Critical Thinking: When we teach and encourage Critical Thinking we empower individual lives and invest in our collective future. Here is a proverb, "Give someone a fish they will eat that day. Teach them how to catch a fish and they will never go hungry." This reminds us how learning skills move us to self-reliance. It is truer in Critical Thinking. Memorize solution to a problem and you will master that particular problem. Improve your Critical Thinking and you will give yourself the tools to create your own effective solution to multitude of unfamiliar problems. Critical Thinking refers to a diverse range of intellectual skills and activities concerned with evaluating information as well as our thoughts in a disciplined way.
Critical Thinking is not just thinking a lot. A person may spend a great deal of energy. It should be based on knowldege and evidence that fits the reality and not based on our beliefs. Critical thinkers' curiosities widen their perspective and broaden their knowledge. They are willing to do the work required and to keep themselves properly informed about the subject.
Crtical Thinking embraces skepticism. It doesn't mean any discriminate rejection of ideas as some mistakenly believe. Skepticism refers to doubting and suspending our judgment about the claim we were presented. We don't need to accept the claim that seems to be unjutified. But first we need to understand them examining the reasoning and possible assumptions and biased behind them. Reasoning behind factual claims should be based in sound consistent logic and not on emotions and social pressures. It is the truth your factual claim is not determinded by the emotion that accompanies them or the fact that they may be believed by certain social groups.
Sometimes people try to persuade that reason has no value because it is just a human concept but that is an untenable position. Arguing against is cutting the branch on which you sit. Using the very thing you are dismissing in order to construct a case against it. Reason has na intrinsic role in decision and judments that we make as we negotiate through our life whether they will be momentous or trivial. If a particular line of reasoning is flawed what will increase our understanding? Dismissing the value of our reasoning or looking honestly at our flaws? A lack of respect for reason or evidence or any number of obstructed characterize will sabotage one's capacity for Critical Thinking.
One of the biggest to Critical Thinking is unwillingness to see complex issues in other than black and white terms. If one sees two options when more of this exists constitutes a false dichotomy. Consciousness is often presented something an eternal immaterial entity or reducible identical to brain states when in fact there are various other positions. Many divide people in those who believe in evolution and many who believe in specific Gods when these categories are not mutually exclusive. If we think in false dichotomies we draw false conclusions. For example judging if option A is false then option B must be true. We may also misrepresent others by assuming if one doesn't hold attitude X then one must hold attitude Y. Black and whilte thinking often reflects undelying reluctance or refusal to deal with uncertianty that results from complexity and absence of definite answers. Leaping to flawed conclusions because you cannot tolerate the ambiguity of not knowing is not about truth or curiosity but comfort. Critical Thinking can handle uncertainty, prefers to be aware of their areas of ignorance, can wait for valid evdience and evidence-based answers.
Critical Thinking provides each of us with the keys of unlocking our own intellectual independence make us willing and able to explore and solve problems for ourselves. It moves us away from rash conclusions, mystification, reluctance to question received wisdom, authority and tradition. It moves us towards intellectual discipline, clear expression of ideas and acceptance of personal responsibility for our own thinking. Communities in which the individual is eager to acquire and apply the best knowledge and reason in all fields and willing to acknowledge and correct flaws in their own thinking are better equipped to create more profoundly effective solutions to the challenges we face in living and living together. When we teach and encourage Critical Thinking we empower individual lives and invest in our collective future.