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Mandatory Critical Thinking Classes Please!

July 25, 2012 10 comments

Critical Thinking classes should be mandatory for all schools, starting at an early grade. Right now the top four mandatory subject categories are Math, Science, English, and Social Studies. Five if you include Physical Education. All important, of course.

Critical thinking is, however, equally as important as any of these others. Currently it is only taught at higher level education, usually as an elective.  Because it is placed on such a low priority for most education systems, irrationality runs rampant. People are unable to discern propaganda, bias, distortion, and misinformation from the truth. They are unable to analyze information provided to them, no matter how skewed the information is.

And many of these people are intelligent in every other topic. Because it is not a requirement for most majors, a person can run the gamut of courses and entirely miss a single course on critical thinking.

There is a reason people believe in things such as alien abduction, big foot, homeopathy,  conspiracy theories, horoscopes, the nonsense purported in chain emails, and so on. Smart people! They just were never taught how to disseminate, analyze, and scrutinize information given to them.  They were never shown how to discern fallacies, how to question their own thinking, and the basics of language based logic. They were never informed of standards to acquire knowledge and why some standards are more consistent and reliable than others.

The lack of critical thinking skills does not just lead to benign thought, but thought that derives ones philosophical, ethical, and political viewpoints. Critical thinking not only benefits the student, but also the community at large. For a democracy, critical thought affects our policies  and practices. What we support and do not support.

The education system, in the U.S. at least, is riddled with problems. This is just one example of one of those problems that has huge implications.

What do you think? Should such courses be mandatory? Let me know why or why not in the comments below. 🙂


Sorry I have not posted in a while. Had a big move from the US to Canada and my scanner died as well. Now that I am relocated and I have a new scanner I will hopefully have some time to doodle, ramble, and post. In the meantime here is a ‘lil doodle I whipped up:

back seat driver

Don’t forget to visit my site at www.TrickSlattery.com.

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Protesting Against Inequality (‘Occupy’ X)

October 16, 2011 Leave a comment

freewillscaleThe big news recently is the ‘Occupy’ protests which first started out as Occupy Wall Street and have become a larger global movement. These are demonstrations “mainly protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, among other concerns”.

Without getting into too much depth as to why such protests are important, I want to focus on something a little more at base. Something that should be at the heart of such protests but that is hardly ever thought about. The understanding of the lack of free will.

There seems to be this belief by some who are against the protests that: if there is inequality, it is because those that do not have are to blame and those that do have are more deserving.

I explain in detail within the book I am writing that: without free will, these notions of “blameworthiness” and “more deserving-ness” need to be abandoned. People are at the position they are in life due to events that were and are entirely out of their control.

This is one reason (of many) why the topic of free will is so important and why the belief in free will is not a benign belief. The belief in free will creates this allowance of inequality. It allows people to blame others for their lack of wealth and to condone excess wealth of others who are deemed deserving of such wealth.

Understanding that free will cannot (and hence does not) exist is the great equalizer. It strip away the ego that creates such an imbalance in wealth and quality of life. It is a base subject that is given little consideration.

And without free will, the implications are gigantic.

Regardless, these ‘Occupy” protests are not asking for complete equality nor is the world ready to accept that. Most people still think free will exists. The protesters are only asking that we curve the extreme side of the inequalities. These inequalities that make the game so ridiculously unfair that only a teenie tiny percentage of the population can play.

Given that free will does not exist (which is the point of the book I am writing), and that we should be asking for much more in regards to equality, I don’t think reducing the extreme unfairness is too much to ask at all. Do you?