'Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory has Shaped Modern History' by David Aaronovitch | Leeds Humanists Book Club
Conspiracy theories have been around for years and are not going away any time soon. Reason and evidence are mangled to suit bizarre and curious beliefs, which can have and arguably have had impacts on society at large. Our chosen book explores some historical examples of these. Are conspiracy theories dangerous or is their harm exaggerated? Is conspiratorial thinking part of human nature or not? And if the answer to the last question is yes, should we worry?
The book we're discussing is Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History by David Aaronovitch. Looking at the last century, this is a historical deep dive into a variety of conspiracy theories that have arisen during that period, analysing the context and consequences of these beliefs. Why is that relevant to humanists? Humanists value the primacy of evidence. Conspiracy theorists use and abuse evidence in order to develop and maintain ideas and beliefs, that turn reason and logic on its head. How do humanists respond? Should we ignore or should we act and what barometers can we use to help us decide? How can we get beyond our own personal beliefs to ensure that we too do not get caught up in such thinking.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts so join us and see where the conversation takes us. See you there!