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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Are humans losing the ability to think critically due to technology advances?
I am not asking the question myself. I stumbled across the question here, and typed out an off-the-cuff answer to submit, only to find that my answer could not be submitted unless/until I joined the forum.

Rather than do that, I thought, I'll just cut and paste my response here:

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Relativism (the philosophy) as "The doctrine that no ideas or beliefs are universally true but that all are, instead, 'relative' — that is, their validity depends on the circumstances in which they are applied."  This philosophy can be summed up by the notion that there is no absolute (i.e. 'objective') truth.

In a similar way, Postmodernism, which promotes the notion of radical pluralism (i.e. there are many "ways of knowing" and "reality is subject to perspective", etc. etc.), promotes the complimentary notion that truth is something we interpret out of our individual realities rather than something that actually exists

These philosophies (in particular) frame our default "modern" worldview - which is what is being taught to students in our (western) public educational systems.  Pragmatically it lends itself to the notion that all religions and cultures are equal in that we cannot know which (if any of them) is right or superior.

Unfortunately, the perceived educational benefits of a postmodernism, relativistic worldview (pluralism, secularism, etc.) come at the expense of critical thinking - which posits that in order to think clearly on a matter, one's knowledge must be informed by and through factual evidence.  In a culture that has convinced itself that truth is unknowable, or that truth is a matter of perspective, knowledge can no longer be informed by factual evidence, because there is no such thing as an actual, objective fact.  All truth is inherently subjective and a matter of perspective, therefore even where evidence supports a claim, the claim may be rejected because our philosophies presuppose that even factual evidence is subject to opinion and perspective. There simply is no room to think critically, because critical thought presumes upon the objectivity of the evidence.

Therefore, if humans are in fact losing the ability to think critically, it probably doesn't spring from recent technological advances, but rather from recent trends in epistemological philosophies. A generation that is so enlightened that it teaches itself that nothing is truly knowable, can hardly escape the conclusion presupposed by its worldview: There is no longer any need for critical thinking since that archaic notion was premised upon a notion our worldview denies.
One of the beefs I have with our public school system, is that it passively promotes the memorization of knowledge rather than the learning of it. Truth is assumed, rather than demonstrated, and the student's job is to trust that what they are being told is actually true - so that all they need to do, in order to past the test, is to memorize it, and retain that knowledge until they write the test. Once the grade is given, the both the teacher and the student move past that hurdle to the next, in their race to get through all the material that the student is to be tested on.

In order to think critically, one must have a venue to actually critique what is being presented as truth - to question the authority behind any proposition until satisfied that the evidence given actually supports the claims being made.  You can't do that in a world where nothing is true anymore.
posted by Daniel @ 2:18 PM  
  • At 2:32 PM, February 09, 2016, Blogger Daniel said…

    Critical thinking requires you to examine the truth of what is being claimed by examining the truth of the evidence given in support of what is being claimed. Critical thinking requires you to challenge every truth claim.

    Unfortunately, some people think that "critical thinking" means that you challenge every truth claim on the grounds that nothing is knowable - which isn't thinking critically, it is rather thinking irrationally.

  • At 8:20 AM, February 10, 2016, Anonymous David said…

    I found this post to be relatively rational.

  • At 8:21 AM, February 10, 2016, Blogger David said…

    Seriously, your conclusion is exactly correct.

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