It is not about what one thinks or believes to be correct, but how one thinks and what evidence, or influence, brought said individual to that certain result. How should one practice critical thinking and why is critical thinking important, even in everyday life. No such notion exists in its own right, in the sense that the notion could be justifiable with itself. It is too often that I run into thoughts and conclusions made through misinterpretation and a hasty thought process.
I was inspired to think on this particular subject after reading some of the ludicrous presumptions and purposeful misinterpretations made on The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I have to say how much I personally despise the arguments touting genetic determinism made because of the book and the arguments made in the name of selfishness, especially the supposed Thatcherite ideal of selfishness and the arguments using the idea of a selfish gene as validation for selfish capitalism. This has already been argued countless of times, I bet, and I won’t get into it, just like I won’t get into genetic determinism either.
The realization of how easy it is to distort anything said by taking apart the ideas and then taking them out of context, so to allow an interpretation to be made in accord to a personal cause, is a rather scary one. This happens way too often within the media and is done way too often by many politicians.
It is very easy to criticize from an ignorant and misinformed standpoint, though when arguing against facts the ignorant individual must be ready to accept that they are wrong. Sadly, this doesn’t tend to happen as most of the loudest critics are hard headed and refuse to accept that they are wrong. Fundamentalists and extremist groups tend to practice their ignorance and idiocy.
The world is full of know-it-alls, people in powerful positions, in such positions that allow them to influence other people’s views. It is highly likely as well that these people are exactly ignorant and idiotic, in some cases they are fundamentalists with extremist views. It is not rare to run into something fallacious within politics, media, school, or in a social situation, but it is rare that an individual would stop to scrutinize the issue. Opinions and supposed facts are made at a minutes notice, sides are chosen and arguments begun. The more elusive the argument, the more difficult it is to finish. This happens within the debate over morals and existence of a deity between theists and atheists.
It is important to ground one’s own views in solid facts, and even more in solid reasoning. Usually it is very pointless to enter ongoing arguments, but it is good to wield these tools during debates over issues that are going on closer to oneself. Question the authority of a dubious argument when facing one. If there is no explanation presented or if the explanation is not authoritative, based on faith, fallacy, or out-of-date information, then it must be dismissed as easily as it was uttered.