Thanks for this very comprehensive article.
I have thought quite a bit about this general topic… more specifically about “belief”… The thing that inspired me to contemplate all of this was the observation that many people (probably most people) are seduced to accept notions as “true” or “factual” in the absence of supporting evidence. My conclusion is that our desire to be comfortable with our beliefs often supersedes our wish to find “truth.” We all say we want to know the truth, but ideas we find uncomfortable will influence us to seek alternatives. There are many elements of our society that actually teach us to shun uncomfortable ideas that are well supported by tangible evidence in favor of more comforting ideas that have no credible supporting evidence.
So I guess I am trying to say the real problem is not so much that we “can’t handle the truth” as it is our addiction to comfort, and the ease with which we can chose to believe whatever feels good at the moment.