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coberst

Critical Thinker Habitually Pulls Back the Cu

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Critical Thinker Habitually Pulls Back the Curtain

I guess, for all of us, a meme that gives impetuous to much of our behavior is the “capitalism is good” meme. This meme, with its closest suburbs, probably represents a fundamental element of the dominant ideology of western culture.

This cluster of memes contains the wonderful “doing good by doing well” meme. This is the rascal that allows us to follow our imperialistic impulses. This meme allows us to invade Iraq under false pretenses, it allows us to open our borders to those who will work cheap, it allows for the “trickle down” economic theory, it allowed the Nineteenth Century imperialism practiced by our European cousins, etc.

Most of the memes we live by have never been examined by any of us. I suspect this one, in particular, needs to be placed on the table for close individual examination.

We saw the Nineteenth Century birth of a new economic entity, the corporation. A recent delivery of a new economic entity has occurred. This is the corporation-state. The new supranational corporation is here and on a fast freight. I suspect all these things happened too fast for a liberal democracy to encompass; so much for liberal democracy.

CT is about analyzing and understanding.

One thing I have learned about playing chess is that for almost every move there is a bad judgment a good judgment and a better judgment. And I also learned that one pays a price for each bad judgment.

In life we are constantly making judgments. There is an art and science for judgment making and it is called Critical Thinking. Our schools and colleges have prepared us to make good judgments about special matters as it might pertain to our job but have done little to prepare us for the constant judgment making. CT is about learning how to think.

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I agree much of Western identity and hubris is built on the "Capitalism" is all good doctrine. What is happening at the moment is not so much a mistake, amazing occurrence or some devilish conspiracy - it is Capitalism. And you are correct in that it filters through to all sort of questionable actions.

When I studied philosophy, I used to think of it as "Mental Housekeeping" and you can use it to take stock of nefarious ideas that have crept in and stayed, regardless of whether you have new knowledge with which they don't fit. Regularly challenging your old assumptions is always good IMO. :)

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CT is about analyzing and understanding.

One thing I have learned about playing chess is that for almost every move there is a bad judgment a good judgment and a better judgment. And I also learned that one pays a price for each bad judgment.

In life we are constantly making judgments. There is an art and science for judgment making and it is called Critical Thinking. Our schools and colleges have prepared us to make good judgments about special matters as it might pertain to our job but have done little to prepare us for the constant judgment making. CT is about learning how to think.

I also like to play chess. I do not put much time and energy into it, and as a result I am not as good as I could be. I have other priorities.

I agree with all your views about critical thinking. My energy or emotion about it is a little different however. I see what humanity has done to itself as being part of a process for its evolution into a higher way of being. I flavor my judgements with compassion.

The thing I like about chess is that each player has an overall perception of the game in process. When I play someone I sense their perception. Based on that, they may well overlook critical thinking in evaluating the overall position. I did lose one game and tied another in our last UM tournament, I won all the other games. Many of them were against better players with better overall positions during the game than I had. The reason I won these games was because I was playing their perceptions.

So I would suggest that, in the game of life that we all learn ways to expand our perceptions in reguard to the realities we see and embrace. I have said many times in my various postings that our culture does not know how to think. We as a culture have not as yet tried to understand all the components that are in play as it relates to our thought process. We do not yet understand the power of our thoughts and the ways in which we have lost control of our reflections.

Human life is a process. Much will change over the next 4,000 years. What we need now is compassion for where we are, where we will choose to go collectively, and an overall perception of confidence in reguard to the physical human experience.

John

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John

It is my opinion that the technology we have created has placed us into a situation such that if we do not quickly become much more sophisticated than we are now that we will destroy or self and perhaps also our planet within the next 200 years. Our educational system is directed at making us able to get a good job but is not preparing us to deal with life in a society made too powerful by technology. If we do not quickly become self-actualizing self-learners we cannot reach a level of sophistication commensurate with the technology we have created.

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John

It is my opinion that the technology we have created has placed us into a situation such that if we do not quickly become much more sophisticated than we are now that we will destroy or self and perhaps also our planet within the next 200 years. Our educational system is directed at making us able to get a good job but is not preparing us to deal with life in a society made too powerful by technology. If we do not quickly become self-actualizing self-learners we cannot reach a level of sophistication commensurate with the technology we have created.

I do have that same sense of urgency but not the same degree of concern in reguard to the eventual outcome potentials. I have much I dislike about our educational systems. I could go on for quite some time in reguard to that.

As I see it, everything is always in divine order because we are energy beings. The entire physical reality is an aspect of us. Our conscious perceptions are created by us to be confined in many many ways. We do this with great purpose and forethought.

So yes, our free will choices are most importent. It is also best not to be fearful about what we have chosen, what we are choosing, and the potentials for what we could choose. Fear is a killer energy in itself. For that reason alone, we need to get away from it in some way.

We do think alike in many ways. I hope we can become friends.

John

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John

Just to give you an idea about where I am coming from:

I am a retired engineer with a good bit of formal education and twenty five years of self-learning. I began the self-learning experience while in my mid-forties. I had no goal in mind; I was just following my intellectual curiosity in whatever direction it led me. This hobby, self-learning, has become very important to me. I have bounced around from one hobby to another but have always been enticed back by the excitement I have discovered in this learning process. Carl Sagan is quoted as having written; “Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.”

I label myself as a September Scholar because I began the process at mid-life and because my quest is disinterested knowledge.

Disinterested knowledge is an intrinsic value. Disinterested knowledge is not a means but an end. It is knowledge I seek because I desire to know it. I mean the term ‘disinterested knowledge’ as similar to ‘pure research’, as compared to ‘applied research’. Pure research seeks to know truth unconnected to any specific application.

I think of the self-learner of disinterested knowledge as driven by curiosity and imagination to understand. The September Scholar seeks to ‘see’ and then to ‘grasp’ through intellection directed at understanding the self as well as the world. The knowledge and understanding that is sought by the September Scholar are determined only by personal motivations. It is noteworthy that disinterested knowledge is knowledge I am driven to acquire because it is of dominating interest to me. Because I have such an interest in this disinterested knowledge my adrenaline level rises in anticipation of my voyage of discovery.

We often use the metaphors of ‘seeing’ for knowing and ‘grasping’ for understanding. I think these metaphors significantly illuminate the difference between these two forms of intellection. We see much but grasp little. It takes great force to impel us to go beyond seeing to the point of grasping. The force driving us is the strong personal involvement we have to the question that guides our quest. I think it is this inclusion of self-fulfillment, as associated with the question, that makes self-learning so important.

The self-learner of disinterested knowledge is engaged in a single-minded search for understanding. The goal, grasping the ‘truth’, is generally of insignificant consequence in comparison to the single-minded search. Others must judge the value of the ‘truth’ discovered by the autodidactic. I suggest that truth, should it be of any universal value, will evolve in a biological fashion when a significant number of pursuers of disinterested knowledge engage in dialogue.

In the United States our culture compels us to have a purpose. Our culture defines that purpose to be ‘maximize production and consumption’. As a result all good children feel compelled to become a successful producer and consumer. All good children both consciously and unconsciously organize their life for this journey.

At mid-life many citizens begin to analyze their life and often discover a need to reconstitute their purpose. Some of the advantageous of this self-learning experience is that it is virtually free, undeterred by age, not a zero sum game, surprising, exciting and makes each discovery a new eureka moment. The self-learning experience I am suggesting is similar to any other hobby one might undertake; interest will ebb and flow. In my case this was a hobby that I continually came back to after other hobbies lost appeal.

I suggest for your consideration that if we “Get a life—Get an intellectual life” we very well might gain substantially in self-worth and, perhaps, community-worth.

As a popular saying goes ‘there is a season for all things’. We might consider that spring and summer are times for gathering knowledge, maximizing production and consumption, and increasing net-worth; while fall and winter are seasons for gathering understanding, creating wisdom and increasing self-worth.

I have been trying to encourage adults, who in general consider education as a matter only for young people, to give this idea of self-learning a try. It seems to be human nature to do a turtle (close the mind) when encountering a new and unorthodox idea. Generally we seem to need for an idea to face us many times before we can consider it seriously. A common method for brushing aside this idea is to think ‘I’ve been there and done that’, i.e. ‘I have read and been a self-learner all my life’.

I am not suggesting a stroll in the park on a Sunday afternoon. I am suggesting a ‘Lewis and Clark Expedition’. I am suggesting the intellectual equivalent of crossing the Mississippi and heading West across unexplored intellectual territory with the intellectual equivalent of the Pacific Ocean as a destination.

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I would agree that we are never to young to learn. I see you have done much for yourself.

I suggest for your consideration that if we “Get a life—Get an intellectual life” we very well might gain substantially in self-worth and, perhaps, community-worth.

My view is that there is much than can be learnd beyond the intellectual life. I whole heartedly advocate all that you suggest. However in my experience, reflective thinking has led me to use my right brain senses more and more. I am encouraged to keep my feelings and insights aligned and balanced with my logical left brain constructs. I am encouraged to use both in a balanced manner. This is my manner of being. I bless and support all ways of being. There is no absolute as I see it.

Our culture in general has more to learn about education, critical thinking, reflective thinking, self awareness, and true self empowerment, IMO naturally. I suggest humility and compassion for who we are, where we are, and how we learn about these subjects.

John

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