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Critical Thought in the Modern Technological Age

 
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Skyweir
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:22 am    Post subject: Critical Thought in the Modern Technological Age Reply with quote

https://aeon.co/ideas/believing-without-evidence-is-always-morally-wrong?fbclid=IwAR0YxrtJ4gywXC8GvmSg8HITvmOlJDxLbTBBESCWYBKYsBKnL1ZIpOjzjXM

This is a very interesting article about the value or need of critical thinking. Its well written and a worthwhile read. It is about an idea posited by philosopher William Kingdom Clifford basically Clifford suggests it is morally wrong to believe anything without sufficient evidence. Anyway I found it fascinating against the backdrop of the modern technological era.

Id be very interested in your thoughts.
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say it's not a particularly robust viewpoint. Some questions I have:

1) What counts for "sufficient evidence"?
2) Does this call for a continual skepticism or just skepticism until you reach the nebulous requirement for "sufficient evidence"?
3) Why is their no consideration of the different types of evidence, and are all types of evidence considered to be sufficient? If I have "sufficient evidence" from personal experience, does that count?
4) Does this view take into account or allow pluralism?
5) How come the writer purposefully misinterprets R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" as being literal instead of metaphorical like it obviously is? Does that mean this view point has no place for analogy or metaphor?
6) What are the actual issues involved with social media and people grouping themselves based on beliefs? Because the article makes it sound like a cyber-networking version of hanging out at a bar with like-minded patrons.
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Skyweir
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Hah I had the exact same reaction and concerns. You see as I read the article WHICH is still interesting to me, especially if you think about a general applications of his thinking .. However, I first read this article from my point of view as a convert to Mormonism.

It chaffed that it suggested my choice to join the church may have been insufficiently and inadequately considered. The fact that I was 16 notwithstanding.

And that choice .. of baptism .. may have been either a negligence on my part or at the very least a contributory negligence.

I found that rather disturbing, very uncomfortable AND yet also rather intriguing.

Then I pushed such discomfort away with the very considerations you have raised.

I agree we do not acquire knowledge in SUM. We gain understanding a piece at a time .. or as biblically described, line upon line. So in my frame of mind .. it posed a flaw in its applicability to all knowledge, but not only knowledge but actions too.

As to ... I Believe I Can Fly ... that did not present as issue to me .. it was clear to me the author was being glib. He was using it in an extraordinary context to make his point.

YET in the context of social media and the growth of knowledge accessible, disseminated and uploaded to the internet I found his comments rather profound as a thought piece.

And in THAT context I can see the relevance of rigour in critical thinking. Its a short piece, a thought provoker.

And as such it raises some rather interesting questions. To my mind anyway 🤷‍♀️

That may not be the same for you, of course .. as it does touch on freedom of speech issues. Which I know we think very differently about ... but be that as it may.

In this modern age of technology.. connected 😉 humans receive an unprecedented rate of information daily. Yet there are issues that have arguably ... inevitably arisen and that is the issues surrounding misinformation.

It becomes then ... to my mind anyway ... even more important and relevant to think for ourselves AND to think sufficiently critically. That it IS so important to be responsible inquisitors and knowledge recipients re the data we receive and sort through.

Its an accepted daily download from Facebook feeds, Instagram, Twitter or the broader internet.

Then does it not behoove us to question more rigorously the data we acquire. I definitely rely too heavily on the veracity of the information I receive and have to consciously remind myself to check dates, sources and the facts being explored. And thats just if and when I am conscious of my consciousness 😉😜😬

I think this is a key application for this dudes umm momentarily forgotten his name 🤦‍♀️ Hey Im old lol 😂... anyhoo HIS philosophical argument.

And yes, the author doesnt expand on the terms he uses but I think we can forward our thinking ourselves .. through intelligent argument and even further research.
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though it may touch on "freedom of speech issues", that's not my concern at all. My main concern is that this sort of thinking ignores "pluralism". That is, the idea that different people can be reasonable, logical and critical and yet arrive at different conclusions. Being critical, sufficient or otherwise; having reasons, sufficient or otherwise; going "line by line, precept upon precept", sufficiently or otherwise does not guarantee that we would not reach harmful outlooks on life (I mean, do I have to mention Heidegger? The fellow whom Monty Python sang could "think you under the table" chose to be a Nazi and could probably furnish you with an excessive amount of critical thinking of why he did so).

Which gets to another root problem: this article is based on an article written by a young philosopher from the 19th century. And it shows. Of course a young philosopher, high on the novelty of philosophical education and starry-eyed with youthful optimisim is going to think that "surely, if folks would just THINK and REASON, we would resolve a lot of problems!" This betrays a lack of world experience and leads to trying to force the world into an ideal instead of striving with/against it as it is.

And the 19th century part is indicative of people's tendency to use old, outdated text applied to modern situation based only on some tangential relationship. It's like using 1984 to describe current technology or Marx to current economics or Plato's Republic to current governance. Those writers had no idea or experience with our current situation, no expertise, when we do this, it's like taking medical advice from a non-trained, non-professional stone-wearing New Age weirdo.

One last commentary: the idea of "sufficient evidence/reasoning/critical thinking" serves more to close off a mind than expand it. It serves more to silence discussion than foster it. Think on the Mormon example: if you talk to a believer that you rejected their dogma, a common response is that you would not be considering "the evidence sufficently", "you just aren't thinking/searching correctly", etc. In other words, people will use the idea of "sufficient evidence" to shut down opposing viewpoints. They are right because they have "sufficiently and critically examined it" and anyone who disagrees just hasn't "sufficiently considered it". Which goes back to my first point: it denies pluralism.

The circle is complete Laughing
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- Herman Melville

I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
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"All creation is a huge, ornate, imaginary, and unintended fiction; if it could be deciphered it would yield a single shocking word."
-John Crowley
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Skyweir
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

Brilliantly refuted.

🤷‍♀️

I cant disagree with any of it.
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