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Author Topic:   What Does Critical Thinking Mean To You?
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1995
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 286 of 339 (744985)
12-17-2014 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 281 by ringo
12-17-2014 12:16 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
Ringo asks:

I believe the bridge is there but I acknowledge that my belief is likely wrong, so I don't try to cross it until I actually see it. How is that different from not believing the bridge is there until I see it?

If you start by NOT believing the bridge is there, you will probably plan a different route, perhaps considerably longer. Then you find out from a friend that the bridge was there all the time and think to yourself, "Oh darn it!"

In the other case, having a fairly good expectation of the bridge being there and saving you the longer route, you go to the bridge and find out that a very unlikely (in your mind) event has occurred and the bridge is gone. And you think to yourself, "Oh darn it!".

It's a risk analysis you do in a mere smidgeon of time usually without even being aware of it.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by ringo, posted 12-17-2014 12:16 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by RAZD, posted 12-17-2014 3:57 PM xongsmith has acknowledged this reply
 Message 290 by ringo, posted 12-18-2014 10:42 AM xongsmith has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 99 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 287 of 339 (744986)
12-17-2014 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 286 by xongsmith
12-17-2014 3:20 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
In the other case, having a fairly good expectation of the bridge being there and saving you the longer route, you go to the bridge and find out that a very unlikely (in your mind) event has occurred and the bridge is gone. And you think to yourself, "Oh darn it!".

And of course, not to let the cat out of the bag, the bridge is neither there nor not there until the observation is made ...


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 286 by xongsmith, posted 12-17-2014 3:20 PM xongsmith has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33019
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 288 of 339 (744989)
12-17-2014 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 285 by RAZD
12-17-2014 1:52 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
RAZD writes:

How can you have any certainty when you don't know? Having certainty is illogical\irrational without evidence that would remove the doubt of not knowing.

Well I did say "almost certainly wrong" and in Message 278 I outlined the reasoning and evidence.

quote:
When the topic turns to something that is nearly impossible to verify like the belief that there is a God then I would think the only reasonable position is to believe your concept of God is wrong.

What evidence is available?

Well there is the evidence that there have been many many concepts of gods and so far all that can be tested have been found to be false. Is there any possible reason to think your concept of god is any more accurate than any of the others?

What about the concept of "Christ"? Again, the only sources for that are the Bible stories but even there there is no single pattern but rather many often mutually exclusive ones and evidence that the Jesus mythos evolved over time.

You talk about trusting emotions and feelings but again the evidence is that those two things can and very often do override reality and truth and create falsehoods. Emotion and feelings should always be suspect.



Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 285 by RAZD, posted 12-17-2014 1:52 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 291 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2014 11:39 AM jar has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 289 of 339 (745008)
12-17-2014 10:39 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by RAZD
12-17-2014 1:48 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
And as long as you are prepared to accept contrary evidence should it become available,

How can one show they are prepared to accept contrary evidence more than to think their belief is likely wrong to begin with?


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by RAZD, posted 12-17-2014 1:48 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 292 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2014 11:43 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 18822
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 290 of 339 (745035)
12-18-2014 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 286 by xongsmith
12-17-2014 3:20 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
xongsmith writes:

If you start by NOT believing the bridge is there, you will probably plan a different route, perhaps considerably longer.


No, that would be disbelief. I have a lack of belief that the bridge is there. The alternate route probably also requires a bridge, and I have an equal lack of belief in that bridge.

What I do is when I get to where the bridge should be I make sure I can see it before I drive onto it. I don't "believe" it's there just because the map sez so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 286 by xongsmith, posted 12-17-2014 3:20 PM xongsmith has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 294 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2014 11:49 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 99 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 291 of 339 (745043)
12-18-2014 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 288 by jar
12-17-2014 4:10 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
... in Message 278 I outlined the reasoning and evidence.

Curiously that is not actual evidence that god/s do not exist. It is evidence that certain anecdotal concepts involving gods were not quite correct, that those god concepts can be allegorical rather than true representations. This is opinion not evidence.

Well I did say "almost certainly wrong" ...

And I question the basis for this "almost certainly" opinion and what gives you such a firm opinion as opposed to saying "possibly wrong" -- which is what we have with the bridge scenario:

  1. I don't know, I believe the bridge exists, but it is possibly this is wrong,
  2. I don't know, I believe the bridge does not exists, but it is possibly this is wrong,
  3. I don't know, whether the bridge exists or not, and I will await further information.

These are all open-minded skeptical positions.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 288 by jar, posted 12-17-2014 4:10 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 293 by jar, posted 12-18-2014 11:46 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 99 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 292 of 339 (745044)
12-18-2014 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 289 by Jon
12-17-2014 10:39 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
How can one show they are prepared to accept contrary evidence more than to think their belief is likely wrong to begin with?

Likely on what basis? Likely or probably imply some evidence of comparative likelihood\probability, some knowledge.

Or you can say it is possible that your belief is wrong.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 289 by Jon, posted 12-17-2014 10:39 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33019
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 293 of 339 (745045)
12-18-2014 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 291 by RAZD
12-18-2014 11:39 AM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
RAZD writes:

Curiously that is not actual evidence that god/s do not exist.

Well then it's a damn good thing I never made such a claim.

Learn to read.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 291 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2014 11:39 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 304 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2014 4:15 PM jar has responded

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 99 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 294 of 339 (745046)
12-18-2014 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 290 by ringo
12-18-2014 10:42 AM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
No, that would be disbelief. I have a lack of belief that the bridge is there. The alternate route probably also requires a bridge, and I have an equal lack of belief in that bridge.

What I do is when I get to where the bridge should be I make sure I can see it before I drive onto it. I don't "believe" it's there just because the map sez so..

By driving to the bridge you also show a lack of belief that the bridge is not there.

In other words you have not formed an opinion until you have evidence for the bridge being there or not being there. Because you don't know ...

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 290 by ringo, posted 12-18-2014 10:42 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 295 by NoNukes, posted 12-18-2014 12:05 PM RAZD has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 295 of 339 (745047)
12-18-2014 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 294 by RAZD
12-18-2014 11:49 AM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
By driving to the bridge you also show a lack of belief that the bridge is not there.

In other words you have not formed an opinion until you have evidence for the bridge being there or not being there. Because you don't know

This is not how anyone actually thinks. If this thinking were actually the case, people would make preparations for what they would do if the bridge were out (such as leaving home hours early, bringing some food along, etc.).

In fact, you do have an opinion about whether the bridge is there, and your opinion has a loose probability attached to it. If your understanding is that the probability of the bridge being gone is very low, then you'll act accordingly even if the penalty for being wrong is fairly high.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 294 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2014 11:49 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 296 by Jon, posted 12-18-2014 12:33 PM NoNukes has responded
 Message 298 by RAZD, posted 12-18-2014 1:36 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 296 of 339 (745050)
12-18-2014 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 295 by NoNukes
12-18-2014 12:05 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
This is not how anyone actually thinks. If this thinking were actually the case, people would make preparations for what they would do if the bridge were out (such as leaving home hours early, bringing some food along, etc.).

In fact, you do have an opinion about whether the bridge is there, and your opinion has a loose probability attached to it. If your understanding is that the probability of the bridge being gone is very low, then you'll act accordingly even if the penalty for being wrong is fairly high.

There are two things to address with this. Frist, I think RAZD is talking about a hypothetical situation in which the only information is a piece of paper with some squiggles.

All the things you mention are evidence that weigh on our assessment of the probability of the bridge being there. If we start to include our past experiences using maps or our history of traveling such roads, then we are no longer working from a point where the information points as much to the presence of a bridge as it does to the absence of the bridge.

Ultimately, though, we do not know for sure whether the bridge is there or not until we cross it, but we can have an opinion on the matter that leans one way or the other based on other evidence.

Which brings up the second point: our discussion regards knowing things to a degree of scientific (or similar) certainty, and this is a criterion which very few people require their knowledge to meet before acting. We can say that people act with incomplete information and in the face of great uncertainties, and that doing so more often than not works out. But the fact remains that these uncertainties do exist—however little they matter to average folk—, and are only fully assuaged upon either discovering the bridge or discovering the unbridged chasm.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 295 by NoNukes, posted 12-18-2014 12:05 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 297 by NoNukes, posted 12-18-2014 1:06 PM Jon has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 297 of 339 (745051)
12-18-2014 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 296 by Jon
12-18-2014 12:33 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
There are two things to address with this. Frist, I think RAZD is talking about a hypothetical situation in which the only information is a piece of paper with some squiggles.

By a piece of paper with some squiggles, I understand you to refer to a map. A map is some evidence.

All the things you mention are evidence that weigh on our assessment of the probability of the bridge being there.

I did not describe any evidence. What I discussed is what you use you make of evidence. Generally speaking we don't decide to rely on a bridge without assigning some probability to the bridge being there. If we thought there was a significant probability of the bridge being out, we'd make some allowances for that.

Ultimately, though, we do not know for sure whether the bridge is there or not until we cross it, but we can have an opinion on the matter that leans one way or the other based on other evidence.

I wish I'd said that. Oh wait...

Which brings up the second point: our discussion regards knowing things to a degree of scientific (or similar) certainty, and this is a criterion which very few people require their knowledge to meet before acting

Saying "to a degree of scientific certainty" covers everything from maybe to near certainty. Perhaps you used one too many modifiers here?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 296 by Jon, posted 12-18-2014 12:33 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 299 by xongsmith, posted 12-18-2014 1:54 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply
 Message 300 by Jon, posted 12-18-2014 2:13 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 99 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 298 of 339 (745052)
12-18-2014 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 295 by NoNukes
12-18-2014 12:05 PM


Critical Thinking Remix Again -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
This is not how anyone actually thinks. If this thinking were actually the case, people would make preparations for what they would do if the bridge were out (such as leaving home hours early, bringing some food along, etc.).

In fact, you do have an opinion about whether the bridge is there, and your opinion has a loose probability attached to it. If your understanding is that the probability of the bridge being gone is very low, then you'll act accordingly even if the penalty for being wrong is fairly high.

What I find curious in many discussions like this, is the nearly universal habit of adding criteria that support how people want the discussion to go. It is as if we are not willing to address just the bare bones arguments, but try to fit the scenario into our worldviews in a comfortable way. And the argument devolves into discussing whether or not the what ifs apply or were understood by others.

So other than logic and evidenced based (scientific) procedures I think Critical Thinking involves recognizing:

  1. when you don't know (with a lack of certainty regarding any opinions you have on the matter), and
  2. when you don't know how much you don't know (when there are resources available that would increase your general knowledge on the topic, such as on evolution).

In the first stage I not only lack belief in the bridge being there (or not being there), but I lack certainty about the condition of the bridge's existence, so I just don't know if the bridge is there or not.

In the second stage I could look up maps and articles on the bridge construction and the effect of weather on the bridge (was there a report that it was taken out by a storm). Or I could drive to the bridge.

And if there are no resources that can show the probable existence of the bridge (one way or the other), then I have to fall back on stage one: I don't know.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 295 by NoNukes, posted 12-18-2014 12:05 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 302 by NoNukes, posted 12-18-2014 3:26 PM RAZD has responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1995
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 299 of 339 (745054)
12-18-2014 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 297 by NoNukes
12-18-2014 1:06 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
Jon & NoNukes continue:

Ultimately, though, we do not know for sure whether the bridge is there or not until we cross it, but we can have an opinion on the matter that leans one way or the other based on other evidence.

I wish I'd said that. Oh wait...

This what I was saying. The Probability of X * reward - Probability of not X * cost.

Risk analysis.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 297 by NoNukes, posted 12-18-2014 1:06 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 300 of 339 (745056)
12-18-2014 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 297 by NoNukes
12-18-2014 1:06 PM


Re: Critical Thinking Remix -- what is wrong with saying "I don't know" ???
I did not describe any evidence. What I discussed is what you use you make of evidence. Generally speaking we don't decide to rely on a bridge without assigning some probability to the bridge being there. If we thought there was a significant probability of the bridge being out, we'd make some allowances for that.

You talked about assigning probabilities to opinions, and the probability we assign to the bridge being present or absent is based on our past experience (= evidence). Those experiences include how often we've traveled the road in question, how many times we've been able to verify the information on a map, whether we think a heavy rain might have flooded out the bridge, whether the gods wish us safe travel, and so on.

When people make probability estimates, they don't do it randomly. Instead, they bring other knowledge into the process, even when that knowledge is of questionable relevance or quality. That other knowledge is the evidence your reply assumed but did not credit.

Nevertheless, it is there.

Saying "to a degree of scientific certainty" covers everything from maybe to near certainty. Perhaps you used one too many modifiers here?

No. I think what I meant was clear to anyone reading my post with honesty and integrity.

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 297 by NoNukes, posted 12-18-2014 1:06 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
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