Why is Critical Thinking so important? Critical thinking is skills that help us learn to make decisions. It is the ability to evaluate information to determine whether something is right or wrong. To think critically about something means to be open-minded and consider different ways and solutions to tackle a problem.
Wait a minute, think critically and be open-minded?
Now compare that to some teachings in Scientology where L. Ron Hubbard writes:
Critical thoughts: these are always only indicators that the person being checked has committed an overt (means done something unethical, criminal, etc.) against what he or she is criticizing. Critical thoughts, comments and attitude toward something indicate always a prior actual overt. (3 Feb. 1962)
Open mind: persons who “have an open mind” but no personal hopes or desires for auditing (means Scientology spiritual therapy) or knowingness (means true knowledge) should be ignored, as they really don’t have an open mind at all, but a lack of ability to decide about things and are seldom found to be very responsible and waste anyone’s efforts “to convince them”. (27 Oct. 1964)
In the autumn of 2012 I attended some philosophy lectures at the University of Oslo. During one of the lectures I had a realization that if I had studied this subject earlier in my life, I would not have been manipulated by the Church of Scientology to that degree that I was. I could barely keep my head above water.
Therefore I believe this article on How to resist manipulation (Part 1 and 2) will be one of the most important messages I’ll write here on my blog. Please teach yourself, your friends, your kids and family Critical Thinking.
In this 10 minutes TEDTalk Dr. Sara Goering of University of Washington, Seattle, gives us a powerful message on why we should teach philosophy and critical thinking to kids. Please listen to her speech. Those 10 minutes are well spent I tell you:
As children grow into teenagers, their critical thinking skills will help them make judgments independently of parents. The Church of Scientology knows that critical thinking in youth is not fully developed and therefore sees them as easy targets for recruitment. Because youth often lack knowledge and experience they can be tricked into signing billion years slave labor contracts in the Scientology clergy, the Sea Org.
Ex-Scientologist Lori Hodgson got both her kids taken away from her and now they are not allowed to have contact with their mother anymore. Her teenage son was forced to sign a $3,000,000 gag order to silence him. No lawyers, let alone his mother Lori were present. I include Lori’s story her to warn people to stay clear of this “church”:
You can find another video of Lori Hodgson in How to resist manipulation (Part 1).
Children and philosophy
To be good at thinking, children must believe that thinking is fun and want to be good at it. It’s like practicing football to become a better football player or practicing a musical instrument to become a better musician.
- Invite them to BE CLEAR by asking for explanations and examples when they don’t understand something. Let children know it is okay to be confused and ask questions.
- Urge kids to BE ACCURATE, to check to see if something is true by researching the facts.
- Encourage children to BE RELEVANT by discussing other topics that are pertinent to the discussion or problem at hand. Help them stay on track by linking related and meaningful information to the question they are trying to answer or the topic they are learning about.
- Support your child’s ability to BE LOGICAL. Help them see how things fit together. Question how they came to their conclusions and whether their assumptions are correct.
- Set expectations that your child BE FAIR. Promote empathy in children’s thinking processes. Make sure they consider others when drawing conclusions.
For those interested in practicing Critical Thinking with your kids you can get inspiration from watching videos by CriticalThinking.org:
To sum it up I found this simple model for Critical Thinking – the “KEC triangle”:
- Common Sense
Let’s stay strong. ♥