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Logic and Critical Thinking

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Logic and Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

August 15, 2005


I will focus on logic and its relation to critical thinking. Furthermore, I will describe my perceptions and how they distort reality. I will then give a brief explanation of an experience in my life where my views were distorted. The barriers that stop me from having a clear reality will follow. Lastly, I will explain the cycle of the critical thinking process and how it can be influenced to change.

A Complex Inner Reality

I find the nature of logic and its relation to critical thinking complex. I think it is important to understand how I think and make the unknown number of decisions I make everyday. "If we do not understand the workings of the brain, if we cannot enter its inner sanctum and unfold its mystery, then how can we define thinking?" (Thinking, 1999) Why do I have the perceptions that I have? Furthermore, I will discuss my own perceptual process and the types of perceptual barriers that influence my views. Lastly, I will explain the critical-thinking process and how it is manipulated by my perceptions.

Logic helps guide me through the critical-thinking process. Logic forces me to think about the out come of certain propositions before I ask a question. I ask myself, "Will this question get me to where I want to go?" Until I discover a beneficial question, I cannot start to critically think. Critical thinking involves asking myself many questions. To accomplish a successful resolution, I must ask the right questions. Asking myself the wrong questions and then following through with supporting them would be foolish, unfocused, and illogical. For example, if I want to discover the meaning of "logic," am I going to look in the Dictionary or Thesaurus? The Thesaurus could give me a close meaning through similar word comparison, but the Dictionary will give me an exact definition. Now that I have chosen the Dictionary, I can read and now begin my critical-thinking process by taking in information and analyzing it. In fact, most of the time I do not realize the logic reasoning that goes into my critical thinking. Logic guides me through the critical thinking process and guides me when I am finished. For instance, When I have a conclusion of my analysis and I have a clear understanding of my information; I ask myself if my resolution supports my topic? This is logic. To include "yes" and "no" answers many times reflects on logic.

My perception of situations is taken in visually and audibly, and through the perceptual process I develop an inner reality. Many factors come into play that influence my perception. My perception process takes repetitive influence and develops over time. The media, my surroundings, religion, and upbringing all influence my perception. For example, when I'm at home and watch the news, I do not see any atrocious scenes from the War on Terror. I walk outside, the sky is blue, my neighbor waves, the birds are chirping, and everything seems alright and at ease. My perception is that the world is kind, and I have a sense of security. However, I get a different perception when I listen to the radio, what I acknowledge to be more truthful media. I get an inner feeling of insecurity, darkness, anger, and a world full of evil. My perceptions are only possible because of my physical senses, and at times, I can find myself confused through this inner intricate process. The reality is that 1000 tiny lashes can kill someone. This is what is happening and the strategy of the enemy.

Perceptions are developed, and in some way a perceptual block has influenced my reality. Perceptual blocks prevent me from clearly seeing or hearing the problem. Blocks blind me from the information needed to solve the problem. Kirby & Goodpaster (1999) found the following:

Think About It: We are not emperors, but we have mental blinders and habitual filters that block our thinking. Think for a moment about how we could make serious blunders. What are some of the topics we just will not listen to, the people whom we will not hear, the books we will not touch? How could our own thinking patterns lead us to costly conclusions? (Thinking, p. 10)

One block that influences my views is stereotyping. I struggle with this block the most out of all the perceptual blocks. The constant oversimplification shuts down my critical thinking. For example, I think Muslims are violent people. After I see or hear a violent bombing of innocent people it does not surprise me that a Muslim committed the act. The fact that there is no outcry from the Muslim community does not shock me. Kirby & Goodpaster (1999) state the following:

An open mind is essential to critical thinking.



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