Critical thinking through questions
Imagine if you were a child again, experiencing everything in the world for the first time. Everything is bizarre, not normal. Why does the orange fall when I drop it? How does food suddenly appear, and where does it come from? You would question things to find out how the world functions, and you would be confused, bewildered, and shocked. You would rely on others.
Rather than figuring it out on our own, you have elders to guide you through this crazy world. The problem is that some of those elders know more than others. How can a child know who to trust? How can an adult know?
No one does. Frankly, some of us elders are full of crap and cannot think for ourselves, accepting all of the crazy things people came up with before they had anything like science. I won't elaborate, but read some Bible stories.
Critical thinking is challenging because it requires greater mental exertion than just believing what others tell you. Of course, my little thought experiment is unrealistic, but have you ever thought about what you believe and why? The mind will take the easy route and avoid this every time. At what point do you begin to think critically about what you know, or do you?
I contend that most do not, and if you are a writer this is a real problem. Luckily, writers and readers tend to be people with strong critical thinking skills (sometimes I should say). Scientists as well.
I created this infographic as a reminder, or perhaps an alert, to those who share their ideas in public. Life will be much better for you if you think critically and question most things. You can avoid potential embarrassment. I once met a 72 year old illiterate man who believed that clouds came from all the fires around the world. No amount of explanation helped.
I hope you find it useful in writing and thinking: not that they are new ideas, but just that we forget their importance at times. And, we all have beliefs and opinions stored away somewhere in our brains that were fed to us by the elders. You'll be a happier person and better writer if you pull them out and analyze them. Good luck in your own questioning.
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