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Is Critical Thinking Dead?

 
 
Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 11:30 am
Critical thinking is the ability to question your own beliefs, to see where people you disagree with are making a valid point, and to see the logical weakness in the arguments of your own ideological side. A feminist who can find 25 ways that a Men's rights activist is similar to a Nazi is probably impressive to her friends, but that isn't critical thinking.

In high school, I remember exercises where we were taught that there was more than one side of any story. We did exercises where the teacher would read a story designed to influence our opinion, and then after we expressed our feelings about the story then read the facts on the other side. The point of these exercises was to get us to remain open minded, to look for other ways to understand a story and to be open to other facts that would contradict our understanding.

In 2019, questioning a narrative is a big sin. People were outraged when Matt Damon suggested that patting a woman on the butt isn't the same as rape. It seems like critical thinking is strongly discouraged... we are asked to pick a side and not question.

This is my test for critical thinking. Pick an issue you feel deeply about; abortion rights, gun rights, where your ideological beliefs lie.

1. Can you list an argument being made by your side that isn't supported by the facts?

2. Can you give an example of where someone arguing a point you agree with used an invalid argument.

3. Where are people on the other side making valid points, what concerns do they have about your position that are fair?

4. What facts make you uncomfortable about your own beliefs?

In 2019 we are split into two opposing ideological camps, any attempt to wrestle honestly with the issues is punished (sometimes publicly).

How do we bring back critical thinking? Should we?

 
Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 12:09 pm
@maxdancona,
Critical thinking is not in the cemetery or the morgue. Much like a bear in winter, it is merely hibernating.

What is currently happening, that which has upset you and many, is yet another cycle. Throughout history there have been such.

For most people, beliefs change over time. Since this happens, it becomes clear that there is indeed, for many, some level of thinking, some of which is well reasoned reasoned, thought out.


Sadly, the age of "social" media has interfered with the usual process of thinking; but, it ain't done in yet.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 12:51 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdacona wrote:
In 2019, questioning a narrative is a big sin. People were outraged when Matt Damon suggested that patting a woman on the butt isn't the same as rape. It seems like critical thinking is strongly discouraged... we are asked to pick a side and not question.

Absolutely. This instance you present does involve critical thinking and Matt Damon made his comment completely lacking thereof. His approach seemed to be a narrow, legalistic view where he should have considered the scope of the argument which includes the mental, psychological and emotional toll that any kind of sexual violations can exact. Like Minnie Driver responded, "no. You don’t get to be hierarchical with abuse. And you don’t get to tell women that because some guy only showed them their penis their pain isn’t as great as a woman who was raped." I guess Matt Damon didn't remember his high school exercises.

What's your side of the ass patting issue?
McGentrix
 
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Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 01:17 pm
@maxdancona,
No. It is no more dead or alive than it has ever been. The problem is that every Tom, Dick and Harry is able to share their thoughts with a diverse society and find like minded people.

30 years ago you only had the community around you and that meant that finding others that thought as you might would require actually talking with people. If you wanted to keep finding them, you needed to negotiate your way though and around others.

Now, you just go on the internet, spew your garbage anonymously and like minded people come at you like a magnet and support what ever warped **** that is being spewed.

The people that used to use critical thinking regularly still do. Just no one cares. It offends their world view.
maxdancona
 
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Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 01:18 pm
@InfraBlue,
My opinion, the "ass patting issue" (as you called it) is ridiculous.

Quote:
And you don’t get to tell women that because some guy only showed them their penis their pain isn’t as great as a woman who was raped.


Step back from your own ideological bias and think about what your quote is saying. The claim that being shown a penis causes as much pain as rape would be laughable if you weren't minimizing the real pain experienced by survivors of rape.

This is a great example of where ideological bias causes people to accept things, without thinking, that in any objective sense are ridiculous.
InfraBlue
 
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Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 05:08 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

My opinion, the "ass patting issue" (as you called it) is ridiculous.

Quote:
And you don’t get to tell women that because some guy only showed them their penis their pain isn’t as great as a woman who was raped.


Step back from your own ideological bias and think about what your quote is saying. The claim that being shown a penis causes as much pain as rape would be laughable if you weren't minimizing the real pain experienced by survivors of rape.

This is a great example of where ideological bias causes people to accept things, without thinking, that in any objective sense are ridiculous.

InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 05:10 pm
@InfraBlue,
maxdancona wrote:

My opinion, the "ass patting issue" (as you called it) is ridiculous.

Quote:
And you don’t get to tell women that because some guy only showed them their penis their pain isn’t as great as a woman who was raped.


Step back from your own ideological bias and think about what your quote is saying. The claim that being shown a penis causes as much pain as rape would be laughable if you weren't minimizing the real pain experienced by survivors of rape.

This is a great example of where ideological bias causes people to accept things, without thinking, that in any objective sense are ridiculous.


How would you know that being shown a penis doesn't cause as much pain as rape? Have you been raped and shown a penis? Your ideological bias isn't letting you think critically.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 05:39 pm
@InfraBlue,
Ok... in this case you are towing your ideological line, and you can correctly say that I am too. But this is really a tangent. Can you give me an example of critical thinking... where you think that the MeToo movement has gone two far?

Critical thinking means you can see both sides of an issue and point out arguments that are valid on either side. I am able to do exactly this... if you would like I will give you examples where people in the MeToo movement make valid points, and I can also give you examples where some of the criticism of the MeToo movement is illogical.

That is my challenge to you in this thread.


InfraBlue
 
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Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 06:38 pm
@maxdancona,
What do you mean when you say that the MeToo movement has gone too far? What is a valid argument on the other side?
maxdancona
 
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Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 06:50 pm
@InfraBlue,
The case we have been arguing (the Damon quote and the Minnie Driver response) is a good example of where in my opinion the MeToo movement has gone way too far. It is like saying that seeing a gun is as painful as getting shot. I would add the responses to Asiz Ansari and even Louis CK were excessive.

But this isn't critical thinking on my part. Your second question is far more interesting.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
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Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 07:01 pm
@InfraBlue,
I am perfectly comfortable arguing the other side. The strong parts of the MeToo arguments are...

1. The number of cases of men taking advantage of women.
2. The greater narrative of unbalanced power between men and women in society.
3. The cases of clear abuse (Cosby, Weinstein) and similarities with cases that might be less clear.
4. The difficulty of victims of sexual assault to come forward and to have any chance to prove their story in a legal setting.
5. The clear history of male privilege.

If you want me to be more specific, you will have to give me a resolution to debate.

If you want a more personal answer (things I actually wrestle with), the question of male power in personal (one on one) interactions is interesting. I can answer this from my experience, but I am not sure how this works on a broader sense.

I probably agree with you about making strict rules and penalties for sexual harassment in the workplace. The ways we should change culturally to address the general trend is a complicated topic I have sometimes conflicting opinions about.

This is a very very broad topic. If you want a sincere interesting discussion, maybe you could ask a more specific question.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 07:07 pm
@maxdancona,
Just to clarify...

Critical thinking is not about arguing (although debating both sides of an issue is a good way to practice critical thinking). It is about questioning beliefs and crossing ideological lines.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
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Reply Sun 10 Mar, 2019 08:18 pm
@McGentrix,
Amen . . . for thousands of years people have complained that critical thinking is dead, that the young are ignorant and show no respect for their elders, that society's values have decayed and therefore the enemy is at the gate. Based on the record of the past, these silly complaints will continue for thousands of years to come.
0 Replies
 
sumita12sofat
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2019 07:28 am
@maxdancona,
The idea always remains the prisoner of mind.
maxdancona
 
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Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2019 09:10 am
@sumita12sofat,
sumita12sofat wrote:

The idea always remains the prisoner of mind.


The reverse is true. The mind is the prisoner of the idea.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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