This snippet from the transcript of the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast interview with organizational psychologist Adam Grant puts forward two interesting explanations for the attraction of conspiracy theories, and then explains how they are reinforced relationally. Conspiracy theories build communities that sprout up around a particular questionable belief, and which drive everyone involved towards greater commitment to the cause.
The cynical genius label seems a little insulting, but I can see the truth of it in my own life. I'm simply more skeptical when it comes to areas of expertise I don't know much about. I'm more cautious. That's not a bad thing. But the solution is not to reject information out of hand but to figure out how to know more, or get to know people that I can trust who know more—making sure they're not cynical geniuses themselves!
My trust in God resolves the other issue. There is Someone in control, even when the world seems like it's spinning out of control. And He has promised that all will be well1, even when all around me is in turmoil.
1 Romans 8:28 CSB We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.