conspiracy-theory-personal-epistemic-crisis-and-epstein-riggio-on-trying-lee-basham/#comments.

[16] See: https://social-epistemology.com/2022/12/22/conspiracy-theory-personal-epistemic-crisis-and-epstein-riggio-on-trying-lee-basham/#comments.

[17] See: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bayes-theorem/ for a simple explanation.
The probability of H conditional on E is defined as PE(H) = P(H & E)/P(E), provided that both terms of this ratio exist and P(E) > 0. P is the probability of hypothesis, H is the conspiracy theory, E the evidence, P then is probability of accurate evidence, calculation, anything greater than zero provides the probability at that moment, given our evidence H (the conspiracy theory) is true. It allows us to, among many other things, rank the relative probabilities of various conspiracy theories verses nonconspiratorial official stories, etc.. This has been discussed in the relevant literature.

[18] The official story may also be a conspiracy theory, like the official account of 9/11; Arab terrorists conspired to attack the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers with civilian jet planes. If an alternative conspiracy theory is offered, then we have dueling conspiracy theories and will reason in a roughly Bayesian manner.

[19] See: Carlberg, Ingrid. 2005. Raoul Wallenberg, The Biography, Maclehouse Press. Introduction by Kofi Annan.

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