When faced with a controversial or threatening idea, it is a human tendency to find a "camp", or an established ideology to align with. People will choose either a believing camp or doubting camp. The problem with this is, that in choosing only one perspective to align with, it's easy to forget there is an entirely different point of view on the subject.
Playing the Believing and Doubting game helps us to focus on alternate ways of thinking about a topic and not become blinded by our own prejudices and assumptions.
The main hindrance to the search for truth is an unwillingness to abandon a "cherished assumption" once it has been disproven. One reason may be that we dislike admitting we are wrong and having our pride deflated, or, even scarier, accepting change. There is a deep fear of being "infected" or "taken over" or controlled by a bad idea.
The Believing and Doubting Game stretches us to expand our minds by embracing new ideas and abandoning old, worn or ineffective ones. Ultimately, we become more open minded, more informed and hopefully, better writers.
- Believe all the assertions--even if they contradict each other. Get inside the ideas and experience them as much as possible.
- Settle for truth mixed with error.
- Never argue. Believe everything. Walk in others' shoes. Make metaphorical transformations of assertions so you can enter them. Get other people to agree with you.
- Make the idea work--find ways to make it happen.
- Find truth by seeking error
- Question overt and hidden assumptions/assertions
- Be rigorous, rational, and tough minded
- Discover all the problems and pitfalls
1. Read articles discussed in class about the effects of the internet on teens. (NYT & Internet Dangers)
For each article engage in the believing and doubting game by creating two columns. In the believing column, list all thoughts that support your belief in what the author is saying. In the doubting column list all ideas, thoughts and questions that create doubt about the author's ideas. You should have one doubting and one believing column for each article.
2. Summarize and consolidate your believing and/or doubting ideas about the articles in the comments below.
3. Respond to one of your classmates' comments by either expanding on what has already been stated or by "testing" the comment.