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Longing to be a critical thinker

Posted by Uncritical Thinker on September 19, 2005 at 14:59:58

Down the page a ways I posted a post as Thinker. I thought that was a cool name because it implies that I can think. But I was reminded by the original Thinker that he/she had been posting as Thinker for some time so did I think I come up with another name. Inspired by the old Family slogan, ‘If you think, think, think, you’ll sink, sink, sink because you stink, stink, stink,’ I decided that my board name should be ThinkerSinkerStinker.

I have now come to regret my hasty decision. I realized that it’s not enough to think, but I must be a CRITICAL thinker. For e.g. by her own admission Susie is a critical thinker, whereas others by implication are not. Susie attributes her newly-acquired critical thinking skills to attending University where she was TAUGHT to think critically. I was spellbound by the 3-way conversation between Web Crawler, Susie & Question:

Posted by Web Crawler on September 08, 2005 at 23:37:44 Don't believe in evil? What about justice? You are so full of passion, which is impossible to have without deep motivation. Is it revenge or plain hate? All of them are related to some form of good-evil dichotomy. No, I don't believe you don't believe in evil.

Posted by susie on September 09, 2005 at 01:18:48 Yes I'm full of passion and Im also very wary of subjective terms like 'evil'. It is neither revenge or hate, I've been lucky enough to have been taught how to think critically.

Posted by Question (to susie) on September 12, 2005 at 18:18:39 I think I know how to think critically but I have doubted myself at times. I am not sure if there is a recipe. Could you give me some guidelines or names of authors or anything I can look up? How did you learn? Thank you.

Posted by susie on September 13, 2005 at 00:54:17 I went to university.

In that moment I realized I had a problem. Susie had turned into a critical thinker capable of discerning that there is no such thing as evil because she had attended university. But what about me? Things like the Rwandan massacre convinced me that there is evil in the world, but the catch was it also proved I was not a critical thinker! What a bind! & since I have no hope of going to university where I can be taught how to think in a critical manner, can I ever become a critical thinker?

I read Mr.Don’s posts with hope.

Posted by Mr. Don on September 17, 2005 at 21:36:29 You obviously do not know about the south or the majority of it's people. You have proved your predjudice against white southeners here at exfam. and strongly predicated your uneducated viewpoint that you have posted here that it would seem a political statement!

Overlooking that Mr. Don cannot spell the word ‘prejudice’ & put an apostrophe in ‘its’ even though he was using the possessive form, since he referred to someone’s viewpoint as uneducated his obviously must be an educated viewpoint. And since he seemed willing to talk about it & educate us, maybe I could learn critical thinking from him?

Then my disappointment set in. Mr. Don really didn’t want to teach critical thinking either. When asked to discuss preDjudice further, he said no he’d rather sit at home staring at the wall watching paint dry. When I thought of what all those paint fumes might be doing to Mr. Don’s gray cells I realized he maybe wasn’t going to teaching about critical thinking either. He may have something further to say about preDjudice, however but I had already worked through those issues. At least I think I have. I think I’m safe here: I don’t believe preDjudice is evil, it’s just bad & only sometimes evil.

Then I read the post by ‘BamaCracker & realized that YES! there was someone willing to teach critical thinking skills:

Posted by 'BamaCracker on September 18, 2005 at 12:21:30 I would prefer that you should stick the the issues I've raised, rather than attack me personally. In the meantime, try thinking about why the content of what I have to say annoys you so much. Take me to task on that, and I'll feel like I accomplished something, and that was to get a formerly brainwashed cult member to exercise some critical thinking skills.

YES! That was what I needed & ‘Bama Cracker hit the nail on the head! I am a formerly brainwashed cult member with no chance of going to university who needed to learn critical thinking skills. And YES, I want to ‘stick stick the issues’ too. (I might even be satisfied with just ‘sticking the issues’ once if I can do a good enough job the first time round.) Then I realized by Darlin’s post underneath ‘BamaCracker’s post that this brand of critical thinking wasn’t for everyone—& if it wasn’t for everyone maybe it wasn’t for me:

Posted by darlin on September 18, 2005 at 16:37:28 You do not inspire me to exercise critical thinking skills. Frankly, it seems a bit grandiose to me that you see yourself as the enlightener of souls with your posts. Maybe for some you are, but not for me.

As my last hopes faded & nobody in sight to teach me critical thinking, the thought struck me that maybe the true test of whether I can ever attain to being a critical thinker is not measured by how closely I agree with Susie or Mr. Don or ‘BamaCracker. Maybe I’m actually better off thinking on my own & coming to my own conclusions, even if I end up disagreeing with them! It might even be proof that I’m doing my OWN critical thinking.