New Scientist har lagt ut en interessant artikkel: Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth.
HEARD the latest? The swine flu pandemic was a hoax: scientists, governments and the World Health Organization cooked it up in a vast conspiracy so that vaccine companies could make money.
Never mind that the flu fulfilled every scientific condition for a pandemic, that thousands died, or that declaring a pandemic didn’t provide huge scope for profiteering. A group of obscure European politicians concocted this conspiracy theory, and it is now doing the rounds even in educated circles.
This depressing tale is the latest incarnation of denialism, the systematic rejection of a body of science in favour of make-believe. There’s a lot of it about, attacking evolution, global warming, tobacco research, HIV, vaccines – and now, it seems, flu. But why does it happen? What motivates people to retreat from the real world into denial?
Ja, jeg har selv kjempet og kastet bort (?) uttallige timer i lite fruktbare diskusjoner med slike, ikke skeptikere, men benektere. Mennesker som på tross av alle vitenskapelige bevis, statistikker og en rasjonell verdensanskuelse, mener å ha en spesiell evne til å se gjennom bedrageriet og gjennomskue den egentlige årsaken til ulike fenomen, uansett hvor fantastisk deres forklaring måtte høres ut for oss andre.
Men hva skyldes dette?
Here’s a hypothesis: denial is largely a product of the way normal people think. Most denialists are simply ordinary people doing what they believe is right. […]
Whatever they are denying, denial movements have much in common with one another, not least the use of similar tactics. All set themselves up as courageous underdogs fighting a corrupt elite engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the truth or foist a malicious lie on ordinary people. This conspiracy is usually claimed to be promoting a sinister agenda: the nanny state, takeover of the world economy, government power over individuals, financial gain, atheism.