Friday, July 27, 2012 3:13:25 PM
Even the Republican party of Texas recognizes the threat critical thinking poses to received beliefs and the authoritarian power structures such beliefs rely upon. Their 2012 Platform states: "We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."
Friday, July 27, 2012 3:13:19 PM
Critical thinking, when unfettered and sufficiently informed, always reveals religious beliefs to stem from wishes and fears, not from the evidence of reality. The fact that plenty of religious people fancy themselves critical thinkers is a testament to the human capacity for self-deception, rationalization, compartmentalization, and other such strategies used to reduce cognitive dissonance--not an argument for the coherence of religious ideas themselves.
Friday, July 27, 2012 3:13:11 PM
Raising a child in a religion and raising them to think critically are not mutually exclusive. Of course they are mutually exclusive. Religion requires the use of conceptual prostheses: inherited ideas that are not to be questioned or tested for integrity, but are to be accepted as true based on authority. You are expected to adopt these ideas as your own and to defend them at all costs from threats external and internal. Critical thinking requires the use of living conceptual models: reasonable ideas that are to be questioned, tested, and re-tested for integrity, and are to be accepted as true based on their justifiability. You are expected to adopt these ideas provisionally and to seek always to update or discard them with new information and insights.
If you feel God has spoken to you or something like that, OK, I get it. But if you blindly believe something you have absolutely no proof of simply because for thousands of years other people before you blindly believed it with no proof, how is that a good thing?