For several months I've been writing a series of blog articles called Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories, which by the title alone most of you can tell are about conspiracy theories that have been dis-proven to the point where there is no reason for anyone to continue to believe in them, or just sounds insane, and thus anyone who continues to believe in these conspiracies should be embarrassed that they believe in them.
Now, I don't list all conspiracy theories as being embarrassing to continue to believe in (although many of them are). In fact I have a list of criteria that a conspiracy theory needs to meet at least 3 parts of in order to be considered an "embarrassing" conspiracy theory.
So, here is a list of what I consider to be the criteria for what a embarrassing conspiracy theory is:
1. The conspiracy theory has no evidence to back it up.
Many conspiracy theories simply have no evidence what so ever to prove that they exist, be it physical evidence (real or made-up) or eye witnesses (credible or non-credible).
2. All evidence presented has been discredited and/or dis-proven.
Many conspiracy theories are based upon evidence that, while might be accepted to many conspiracy theorists, has been either discredited and/or dis-proven through a scientific process, an independent investigation, or is shown to be a logical fallacy.
3. Some or all evidence that has been presented has proven to the fraudulent.
While some conspiracy theories are based on evidence that has been discredited and/or dis-proven, there are some conspiracy theories that are actually based on evidence that has been proven to be either fraudulent, or is at least strongly suspected of being fraudulent, or may even be a hoax that has just gotten out of hand.
4. Eye witnesses have been proven to be unreliable and/or liars.
Some conspiracy theories have eye witnesses who either claim to have witnessed certain portions of a conspiracy happening, or to have been part of the conspiracy itself. The problem with this is that many times these people either cannot back up their claims, or others have proven their claims to be false, or they constantly change their claims.
5. The conspiracy theory appears to be propaganda.
There are some conspiracy theories out there that do appear to be nothing more propaganda created to promote some sort of political or ideological agenda, or some type of pseudoscience or medical quackery.
6. The conspiracy theory has an obvious bigoted slant.
There are in fact some conspiracy theories out there that are obviously made up simply for the purpose of justifying one's continued hatred towards a certain group of people, or to continue to justify the discrimination against a certain group of people.
7. The conspiracy theory itself sounds ridiculous.
As the old saying goes "if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is" and in a sense the same can be said for a conspiracy theory. If a conspiracy theory sounds to crazy and to illogical to be true, then it probably is not true.