Since I believe that flat earth is biblical and I’ve always believed this from childhood, is that considered a delusion? I know this to be truth and there isn’t anything that will change my mind.

A. There is a difference between knowing something to be true and believing something to be true. To determine something to be true, we need very strong evidence. How does your doctor know what drug to give you? He relies upon the evidence that was gathered during scientific studies of that drug.

We are not free to believe anything we want and by saying that, I mean that believing something to be true that isn’t true does not come without consequence. In other words, believing something to be true that isn’t, can be a very costly proposition. No matter how strongly you believe something, if it isn’t true, there will be a price to pay.

Look at the people who invested their life savings with Bernie Madoff. People who believed strongly in Bernie Madoff and that their money was safe, were crushed and financially destroyed. Did they lose their life savings because they did not believe strongly enough in Bernie Madoff? Or did they lose a lifetime of savings, for many all of their savings, because they were wrong in their assessment of Bernie Madoff? Did they lose because they didn’t believe hard enough or because their belief was wrong? My point is that a belief can be wrong, and a wrong belief can be very costly. We are not “entitled” to believe anything we want. We are only entitled to be correct in our beliefs.

One test that therapists use to determine the presence of a delusion in an individual, is whether or not the individual believes something in the face of strong and substantial evidence to the contrary. I would ask you to look at all of the evidence that is contrary to a flat earth theory. There is an enormous amount of evidence that disproves that the earth is flat. And what evidence is there that the earth is flat?

All of the major religions which are based upon the teachings of the Holy Bible, do not believe the earth is flat, nor that the Bible suggests that the earth is flat. In life, always gather all of the information available, carefully weigh the evidence and carefully determine its validity. We all need to be right and we will be punished for being wrong. God is infallible — humans only too much so. Try your best to weigh all of the evidence in your life. Be careful where you invest your money and never forget that the world is filled with people who are trying to deceive you.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope that I’ve helped. Thanks for writing.

Dr. Kristina Randle