Analyzing AA: Evaluating treatment programs


Read the incredibly interesting Atlantic article titled, “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous” linked here:

While reading, fill out the following chart: AA Analyzed with the the goal of addressing the learning outcome, “Examine prevention strategies and treatments for substance abuse and addictive behavior”

Sleepwalking towards Armageddon: An examination of tolerance, religious knowledge systems and a way forward


Read the short essay penned by Author Sam Harris titled, Sleep Walking Toward Armageddon.”   

When finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. Harris writes, “Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas—jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy—reliably lead to oppression and murder?” What are your thoughts on this statement? There is no doubt beliefs guide behavior, but do the beliefs stated lead to the behavior cited?
  2. To what extent should beliefs that lead to bad behavior be tolerated?
  3. What are the individual and societal benefits of religious knowledge systems? If they were to be eliminated, what would take their place and fulfill the benefits you stated?
  4. Harris puts forth the thesis that acknowledging and critiquing of the “dangerous beliefs” which he states are inherent in Islam would be a start to solving the problems that he believes stem from islam. Do you agree? How would it and how wouldn’t it?
  5. What is the way forward? Education? Censorship?

Debates in TOK!!

Awakened Learning


Our Topics for Debate this Year are as follows:

  1. Artificial intelligence will bring the end to humanity

  2. Unregulated genetic engineering such as gene manipulation and cloning should be allowed

  3. An animal life is less valuable than a human one.

  4. Political Correctness only serves to coddle and weaken the mind

  5. Capitalism is inherently immoral

  6. We cannot be certain of anything

  7. Preserving culture is more important than progress


  • A flip of a coin will determine who goes first.
  • Each student will have a one minute ‘introduction’ to their topic and their ‘beliefs’.
  • The debate will last at most 12 minutes
  • At the end of the debate, each student will conduct a 30 second closing statement.
  • Students must be respectful and mature.

Your grade (Maximum 20 points minimum 0) will be based on the following:

  • Composure (maturity)
  • Facts and examples (evidence and persuasive argumentation)
  • Listening skills (respectful)
  • Rebuttals (on point? Or off…

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Myth Making in a Post Modern World

As you read in Sapiens, Harari contends that myths are necessary in order for humans to live in large groups cohesively. He contends that until we had myth making, we remained living in small clans of extended families. So myths certainly serve a purpose, and they certainly can unite and do good; however make no mistakes—they serve the purpose of mind control.

At this point, it’s important to comprehend that “mind control” is not meant to be a pejorative term. Mind control can be used to create a society of caring, loving, intelligent and altruistic humans. However it can also be used for a variety of other purposes.

The point of this activity is for you to become aware of the myths that surround you so that you can examine the origins of your beliefs as well as the knowledge you consume.

Download and work through this learning helper: Myth Making