Facts vs. Beliefs: The Struggle Which Will Probably Never End

“The Science of Why We don’t Believe Science,” ends with a very interesting theory: In order to persuade people, you have to present the information by fusing the audience’s beliefs with the facts. In other words, speak in their language if you want to get anything across. I agree with Professor Festinger that the beliefs of the individual can skew how they interpret the facts, but what are they supposed to do about it? Whether they are religious beliefs we are taught from birth or information we receive from media sources, the entire belief system was socially created in order to keep the world sane. There is a sense of stability and reassurance in knowing that everything you have based your life on or you thoughts you fill your head with is not totally made up. Back in my junior year of high school, Theory of Knowledge was one of the hardest courses for most of my class because it forced you to reevaluate your beliefs. For example, when we read a history book in America, the information about World War 2 is going to be presented differently – focusing on praising the US – than in Germany. I know for sure, though, that if american high school students were taught using a German curriculum, it would be hard to convince them that what they are learning is true. Only because the American persona is so ingrained in them, just like any other belief is deeply ingrained in an individual. Personally, there is almost no way someone could convince me that women and men should not be treated equal, but I am trying to keep an “open mind.”



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