Critical Thinking Begins By Asking Good Questions

“Your mind is simply one of the most powerful tools you have.”

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Transcript

Critical thinking and logic are two skills I want most for my boys before they graduate. I want them to understand how to find the fallacies in arguments, commercials, politics. I want them to know how to ask good questions about the things going on around them. 

So what are critical thinking and logic?

The definition of critical thinking is “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.” The definition of logic is “reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity.” 

So we’ve covered critical thinking and logic, but what about recognizing fallacies? Do you know what a fallacy is?

Well, the definition is “a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.” 

Did you know there are many fallacies surrounding our everyday lives?

And most of them play off our emotions. You’ve heard of propaganda, right? That’s a huge one, and it’s in many commercials and political ads and news sources. You can find it in TV shows and other forms of entertainment. 

It’s actually quite fascinating to learn about all the different fallacies and how to detect them. Ethan, my oldest son, studied fallacies this year in his homeschool, and it was one of his favorite subjects. He now has detected some different ones as we go about our daily lives. 

I actually have to be careful in how I respond to him because he now can detect fallacies in my arguments. You know, like when he asks me why he has to be done playing video games, and I tell him it’s because I told him so. He’ll be the first one to tell me that is a circular argument. Ha ha! I want him to be a critical thinker. I want him to be able to discern when an argument doesn’t hold water, but be careful, because once your kids understand these principles, they’ll start using them on you, and you’ll have to come up with logical reasoning in your responses!

There’s a commercial that we keep seeing about social distancing with people wearing masks, and it says to count how many hugs you didn’t give and how many handshakes you didn’t give and how many events you weren’t a part of, and it tells us it’s important to keep track because we are saving lives by not doing any of these things. 

Ethan said, “That’s propaganda!” And he’s right! Why should we count how many hugs we haven’t given, or events we haven’t been a part of, and why should we be proud of that? Commercials are telling us to be unfriendly and alone because that’s the only way to survive. Now I know that’s drastic, but what are we feeding our minds when we watch propaganda like that? What’s the bigger picture? What is this commercial really trying to portray?

Critical thinking is about asking good questions.

We should never take a politician at his word. We shouldn’t believe what the news says as truth. We shouldn’t even believe what our pastor says is Biblical. Why? Because we should take what we hear, and we should dig for the truths ourselves. Critical thinking is about discerning for ourselves that the information we were fed is accurate.

So we’re going to ask some good questions today. I want to get us thinking about what is going on in the world. You don’t have to believe what I believe. Maybe you draw different conclusions than I do (Here’s a hint: I’m not going to give you a conclusion or belief in this episode). But all I’m asking is that you get off social media for a bit and do your own research. Find reliable sources and feed yourself the information you need to draw a valid conclusion for yourself. 

I have a broadcast journalism background and grew up in that arena. I understand how the media plays on our emotions, and just because they say they don’t have biases, I can honestly tell you that it’s very hard to separate your own bias in any news piece you create. You see from the lens that you know. 

I will preface this by saying I’m not a scientist nor a medical professional. I do know Covid-19 is a real virus, but I question the motives of those pushing it so hard. I believe racism is one of the most evil things in the world, but I do question who’s funding and leading these riots and what the larger agenda is. 

Division is one of the enemy’s greatest weapons, and I believe this is turning into a deeper darker divide, and it goes much further than the color of our skin.

Now, I will also preface to say I am against racism in all forms, and I will stand behind the black community. I’m thankful that we have more freedom as women than we’ve ever had in the past, and I want that for all communities. 

We were all created equal, and we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. It doesn’t say if your neighbor looks like you or if your neighbor believes the exact same way as you or even if your neighbor is a good person! We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves because God first loved us!

I am having meaningful conversations (offline) trying to learn and understand and grow. I want to be a support and be a bridge for equality and unity. Unity doesn’t mean we have to all think alike and be alike. We can have unity without uniformity, and it is one of life’s greatest gifts. What would the world look like if we all thought the exact same or looked the exact same or wanted the exact same things? We’d be a world of robots, and it would be a boring place to live.

All right … I promised you some questions, so here they are, in no particular order, just questions that I’ve had as I listen to the news and world around us … Maybe it will help you formulate your own questions. I encourage you to take out your journal and write them down. It’s a great place to start, and you can take those questions and find answers for yourself. Write down the ones that you are wondering about. Come up with different ones. 

Questions I have had in the past few months:

  • Who is financially backing the propaganda of social distancing and mandatory vaccines?
  • Why are they pushing the vaccine so hard? 
  • Is the person funding the project a scientist or medical professional? 
  • What ties do these people have to Wuhan or the WHO or CDC? 
  • What profit do these investors have in it all?
  • What laws are being passed under our noses during all the chaos?
  • What agenda does each person in power have?
  • Why did we have to destroy our economy to protect the vulnerable?
  • Did we have to, or would there have been a better way?
  • Who controls the media?
  • How many people are involved in that control? 
  • What else do they fund?
  • Why do many news stations say the same exact thing as if they were scripted from higher up?
  • Why does the media solely focus on the negative?
  • Why are we so drawn to watch the news? What is it about it that compels us and draws us in?
  • Who’s choosing what is getting censored online and being labeled as false information?
  • Why is it being labeled that way?
  • Why are certain people with certain beliefs being censored online right now?
  • Why are so many videos being taken down and censored right now?
  • Who controls the entertainment world? 
  • Are entertainers independent or are they bought? 
  • Do you think about the things you’re exposing your mind to daily? The music you listen to, the shows or news you watch, even the commercials?
  • Do you watch or read things from the lens of a fallacy detective where you can discern truth or fallacy? 
  • What emotions are being played on in each commercial or news article? 
  • Do you put your full trust in the government, or are you willing to do your own research?
  • Why do things change daily in regard to recommendations on the virus? Is it just because they are still learning about it? Or is it because they are manipulating us in some way?
  • Who are the greatest funders of the riots and protests? 
  • Why is it okay to have a protest of 100 people but only to have 10 people in your home?
  • Why doesn’t the virus affect protests, but it affects family gatherings?
  • What is the true root behind the racial issues? How do we solve them? 
  • Should we apologize if we were born white? 
  • Should we kneel in sorrow for what our own ancestors may or may not have been a part of? 
  • Why is division being pushed so hard right now? Is there a solution to unify?
  • What else is going on behind the scenes?
  • Why have we been okay to give up all our freedoms in the name of protecting the vulnerable? 
  • Who really is considered vulnerable, and is there a better way for us to protect them?
  • Why are Covid-19 patients being placed back into the nursing homes?
  • Why are there less deaths cited in states that have been more open all along?
  • How are they actually coming up with their numbers? Are they taking into consideration all those who had all the symptoms but hadn’t gotten tested because they weren’t allowing it?
  • Are we looking at how the data is presented to us? Is it tracked daily, weekly, monthly, or is it random and sometimes a daily account and then monthly and that’s why there’s such a spike?
  • Who gets to decide what’s essential and what’s not, and how is that decided?
  • What are we doing to protect those who are vulnerable to mental health issues right now? 
  • What are we doing to protect those who are vulnerable to spousal or child abuse right now?
  • What do you think will happen if we defund the police?
  • Why are they trying to cancel shows featuring police?
  • Why aren’t police considered humans right now?
  • Why are we calling all cops bad cops? Isn’t that racist in itself?
  • What if someone breaks into your house? How do you defend yourself? Who’s going to help you?
  • Will they release prisoners since there will be no law enforcement?
  • Will we be on our own for protecting ourselves?
  • What is the root in all of this? What is this going to do to our country? Socialism, communism? 
  • What kind of country do you want to live in? Where are we headed?
  • What are the ramifications of the events of 2020? 
  • Where does this leave the next generation?

These are just some of the questions I’ve had. If you’re not asking questions, then you’re being manipulated.

Critical thinking is vital when it comes to our freedom. Critical thinking and logic come from asking good questions and seeking the answers for yourself. I challenge you to ask your own questions, to get off social media, and do your own research. 

You may want to research who the source is of each piece of information you find as well. What is the bias? What is to be gained? But when you get good at asking questions, it’s fairly enlightening. Will you draw the same exact conclusions that I have? Maybe, but probably not. Just like I said in the beginning, I’m not going to share my own conclusions today. We still have our own choices and our own biases and our own free will. But what matters is that we are using those to dig for the truths we can find. 

This is also one of the greatest gifts we could give our kids. Teach them how to think, not what to think. Teach them how to be critical thinkers, and we will have a generation of young adults who can have an impact and be major players in this world.

Do not let the media or government or those in power control your mind. Your mind is simply one of the most powerful tools you have. Use it. Challenge the norms. Challenge the ideas being pushed. Challenge yourself to dig deeper. 

My only warning is that you can’t unsee the truth, and you’ll probably never be the same again.

If you want to continue the conversation and share some of your own questions, consider joining us in the Red Hot Winner Community on Facebook! It’s an extension of the podcast, and we talk about all things goal setting, goal crushing, and mindset. The community is right for you if you’re working to run your race, run your business, or run your life better. Head on over to www.facebook.com/groups/redhotwinners to join in the conversation and get connected.

Remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race! I believe in you. 

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