Learn 7 Reasons to Love Good Thinking. Logical thinking, critical thinking skills: essential to living fully.
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THE IDEA EMPORIUM
Why bother with good thinking?
* it's part of living fully
MOTIVATION 1 - to live as fully as possible -
MOTIVATION 2 - the sense: this is important!
This keeps me going through the tough parts.
This motivation tied with a general motivation -
This motivation also means that it's often incredibly painful, knowing that my ideas are important, and yet not being able to get them heard. It's at least a painful as having creative works stuck in an attic.
I come to issues and controversies, controversial questions.
That isn't where things start, though.
MOTIVATION 3 - fun!
Good thinking, logical thinking, analytical thinking, lateral thinking - so many kinds of fun,
When one has a breakthrough thought (not that often), it's a high, an adrenalin rush. The words pour out, the thinking pours and pours. I'm on top of the world.
That leaves lots of hard work, doing revisions, doing research, going on and on. But getting to a new view of even a tiny bit of the world - not much beats that. Good thinking at its best.
I remember reading about Crick and Watson, where one of them finally figured out the structure of DNA, the double helix. Today it's old news. Then it took ten years of research, and finally a dream of a snake biting its tail - and EUREKA, it all came together.
Basically, I love thinking - think it should be taught in school along with sports, reading, writing and arithmetic. It's one of the most important parts of ourselves - the ability to think.
A thinking workout - for me it's even better than a body workout. It's creative, exhilarating, invigorating.
When controversial questions - or non controversial questions - grab me, it's a challenge. Climbing Mount Everest - that doesn't do it for me. The challenge of tackling some current controversial social issues. Yes!
It can also do good. One gets closer to reality. One breaks through illusions. One understands something that had been a mystery. But above all, what a thrill.
But that's not how things start ...
They start simply and innocently enough.
MOTIVATION 4 - something interests me ...
Think of me as a kind of canary in a coal mine, a cop dog at a crowded airport. Something isn't right, even if others aren't noticing. And when I start thinking - good thinking of course, logical thinking, analytical thinking - it turns out that someone isn't thinking right. I use logic and evidence, especially logic, because when I say something doesn't feel right, I usually mean, it doesn't make logical sense.
For example ...
A tiny current controversy. The Catholic pope makes some remarks, quoting a long ago Christian on the Muslim religion. Many Muslims are outraged, and a few go so far as to murder a Catholic nun. An apology is demanded for the pope's words. None is offered for the nun's murder. Most Westerners are understanding. After all, someone's religion was offended.
A detective might go, "Hmmm, interesting. Very interesting."
I go, "Time for thinking and analysis." I whip out my critical thinking skills, take on the dragons of dreadful crazy thinking and logical fallacy. My This-Is-Stupid detector is working flat out. I decide to do some research. Soon I'm writing.
MOTIVATION 5 - detecting
I have the sense that I'm especially prone to sniffing out stuff one isn't supposed to notice. It's supposed to stay buried - or anyway, most people go around as if they noticed nothing amiss.
Under the perfume, I smell something very fishy. Opinions parading as truth and reeking of poor thinking.
The naked truth: ostriches with their head in the sand may be better at seeing what's going on than people who intone "all opinions are equal" and "one must not be judgmental" as if the statements were incense being wafted in a church.
The statements are naked of thinking, let alone good thinking, logical analysis.
The naked truth: those opinions violate the 2 most basic thinking skills.
MOTIVATION 6 - breaking taboos,
Sometimes, this is a delight. Sometimes I hesitate. It can feel - it can be - at least somewhat - dangerous to go outside the bounds. That both holds me back and pushes me to speak.
But to address counter-prejudice (reverse racism) - no matter how blatant - makes most people uncomfortable.
For me, counter hostility isn't a controversial issue -
MOTIVATION 7 - the deep-down sense:
I search for some information,
That's how I came to the biggest research I've done - actually my only massive research project. It's on the impact of feminism on women who become very involved - and more generally on the impact of rights movements on those who are within the oppressed groups and who become very involved. In other words, if you're gay or lesbian and become very involved with gay and lesbian rights, if you're non-white and become very involved with anti-racist movements, etc, what is this likely to do to you?
The first thing I did when the question came to me, is check at the library (this was before the massive internet info explosion). Lots of books on rape, battering, incest, job discrimination, unequal sharing of housework and child care, and so on and so forth. But on this other thing - huge and important as I saw it - nothing.
No research, let alone analysis of research findings. Yet rights movements have been huge for 2 centuries. The lack of study, almost total lack of understanding of the impact of becoming involved, just doesn't make sense - and has been hugely dangerous.
If I'd found an answer, I wouldn't have gone on. But it wasn't there. So I went on and on, with interviews and more interviews, with questions and then more detailed questions. Fascinating.
Truth-driven thinking - fabulous stuff.
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