English Debate Club

This week's topic:

  • Conspiracy theories - which ones are actually true?
  • Which ones do you wish people did not believe in?

The Internet has proven fertile ground for conspiracy theories, at the same time Wikileaks and Snowden have showed that there indeed sometimes are more things going on than meet the eye.

A conspiracy theory is not necessarily false just because it is labeled as such, although the word has taken on a derogatory meaning. Conspiracies are true sometimes, such as in the case of P2 - Propaganda Due in Italy, or IB in Sweden.

Here are two lists that claim the listed conspiracy theories to be true:

What is a conspiracy?

According to Wikipedia, a conspiracy is "is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future". However this definition is not very useful when it comes to conspiracy theories.

I'd say that in our context one can think of a conspiracy as an unexpected secret cooperation between organizations and/or individuals. Specifically it should breach our trust in them or at least our expectations of them.

There is a facade and official explanations, but in fact a more sinister reality behind it.

A lot of conspiracy theories are rendered implausible by their reliance on complicated steps and lots of people involved, and their dismissal of simpler explanations that are less reliant on powerful people and organizations being in control of their fate, and the world.

One might even make a link between the structure of many conspiracy theories and the magical thinking that attributed phenomena such as lightning to gods, rather than to natural explanations.

In this way in many conspiracy theorists' minds, the co-conspirers are demi-gods that occupy a pantheon. They are driven by emotions and greed, while less conspiracy minded people would say that no humans have that kind of power, and may even sneak in the quote "Never attribute to malice, that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

Directions to the place

Inside the café:

Go into the far (deepest) corner in the café. Go right into the wall there. Not kidding, go right into the wall. On your left there is then a staircase leading down. Some people are still unable to find the staircase, if you are one of them, just ask the staff to show you where the basement is. We are downstairs.

By metro + bus:

Take a bus from Slussen. 3 (towards Södersjukhuset) or 76 (towards Norra Hammarbyhamnen), get off at the second stop after Slussen (Åsögatan), turn right and walk 1 minute down Bondegatan. You'll see the café in front of you, at the end of the block.

By metro + walking:

Closest Metro station is "Medborgarplatsen", and the address of the café is Nytorgsgatan 38. If you look near the top of this page you will see this address, and if you click the name of the Café, a map should appear.

On that map, locate the big street "Folkungagatan" north of the Café, and trace it to the west until you see a "T" in a circle. That is the metro station "Medborgarplatsen".

From the main railway station:

For if you arrive with a suburban train (pendeltåg) or a long distance train. Grab bus 59 from outside of World trade center at the top level of the station (Klarabergsviadukten) and get off the bus at the Bondegatan stop.

The English Debate Club:

Challenge and improve your English skills with lively discussions and debates!  Sometimes we stick to debate format, other times it evolves into a general discussion.

Participants are welcome to prepare beforehand or wing it - but everyone will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion.

Focus will be on crafting arguments in English, phrasing for emphasis and expanding vocabulary at an advanced level.  Native English speakers who would like to brush up on their debating skills very welcome also!

It's okay to interject and to reply directly as long as it does not get out of hand (in which case a speaker's list will be more strictly enforced). People who have not spoken much get precedence.

If you just like to sit and listen that is fine too. For the few who really like to talk at length: You may be interrupted and asked for clarification, or it may be pointed out that you're repeating yourself.

First hour is usually a bit more free form, looking at the subject from different angles, and then we may home in on specifics more during the second hour


Join or login to comment.

  • Cathy V

    Thanks for the nice evening!

    November 6, 2013

  • Bornita Q.

    The debate was very interesting but the basement is really hard to find I thought. But now I know. :-) (y)

    November 5, 2013

  • Bornita Q.

    Hi! I'm at café string where R U?

    November 5, 2013

  • Ahsan S.

    My favorite topic but unfortunately I have to get my ass in the badminton court for training before matches over weekend.

    Have fun everyone

    November 5, 2013

  • Jorgen

    This week's topic:

    Conspiracy theories - which ones are actually true?
    Which ones do you wish people did not believe in?

    (The previous topic listed here was already discussed 6 weeks ago)

    October 29, 2013

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