I got the following article in my English class from www.criticalthinking.org
. It's easy to point the finger at others when they make arguments we don't like, but not liking the arguments is not reason enough to do so. As Christians, aren't we sometimes guilty of this?
"The Power of Egocentric Thinking"
Egocentric thinking results from the unfortunate fact that humans do not naturally consider the rights and needs of others. They do not naturally appreciate the point of view of others nor the limitations in their own point of view. They become explicitly aware of their egocentric thinking only if trained to do so. They do not naturally recognize their egocentric assumptions, the egocentric way they use information, the egocentric way they interpret data, the source of their egocentric concepts and ideas, the implications of their egocentric thought. They do not naturally recognize their self-serving perspective.
As humans they live with the unrealistic but confident sense that they have fundamentally figured out the way things actually are, and that they have done this objectively. They naturally believe in their intuitive perceptions--however inaccurate. Instead of using intellectual standards in thinking, they often use self-centered psychological standards to determine what to believe and what to reject. Here are the most commonly used psychological standards in human thinking."IT'S TRUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT."
Innate egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of my beliefs."IT'S TRUE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT."
Innate sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs within the group to which I belong are true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of these beliefs."IT'S TRUE BECAUSE I WANT TO BELIEVE IT."
Innate wish fulfillment: I believe in, for example, accounts of behavior that put me (or the groups to which I belong) in a positive rather than a negative light even though I have not seriously considered the evidence for the more negative account. I believe what "feels good," what supports my other beliefs, what does not require me to change my thinking in any significant way, what does not require me to admit I have been wrong."IT'S TRUE BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT."
Innate self-validation: I have a strong desire to maintain beliefs that I have long held, even though I have not seriously considered the extent to which those beliefs are justified, given the evidence."IT'S TRUE BECAUSE IT IS IN MY SELFISH INTEREST TO BELIEVE IT."
Innate selfishness: I hold fast to beliefs that justify my getting more power, money, or personal advantage even though these beliefs are not grounded in sound reasoning or evidence.
Because humans are naturally prone to assess thinking in keeping with the above criteria, it is not surprising that we, as a species, have not developed a significant interest in establishing and teaching legitimate intellectual standards. It is not surprising that our thinking is often flawed. We are truly the "self-deceived animal."
Now of course, if we want to, we can think critically about the worldview assumptions of whoever wrote this and what led them to make their claims about what humans "naturally" or "innately" do.
Labels: Critical Thinking