How America Lost Its Mind: The history of belief trumping truth


Great question.  Is it? Do you believe that currently in our society, there is a stark (clear delineated) difference between belief and truth?

Before we discuss that, YOU need to understand the difference. So, what is the difference between belief and truth? 

For a much more at length discussion and analysis of this concept, read the Atlantic article below: 

How America Lost Its Mind

When finished, you need to CHOOSE 2 questions from the learning helper below to respond to in paragraph form. 

How America Lost Its Mind

Conspiracies Examined: An investigation into how truth is constructed


We’ve been discussing myth making via our reading of Sapiens as well as our recent examination of the myths that exist in our society. We’ve discovered that there is often a very fine line between what Harari would describe as MYTH and what our society calls TRUTH.

While watching the Zeitgeist documentary on 9/11, many of you questioned the “truth” of the situation.

Your task is to examine work through this learning helper as it guides you through the examination of a conspiracy. We’re looking at conspiracy theories because they are excellent exercises in “truth making” Through our analysis, we’ll gain great insight into the tools of knowledge used to construct “truths” as well as gain greater insight into what that word means.

So click on the link here and start analyzing:

Belief, Truth and the difference between the two

In this course, a goal of ours will be to nurture within you the ability to look at all truth claims with a critical eye. This does not mean that my goal is to turn you into a perpetual contrarian as some believe is occurring:

No, my goals is to develop within you the understanding that claims must be substantiated by evidence and that the Ways of Knowing we use to build that evidence are not infallible, thus, even though a truth claim may be supported by evidence, the evidence used to support that claim may be weak, therefore relegating the truth claim weak as well. This overarching concept of Claim:Evidence:Evaluation has application in too many important realms of your life to list here!

So.  Lets look at some truth claims.  

  1. Christopher Columbus “discovered” america in 1492
  2. If A is bigger than B, and B is bigger than C, than A is bigger than C. 
  3. Human beings are descended from apes.
  4. Murder is wrong. 
  5. Aliens have visited the earth at some point in history. 
  6. All metals expand when heated.
  7. Human beings have an immortal soul. 
  8. It is possible to construct a square with the same area as a given circle.
  9. Religion has caused more harm than good in the world
  10. Ivy League Schools provide a better education than non ivy schools

For the claims above, I want you to label them as a “truth” or “belief.”  I then want you to order them from “most true” to “least true”  with 1 being the MOST TRUE of the above statements. 


TOK Journal Collect #2: Your Thoughts Needed on the following…

Think hard!

#6…..What is Truth?  Is truth possible? Lastly, does it even matter if something is true or not?

#5….Consider a piece of culture…the movie HER for example, or Fight Club, or even another work of literature/philosophy…Thoreau’s Walden comes to mind…how does the creator of that cultural artifact view the essence of technology? What is their point of view?

#4….Kant famously wrote “I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith”? Unpack and discuss this statement in a TOK way!!