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Importance of critical thinking


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The importance of critical thinking

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Importance of critical thinking

  1. 1. If evidence is lacking, so what? ‘ A W I S E M A N , T H E R E F O R E , P R O P O R T I O N S H I S B E L I E F T O T H E E V I D E N C E ’ DAVID HUME ( 1 7 1 1 - 1 7 76)
  2. 2. What is the point of critical thinking?  Why should we think critically and rationally?  Why does it matter?  What harm is there in believing in something if it makes you feel good or provides you with comfort, or gives you hope?  If evidence is lacking so what?
  3. 3. Belief and evidence Where do our beliefs Come from ? BRAINSTORM THE WAYS IN WHICH PEOPLE ACQUIRE BELIEFS School and learning
  4. 4. The problem with observation and authority
  5. 5. Task  You will be divided into 3 or 4 groups and each group will watch an episode of South Park  All about Mormons  The biggest douche in the universe  Trapped in the closet  (Super best friends if 4 groups)  You will then carry out a 15 minute presentation on the following …
  6. 6. Your presentation will need to focus on the following  Give a brief outline of the episode – what is the theme and plot?  What beliefs are being presented to the boys and the people of South Park?  Are the beliefs based on proof or evidence?  Why do you think people decide to adopt those beliefs?  Is it dangerous to adopt the beliefs as facts? Why?  What does Stan learn from having listened and learnt from the people involved – Do you agree with them?  You will need to use a multi-media tool in order to edit sections of the episode, that you will use to enhance your presentation (approx 6 mins of presentations time)  Link your presentation at some point to Voltaire’s quote ‘Those that can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities’ Voltaire (1694-1778)  Any other points relating to what we have studied so far in philosophy
  7. 7. Rational belief requires EVIDENCE  Beliefs like that of the church of Scientologists or the Book of Mormon need evidence to back them up  Mormon/Scientology beliefs should be rejected unless they can be defended  They need to provide what Philosophers call the ‘burden of proof’, in other words they need to provide evidence or proof for their claims  Formulating beliefs and making decisions without sufficient evidence always leads to trouble  Would you really choose a university, career, place to live, or anything for that matter without examining the facts involved
  8. 8. Inquiry, Hard Work and Progress – Stan sums it up brilliantly  ‘You see, I learned something today. At first I thought you were all just stupid listening to this douche’s advice but now I understand that you’re all here because your scared. You’re scared of death and he offers you some kind of understanding. You all want to believe in it so much, I know you do. You find comfort in the thought that your loved ones are floating around trying to talk to you, but think about it: is that really what you want? To just be floating around after you die having to talk to this asshole? We need to recognise this stuff or what it really is: magic tricks. Because whatever is really going on in life and in death is much more amazing than this douche.’