Showing posts with label Spock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spock. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Critical Thinking

The topic of critical thinking has come up again in comments. It was born out of discussion (the latest in a series) which can best be described as MARK IS WRONG BECAUSE HE IS _______. This very tedious tactic has been going on for quite some time and it makes me wonder just how insecure some of my posters are in their ideology and beliefs. I mean, I am wrong from time to time, but how does that mean that they are right? Such a black and white world they live in....

The insta-contrarians in comments latest volley is that I am illogical therefore I am wrong. Well, folks, I am not Spock. Logic should be employed as part of an eclectic approach to analyzing the issues we talk about on here but it shouldn't be used as the sole tool in the tool kit. A link regarding critical thinking was provided to dispute this assertion.

Interestingly, the link provided by one of these ICs (insta-contrarians) had this to say about critical thinking.

The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal.

First, I agree completely with this statement. This is the framework I use to instruct young people. Second, this is an ideal and it would be very difficult to achieve it in one's lifetime. I know that I fall short of this ideal. We all do.

But I think I can say without much doubt that the ICs in comments come nowhere near this on nearly every issue. The only time they do is when I say something with which they agree. Surprise, surprise. We are on the same side of the argument so they win!

Want some examples?

1. I have yet to see any honesty in facing personal biases from the ICs. I have admitted several times on here that I have a horrible bias against Muslims.

2. I have yet to see any sort of flexibility regarding liberal and progressive policies from the ICs. They are all bad. I have stated many times on here that Reagan did many things he had to do given the context of his time and that he was right to do them. I've admitted that the Laffer curve works in countries with high tax rates and, possibly, with corporate taxes. It also works on a micro level.

3. I have yet to see any open minded analysis of climate change from the ICs. They are all warmists! I, however, have stated many times that I'd like to see more data but that the methods used in support of climate change are sound. This was recently confirmed by THREE independent panels (see: peer review).

If you ICs are the critical thinkers that you claim to be, demonstrate to me how you live by this definition above. If you reject the definition, that's fine. Why?

No doubt this will solve nothing and we'll quickly be back to personal insults and more "logic" based thinking.