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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Party Time. Renaissance Style.

As a celebration of your work on our renaissance documentary films, we’ll have a class party while we watch your wonderful work and are educated on the causes and effects of the renaissance!

Please sign up to bring something to eat on THURSDAY for our party on the google doc below 🙂