Originally used to describe "any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy", today the term conspiracy theory is used to belittle any hypotheses, conjectures or speculations about a historical or current event which involve "a secret plot by conspirators of superhuman power and cunning."
IMHO, because there is little support of conclusive evidence for conspiracy theory, a well-informed skeptic would rely on thorough reports involving institutional analysis than on the speculations provided by conspiracy theories.
However, to prevent dispute by using the term to dismiss false belief, it is wise not to address any conspiracy theory in public. My reasoning for this is that such labeling leads to needless argument and confrontation.
With many conspiracy theories abounding in mass media, most likely conspiracism may have distorted the cultural lens of American society to the point where democracy has been replaced by conspiracy. Indeed, belief in conspiracy theories appears to have filled the spiritual void in the lives of people who believe in such theories.
Due to the speculative nature of conspiracy theories, it serves no purpose to discuss them.
Thus it serves me better to observe and study the psychological conditions of denial, paranoia, schizophrenia and mean world syndrome which provide fertile ground for such speculation.
• Conspiracy theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory
• Example of conspiracy theory in water fluoridation controversy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation_controversy#Conspiracy_theories
• Examples in Media of Conspiracy Theory
∘ In Like Flint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2SFgIBoRFw
∘ Doctor Strangelove: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97Rnn8MGat8
∘ Conspiracy Theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_Theory_%28film%29