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Proposal: How to make a positive *dent* in an adult population’s critical thinking skills

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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10 July 2013 18:45
 

jdrnd:

Of course critical thinkers often disagree - doh! Scientists disagree, engineers disagree, and so on. But I don’t want to use any bridge designed by an engineer who used faith in his calculations. (e.g. “God told me that for *this* bridge the concrete will miraculously be twice as strong as nominally specified.”)

As far as Campbell-esque discussions go, the vernacular I’d use is that Campbell is mostly looking at spiritual ideas as opposed to religious ideas. Not to say that the two don’t often overlap, but that his perspective seems to me to be more spiritual than religious.

Finally, it seems there is a theme running through this thread - my inference is that theme is along the lines of:

“Can’t theologists be critical thinkers?”

It strikes me that that’s a perennial and complex “hot topic”. But for the sake of this thread I’d say that the purpose of the OP was NOT to tackle the WLC’s of the world. Again, the proposition is to focus on the fence sitters.

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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17 July 2013 13:12
 

Bring back Scooby-doo.

http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/4226/in-praise-of-meddling-kids

(Seriously)

Other contenders:
The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Sherlock Holmes.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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17 July 2013 13:25
 

Popularize Socratic as a mental martial art.

(Throw in some perceptual self-defense—i.e. awareness.)

 
 
Sailwa
 
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Sailwa
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22 July 2013 00:46
 

I’ve been off the internet for a little while so apologies for the delay but there was another point i wanted to make. You mentioned your scale of reasoning, and how you are aiming for people on the cusp between free thinking and dogmatism, i was wondering do you really think that group is the best to aim for? When considering the potential negative impact they can have it seems that this group are relatively harmless in comparison to people judged to be at the lower end of the scale. I think any resources should be poured in the direction of the lower end. Just a general point but quite important i think.

 
bardoXV
 
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bardoXV
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22 July 2013 04:03
 
Jefe - 17 July 2013 11:12 AM

Bring back Scooby-doo.

http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/4226/in-praise-of-meddling-kids

(Seriously)

Other contenders:
The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Sherlock Holmes.

You do realize these are all fictional characters, and the stories all depended on how the author wrote the plot.  The characters didn’t really figure anything out, or observe any obscure detail not obvious to anyone else who might look.  It was all made up by the author, even the presence of details that may not have been obvious to the casual observer.  .

 
 
bardoXV
 
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bardoXV
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22 July 2013 04:08
 

Critical thinking depends on seeing what is really there, and most people do not.  Most people see only what they want to see or what they expect to see.  I’m not just talking about vision, but about concepts and reading what is written, rather thay reading what one expects or wants to read.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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22 July 2013 04:16
 

Hi Sailwa,

Think about how many close elections there have been recently. Think about how many red states are just barely red.

It would be great to open up the minds of some Westboro Baptists but it’s a hard, hard task.

The fence-sitters each get a vote too and presumably they’re easy to shift.

Doesn’t mean you can’t go after the more entrenched though smile

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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22 July 2013 12:28
 
bardoXV - 22 July 2013 02:03 AM
Jefe - 17 July 2013 11:12 AM

Bring back Scooby-doo.

http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/4226/in-praise-of-meddling-kids

(Seriously)

Other contenders:
The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Sherlock Holmes.

You do realize these are all fictional characters, and the stories all depended on how the author wrote the plot.  The characters didn’t really figure anything out, or observe any obscure detail not obvious to anyone else who might look.  It was all made up by the author, even the presence of details that may not have been obvious to the casual observer.  .

You missed the point.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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22 July 2013 16:47
 

Jonny Quest.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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22 July 2013 16:49
 

“Can’t theologists be critical thinkers?”

No, because if they were they would not be Theologians.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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22 July 2013 19:05
 
Epaminondas - 22 July 2013 02:49 PM

“Can’t theologists be critical thinkers?”

No, because if they were they would not be Theologians.

Can a Southern Baptist think critically about how the Book of Mormon came to be written?  About how the history of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table came to be written?  How the New Testament came to be written?

Suppose A Southern Baptist child reads stories about Jesse James as a folk hero, a kind of Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.  As an adult he watches a PBS program which provides historical documents showing that Jesse James was a thief and a cold-blooded murderer.  Can he think critically about this and change his mind?

I say the Southern Baptist can think critically about all these things except the New Testament.  There are probably studies, books, that explain how the New Testament deliberately hexes people so that they never question it; so that they are afraid to question it; so that they can’t question it without falling into a terrible funk.

funk  n  1 a   :    a state of paralyzing fear or dread   b   a depressed state of mind

 
 
bardoXV
 
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bardoXV
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23 July 2013 01:59
 
Jefe - 22 July 2013 10:28 AM
bardoXV - 22 July 2013 02:03 AM
Jefe - 17 July 2013 11:12 AM

Bring back Scooby-doo.

http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/4226/in-praise-of-meddling-kids

(Seriously)

Other contenders:
The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Sherlock Holmes.

You do realize these are all fictional characters, and the stories all depended on how the author wrote the plot.  The characters didn’t really figure anything out, or observe any obscure detail not obvious to anyone else who might look.  It was all made up by the author, even the presence of details that may not have been obvious to the casual observer.  .

You missed the point.

Writers are liers, that’s why their work is called fiction. 

What is your point, other that to live in a fantasy world.

 
 
bardoXV
 
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bardoXV
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23 July 2013 02:01
 
Epaminondas - 22 July 2013 02:49 PM

“Can’t theologists be critical thinkers?”

No, because if they were they would not be Theologians.

Opinion only, facts not in evidence.

 
 
bardoXV
 
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bardoXV
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23 July 2013 02:06
 
unsmoked - 22 July 2013 05:05 PM
Epaminondas - 22 July 2013 02:49 PM

“Can’t theologists be critical thinkers?”

No, because if they were they would not be Theologians.

Can a Southern Baptist think critically about how the Book of Mormon came to be written?  About how the history of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table came to be written?  How the New Testament came to be written?

Suppose A Southern Baptist child reads stories about Jesse James as a folk hero, a kind of Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.  As an adult he watches a PBS program which provides historical documents showing that Jesse James was a thief and a cold-blooded murderer.  Can he think critically about this and change his mind?

I say the Southern Baptist can think critically about all these things except the New Testament.  There are probably studies, books, that explain how the New Testament deliberately hexes people so that they never question it; so that they are afraid to question it; so that they can’t question it without falling into a terrible funk.

funk  n  1 a   :    a state of paralyzing fear or dread   b   a depressed state of mind

You see a “Southern Baptist” as representative of all Christians makes you a ‘rabid bigot’.

 
 
bardoXV
 
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23 July 2013 02:09
 
bardoXV - 22 July 2013 02:08 AM

Critical thinking depends on seeing what is really there, and most people do not.  Most people see only what they want to see or what they expect to see.  I’m not just talking about vision, but about concepts and reading what is written, rather thay reading what one expects or wants to read.

‘Rabid Athiests’ are no more capable of ‘critical thinking’ than any other fundamentalist.

 
 
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