“I’d like to say that it’s all intellectual, but I don’t think it is.”
The belief that behind the visible mechanisms of society, powerful forces are up to no good is hardly a new idea (or reality). But geopolitics and culture wars in recent years have thrown up plenty of material for conspiracy theorists to work with.
What’s so appealing about these theories? When do they become a problem? And how can we have constructive conversations about them, without one side just infuriating or dismissing the other?
Nigel Chapman is the lead author of the ISCAST paper “Who to Trust? Christian Belief in Conspiracy Theories”, which digs into the phenomenon of conspiracism, including how Christian faith and community can either feed into or mitigate against such beliefs.
And Michel Gagné is someone who’s been down the rabbit hole himself, and returned – starting with the myths and theories surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 60 years ago. He explains how he got in – and out! – and offers advice for families and friends who find themselves divided and exhausted by conspiracy theories.
“If we dehumanise others, we are on the slippery slope of creating a false reality, a simplistic myth that does not reflect our world.”
ISCAST discussion paper, Who to Trust? Christian Belief in Conspiracy Theories
Michel Gagné’s podcast Paranoid Planet