A Case For Critical Thinking

Patricia L. Dickson

If I had to list the life changing events in my life, I would have to include the semester that I took my first critical thinking course. I was an adult woman that had been in the military for a number of years when I decided it was time to complete my college education, so I enrolled in evening classes after work. Before I enrolled in the critical thinking class, I thought that I was a logical thinker (I always valued being blessed with common sense). However, I soon learned that although I did have a tremendous amount of common sense, I lacked critical thinking skills. The root cause of my skewed thinking skills was because many of my beliefs at the time were based on false premises. If one begins his or her thought process with a false premise, the rest of the entire thinking process will lead to a false conclusion. I immediately began to apply the concepts that I learned in that class in every area of my life. I learned so much in that first class that I elected to enroll in an additional two classes in philosophy and critical thinking. I have since joined a professional critical thinking organization.

The problem that America is facing today is the inability of the vast majority of the citizen to think critically. A male Liberal colleague and I were discussing the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. He began the discussion by immediately stating that he thought the decision was stupid and that Hobby Lobby was wrong for denying women birth control. I informed him that before the Supreme Court hearing, Hobby Lobby was already providing sixteen forms of birth control. I also informed him that the reason Hobby Lobby’s case went to the Supreme Court was due to the requirement under Obamcare that would force a business to provide the morning after pill which is a form of abortion. He was surprised and said that he was not aware of that. How do you comment on an issue if you do not have the facts? Why was he so quick to believe that Hobby Lobby wanted to deny women birth control? It was because he believed the false premise parroted by the media that conservative Christians are bigoted sexually repressed people that want to control the lives of others. Once you accept that premise, it is easy to believe the ridiculous meme that a Christian business owner’s agenda is to prevent women from having access to birth control. Any rational person would have come to the same decision as the courts and the media knows that and that is why they made it about birth control instead of abortion. The media’s first step is to create a false premise and then appeal to the emotions of the people with mush for brains. All of this is done to distract from the disastrous policies of the current administration.

I sometimes visit the websites owned and operated by black Americans. The one thing that is common on every site is the accepted false premise that every criticism of Obama is based on racism. Every article published on the sites brushes over the issues at hand and gets right down to the root cause of the opposition…….racism. The majority of the comments on the sites reinforce the same meme. How sad that the readers cannot see past false premises and participate in an honest intelligent discussion.

Critical thinking is critical as noted by Anniel, for the survival of this republic. The media has basically abandoned its responsibility of reporting facts in exchange for distracting, propagandizing and protecting. It is imperative that individuals acquire and hone critical thinking skills in order to navigate through the lies and distortions coming from the mainstream media. I recommend Set of Twenty Two Thinker’s Guides by Dr. Richard Paul & Dr. Linda Elder for anyone that lacks or wants to improve their critical thinking skills.

Every morning after reading the Drude Report, I tell my Liberal colleagues that American is gone and it is going to be difficult to bring it back. However, they (have their heads in the sand) begin their morning reading the Huffington Post and they believe everything is just fine. They think that I am the modern day Chicken Little crying, “The sky is falling.”



11 Comments on “A Case For Critical Thinking”

  1. Good for you, Patricia !
    False premises certainly contribute. Where do they come from? A habit of rote memorization, developed in the educational system. Memorization is good for simple useful facts, like the multiplication tables or rules of grammar. But past the elementary, rote memorization results in restriction (for the inquisitive), or general laziness (for the easily satisfied), and pugnatiousness when challenged~~~because “we don’t know how we got here.”

    More, later. Thank you for your helpful thoughts.


    • Think again! Rote memorization is indeed for facts, not conclusions. You may want to reread the article before posting your own conclusion. The problem is lack of critical thinking about the facts, not the facts.


  2. Enjoyed and appreciated your information on Critical Thinking, Patricia. I wish I had taken a course in it (my son did), but will try to hook up with the organization you have mentioned. And I agree wholeheartedly about the Lame Stream Media…..keep up your good work and info.


  3. Pingback: How the Media Uses Appeal to Emotion to Distract from Issues | StubbornThings.orgStubbornThings.org

  4. Patricia, a friend gave me a link to your blog. You appear to be a good and intelligent lady. Keep on posting.


  5. This particular blog entry fascinated me and I thought that you really had critical thinking down pat and even recommended you to a lot of my friends. However, I read your entry on Catholicism vs. Protestantism today ( January 10) and was quite disappointed because it seems you forgot your basic critical thinking skills.

    I have heard it said that there is not one person on earth that hates the Catholic Church for what it is; but there are millions upon millions who hate it because of what they think it is. Such seems to be the case with you and I will just give you one simple example of how far off base you are.

    You say that the Catholic Church added a lot of books to the Bible. Yes, they did they added 73 books to the Bible in the 5th century because the entire canon of the Old and New Testaments was compiled and agreed upon by the Catholic Church. There was no other church until Martin Luther “REMOVED” those 7 books with which you have difficulty and he also removed Hebrews, James and parts of 2nd Peter. It was a full 100 years until those were put back in but the Old Testament books he removed never were. They had been there for over 1000 years. The only person who tampered with the Bible was Martin Luther. The Catholic Church has not tampered with the Bible since the original Bible was compiled. I don’t know about the book of Mormon so I will not comment on that. They may have added to it.

    One of the greatest critical thinkers in the world was a man named GK Chesterton and I am surprised that if you have read Linda Elder’s writings you have not heard about him. He is known as “The Complete Thinker”. GK Chesterton converted to Catholicism after using critical thinking to arrive at the fact that the Catholic church was indeed the church Christ established.

    There are so many things you also allude to that have me questioning your critical thinking. Your guide interpreted the Pope’s message from Latin? Come on!! Let me assure you your guide’s interpretation was very wrong if he actually told you what you wrote because nothing could be further from the truth as to what his message would have been.

    Pretty much everything else you said about the practices and beliefs of the Catholic Church are incorrect. I doubt that you are open to knowing what Catholics really believe and what Catholics really practice but I will close by telling you that we do not worship Mary. In fact, I go to mass every Sunday and up until last week I cannot remember the last time I heard her name mentioned. She is certainly revered as the Mother of God but she is not worshiped.

    I hope you will be like the “Complete Thinker” , GK Chesterton and learn about what you write about because on the subject of Catholicism you are not exhibiting the traits of being a critical thinker.


    • Mr. Harris,

      I am a born again Christian that relies solely on the Bible as the only word of God. First, I am wondering why you chose to comment on the article about Catholicism under this article instead of under that article. Secondly, you did not address the contradictions (the main topic of my article) between the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings and the Bible concerning justification, forgiveness of sin, heaven and hell just to name a few. I have several friends that are Catholic and they have told me on several occasions that they pray to Mary because she is “highly favored” and she is the mother of God. I do not argue with them because I realize that they are following the Catholic Church’s teachings rather than the Bible’s teachings when it comes to Mary’s role. My role as a born again Christian and minister is teach the word of God (the Bible) solely. That includes teaching people what other religions teach. Some of the information in the article was taken from the Catholic Church’s webpage (how do you think I got the information about the additional books that were added?)

      As far as doubting the tour guide’s translation to the Pope’s Christmas message, you were not present therefore how can you say whether or not the guide misquoted the message?

      As far a doubting my critical thinker skills, all that is required when reading the word of God (the Bible) is faith. In other words, I accept the word of God as truth! As far as your statement “I hope you will be like the “Complete Thinker” , GK Chesterton and learn about what you write about because on the subject of Catholicism you are not exhibiting the traits of being a critical thinker” James 1:5 ” If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” I will continue to seek God for wisdom and I would suggest you do the same.


      • I responded under the Critical Thinking article because the option to do so was not available under the article on the Catholics vs. Protestants. I will be more than happy to respond to each of the contradictions.

        For now though, while I compile my response let me just say that I noted that you quoted James 1:5 . If it were not for some followers of Martin Luther who did not agree with him eliminating the book of James and having it put back in after his death ( over 100 years later ) it would not have been there for you to quote. It never left my Bible. He also eliminated the book of Hebrews and pieces of several others in the New Testament, which never left mine.


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