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Featured Critical thinking versus "go with the flow, its much safer"

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by England my lionheart, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    So here in France after a nice dinner and a glass or two of vin ordinaire and a discussion on politics and the EU brexit thing and charli hebdo it then moved on to religion, after some heated discussion about these topics a French aqaintence said "devout religious people are incapable of critical thinking, they just go with the flow, its safer", I agree in some ways, I mean you could get excommunicated or decapitated if you dare question some religions but apart from the mentally infirm we all have the ability to question don't we?.
     
  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I believe the "French Acquaintance" is at once both right and wrong about human nature. Contrary to nearly every anti-religious person that ever was, it is an observable empirical fact that some, even if not many, devoutly religious people are accomplished critical thinkers.

    We have even seen a few such birds here on RF at times.

    At the same time, most devoutly religious people are not accomplished critical thinkers. But to place that in perspective, neither are most people in general -- very much including most anti-religionists.

    It pretty much takes extensive training, practice, and discipline in not one, but several means of analyzing ideas to become an accomplished critical thinker. For example, most people have at least heard of some strange thing called "logic", but how many people have heard or appreciate the power of something occasionally called, "analytic philosophy"? It's nearly a whole field unto itself, and I can guarantee, if you make a thorough and rigorous enough study of it, you will never again look at ideas in quite the same way.

    Do you want to improve your critical thinking skills while yet looking cool? Simply take some university courses in the sciences, especially the "harder" sciences, or in philosophy. But for absolute best results take a combination of courses in both the sciences and in philosophy.

    As an aside, do you know why the "harder" sciences, like physics, chemistry, and biology? It's not because they are more prone to arrive at truths, but because they are less prone to arrive at BS. And that has little enough to do with the intellectual qualities of the scientists themselves, and much more to do with how easy it is to make mistakes when you deal with far more complex realities than do the harder sciences.

    I contend that a top physicist and a top sociologist are mostly about equally rational.
     
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  3. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    I actually did take such courses, I may not be accomplished or even cool but I'm not afraid to question no matter how touchy the subject,I wouldn't say I'm anti religious but anti ignorant.
    Imo there is a plethora of that in some, not all religions, but enough to do significant damage to us all.
    So my French acquaintance was right and wrong like you say but I would disagree with him on "incapable", I think for most it would be too scary, just my opinion though, long live freedom of choice.
     
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  4. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    You have just made my day for me! I attended a university of 14,000 students and it has always somewhat dismayed me that each semester only about 90 people would take even the most popular course in logic -- and introductory course. That is such a small fraction of the whole, you might as well be talking about our president's IQ.
     
  5. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    I think religion offers a sort of autopilot for the brain that provides ease and comfort.
     
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  6. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    Yep, can't argue with that
     
  7. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    Does he have one
     
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  8. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Don't just about all ideologies? Is there any significant way that religion differs from, say, Ayn Rand in that regard?
     
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  9. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I think, "Yes", but it's very tiny and very shy, and it almost never comes out from where it cowers in the far reaches of his closet. In fact, Trump is the only person I've heard of whose IQ is still "in the closet".
     
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  10. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    I wonder if his bald patch is the result of not having the logic to move further down from the headboard of the bed, not sure I'll get away with that one lol
     
  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    The "flow" is usually more powerful than critical thinking. The flow being equal to mob mentality I'd suppose.

    You got to pick the battles that you can win, or at the least survive. So sense IMO in becoming a martyr.
     
  12. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    "The IQ of any mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters." -- Terry Pratchett
     
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  13. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    What, no pastis?

    I'm thinking it's a generalisation rather than a hard and fast rule.
     
  14. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    Non madame, I do like it though, I agree, well that's how it came across as such
     
  15. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    A high IQ can work against us unless we start by questioning our most basic beliefs. Otherwise, it simply enables us to make fine arguments to confirm our biases.
     
  16. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Once travelling back to the uk from Toulouse, dropped our bags and went for breakfast. Just sat down and the tannoy instructed me to immediately go to security. Two big, beefy officers grilled me about what i had in my bag, if i packed it myself etc. Very sternly I was told to open my case. The officers backed away and placed their hands on their guns. I was petrified but managed to unlock the case. "Oh, its only pastis, thank you madam" one said.

    Two bottles of pastis next to each other with the lead for my phone charger draped over them. They though it was a binary explosive.

    After a release of tension laugh i returned to my breakfast which was cold and my hubby laughed all the way home.
     
  17. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I wish basic logic was taught starting in junior high school. Ideas such as truth tables and valid rules of inference should be common knowledge. Not so long ago, geometry was once the linchpin to later studies of logic, but that, sadly, no longer seems to be the case. An exposure to the notion of mathematical proof and some of the standard logical errors should be much more common than it is. Even if the math is never used again, the precision of thought is invaluable training.

    In regards to religion, I have seen some absolutely silly arguments made about the impossibility of infinite regresses that some basic set theory would shed light upon. Other notions, such as partial orders and equivalence relations would, I believe, help philosophers immensely if they would just take a bit of time to learn them. If nothing else, it would fix some very poor arguments about 'greatest' things necessarily existing, etc.
     
  18. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't kept up. Some years back, studies were showing that Critical Thinking courses taught at the college level were ineffective. So, naturally, I'm wondering -- what has changed so much that would have you thinking that Logic could be taught effectively in junior high school?

    Are there recent studies that are encouraging?
     
    #18 joe1776, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  19. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    Geez, in what century of France did this dinner take place?
     
  20. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    I don't think you need a high IQ to think critically or make arguments whether fine or not

    I know what you mean but people do end up in chop chop Square to this day.
     
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