I forwarded the timestamp post below ( See “Time in a Bottle”) to a friend, a pastor, whose intellect I appreciate. And wouldn’t you know it, he immediately replied, “Won’t it happen again in a thousand years?”
He’s absolutely right.
I get so caught up in the novelty of someone spending time on such minutiae that I don’t critique the thought process very well. Oh, to have a mind that can see the flaws and catch wrongheaded thinking! A couple of years on the debate team and 25+ years in sales still haven’t taught me to think as critically as I would like.
There are those, however, who maintain that I think quite critically enough! They are, unfortunately, usually on the receiving end of that, ahem…,. criticism…. they say. If I’m going to pray for the ability to think MORE critically maybe I better be very specific. In fact, I think the correct word is discerningly.
Recently I was in a presentation and the speaker gave the following information:
Effective critical thinkers have standards to judge adequacy of their thinking.
1.) Clarity- foundational; not too vague; use examples, illustrations, elaborations, to improve clarity.
2.) Accuracy- sometimes people unintentionally misrepresent things in order to put themselves in the best light, to bolster a position, or to undermine others’ position. We tend to doubt information that contradicts our beliefs. Critical thinkers check accuracy, their own and others’.
3.) Precision- are we specific enough about details?
4.) Fairness- people are often self-centered or self-deceiving and distort others’ positions.
I guess the operative word is EFFECTIVE critical thinkers, those for whom the process pays benefits, beyond simply being right.