There is a lot out here written on the subject of critical thinking. It's the new buzzword in the blogosphere. But what does it mean? Is it being accomplished? Are we, the ones that share our ideas without fear of censorship(yet), participating in this most noble of human abilities?
According to the definition above, which I think we can all agree upon, we must do the following things:
Clarify our goals. Ok, outside of the greed and self centered concerns of the few that head up the world's corpocracies, I think most of us can agree that we long for a world in which there is fairness. Not fairness for a few, but for every human that spends their one and only life in this reality, on this planet. Beyond that goals will vary, but they only come to fruition because of this fairness thing. We all should be able to eat healthy food, be sheltered from the elements and share the planet equally and without illusions of one person being intrinsically any better or any worse than another. Agreed? I thought so. These things are pretty basic and simple. A simple, and yet powerful goal.
Next we need to "examine assumptions". Now I read that as being truly critical. Not accepting anything on faith. No matter what we have been told to assume is true...we examine it and prove it's validity. Or not. That includes, of course, our history. If it affects our daily lives today, our history must be factual. Period. No interpretations. Throw out any previously written accounts of our world that cannot be proven beyond doubt to the majority of humans that it affects. We should never accept any assumptions. From anyone. This includes agendas from those that would have us believe something, merely for their benefit. Facts are facts.
This method of thinking then by nature would include the next two items in our list and they are, "discern hidden values", and "evaluate evidence". By discerning hidden values I read that to mean that there are prime movers in any problem. These values must be rooted out to understand why there even is a problem to be critically examined to begin with. These hidden values are often "agendas". A list of things that someone who wishes certain things to take place, will be done to insure the outcome. To reveal these agendas we must evaluate the evidence critically. That is to say for instance, if someone tells you that there were gas chambers in the concentration camps of WWII Germany that were used to kill millions of people, mostly jews... then explain how these chambers work. Explain how poison gas was used to kill these souls, but didn't harm the people doing the killing. Draw me a diagram of said death-chambers. The burden of proof is on the accuser. I should not, as a critical thinker, accept emotional agenda-driven eyewitness evidence as proof. Show me.
Finally, when all the evidence is in, we can assess our conclusions. Run a proof, so to speak. You all remember that a way to check your answer of adding 2+4=6, is to subtract 4 from 6 to get 2. These are the way facts work...in math...in reality. If something doesn't add up, then it is not indeed a fact.
So when we use our ability to discern hidden values and evaluate evidence we can root out the cause of most if not all problems in this human sphere. So when we have done all this thinking, we "accomplish actions". Presumably, then(using our example)...since the modern apartheid state of israel was founded upon the "myth" of the holocaust, (to which such critical thinking will lead you to understand it to be) then at least one action should be accomplished. That would be the dismantling of that terrorist state built on lies.
I have been watching many videos circulating out here about critical thinking. "You must be a critical thinker" , they say. And yet in the very same breath they make reference to points in history that they themselves have not critically examined. Or perhaps the viewer that does have the above mention rules at hand, can find here, one of the key elements in said thinking process....hidden values. An agenda. This guy "James Corbett" that is on "our" side...would have you believe his take on eugenics as a Rockefeller brainchild, and in many ways, perhaps it is. But he persuades you in this effort by way of telling you that in it's origins, eugenic philosophy was practiced under Rockefeller's auspices by none-other than Joseph Mengele in the "death camps" of Auschwitz. Ring...DONG...woop-woop!!! Bells and whistles going off everywhere. Critical thinking? Or hidden values?
This buzzword, like most of them that come and go and become part of our vocabulary, ironically has not been examined carefully and is being used to push agendas about which it's very definition warns us.
In other words, you should be a critical thinker...as long as you agree with me.
Irony. I love that stuff.