Before we get fully going…
Benefits & pitfalls of Critical Thinking.
There are many benefits of being able to think critically and clearly. Firstly, even recognising that your attachment to an outcome and emotional state can hamper your judgement will cause you to alter your thought patterns.
As adults, a lot of the time, the benefit comes from just simply being aware of the issue, deciding to do something about it, and following through.
Without doubt, one of the main benefits I have found over the years is that it allows you to reflect more and take a step back when things seem overwhelming.
Some of the techniques to help plan, find ways out of problems are really as helpful in the everyday minutiae of daily life as they are when deciding to embark on a new business venture. (Such as creating training courses for online audiences!)
Some of the pitfalls however, also must be recognised.
You need to get used to thinking, evaluating, and not speaking!
Quite often you will be discussing something with a person, be it a colleague, or loved one, and you can see themselves getting tied up in knots on one of the critical thinking traps. Remember, if someone is getting wound up around a problem, it is because they are vested in it. Telling them the obvious pitfall that is preventing them thinking clearly is not always appreciated. There are ways to bring these things up, and times, to bring things up. This is something that is covered near the end of this course.
For now, as you go through your journey to making Critical Thinking a part of your everyday life; if you see those you interact with having problems, and you want to help.
Just remember to take it slowly.
If you can see an insight and way to assist them, give it to them freely and without want of reward. It is not the time when they are in the middle of trying to claw their way out to try evangelise.
Simply help them.
If you want to, give them the link to get this site, so they can read it too.
Often, you may be seen as a killjoy, or worse.
One of the main problems of looking at critical thinking is that it may bring you into direct confrontation with those who have firm, deep felt beliefs.
These beliefs may be in aliens, a particular god or religion, or that the world is flat! Trying to use critical thinking methods to say hurt someone’s beliefs because you think they are wrong is not a good use of these thought tools.
If your idea of building up your intellectual muscles like a bodybuilder is purely to help argue on forums, or to get ‘one over’ on others, I humbly suggest you don’t complete this course, and unsubscribe yourself from the email list.
Seriously. Thank you for your interest, but I don’t want to empower you in any way possible.
In fact, if you can, forget everything you have just read on this site.
If you want to learn these skills to help you be a better person, to help others, to stop getting ripped off online, or in real life, then welcome aboard.
If you do want to use your skills to help change someone’s viewpoint, – perhaps you volunteer in a rehabilitation programme, maybe your teenage son or daughter could do with some different guidance on a topic – or even if you want to use it to help when you and your best buddy who is a conservative Baptist have one of your friendly debates on religion, that’s cool.
The main difference comes from the intent. If your intent is to do well to others, it works best. If you intend to do harm to others, it doesn’t work so good. Also remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so self-reflection is always recommended.
Again, as critical thinkers, you will recognise that the above is an opinion, albeit one I believe in personally, but the fact is that the internet is covered with forums and comments sections where people cherry-pick portions of critical thinking in order to hurt others.
Don’t be that person.
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