Critical Thinking-is that phrase a stigma?

by PaintedToeNail 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • PaintedToeNail

    When I first heard the term 'Critical Thinking' it was as a teenager during a Watchtower study. The study went on to elaborate how we shouldn't be swayed by critical thinking. There was no explanation that the term didn't mean 'to criticize' thoughts and words, but rather that it means 'to objective think and to evaluate thoughts and words'.

    When we the word 'critical', we automatically think the worst. If someone thinks critically of us, that is not a complement. If someone is considered critical, that is derogatory. It isn't usually thought of in the sense of a 'critical care unit', where people are looked after more carefully than when they are in a normal hospital ward.

    Maybe we as a group could use a different term when we speak to our still in family and friends, a neutral or more positive expression such as: Essential Thinking, Accurate Thinking or Careful Thinking would have more positive connotations. Especially since the Borg uses the term Critical Thinking like it's a swear word.

  • nowwhat?

    Ironically the bible encourages critical thinking. " make sure of all things". "Test every inspired saying". "Be noble minded like the beroeans" etc

  • James Mixon
    James Mixon

    That's why when I ask a JW about critical thinking she said one must be careful with critical

    thinking. LOL

  • xjwsrock

    Yeah I'm sure that was done on purpose. Confuse the terms.

    Paint critical thinking as a bad thing to be avoided. More BS mind control.

    I don't know of a good replacement term, though. I use the term "objective thinking" often and I bring up understanding "distinctions" between things. For instance, the distinction between Jehovah and the Watchtower, Bible, and Tract Society is a big one.

    That really is one of the big challenges. Introducing critical thinking to a JW who has been trained to not think critically and to swallow fallacy after fallacy. They also feel like thinking critically is questioning God. That is another hurdle. They need to apply critical thinking to that notion, lol...... It never ends!!!!!!

  • Spectre

    I'd say don't let them get away with trying to re-define terms as per their usual m.o.

    Study up on the term and what it means so at any time you can tell them like in The Princess Bride, "that word, I don't think it means what you think it means."

  • ttdtt

    YES!!!!! Every brother who I have EVER heard talk about it on the stage or at an assembly define it as "being critical (as in unjustly picky) of the Org, GB, Elders...

    Again I refer you to:

    The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled persons suffer illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is.

  • stuckinarut2

    Fantastic thread!

    Thanks for starting it.

    Critical thinking skills mean one is being 'analytical' or constructively looking at all information.

    We use critical thinking skills each day as we are bombarded by media and advertising.

    We use it when shopping at a store. If we didn't, we would all drink soft drink and think it is healthy because the bottle says so....etc...

    The society has stigmatised the expression to make it a negative thing.

    The suggestions in the opening post about using different terms is a great one! That breaks down the barriers that a witness puts up....

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    When you wield mind-control over a group of people who self regulate for total conformity; words can mean precisely what the cult leadership wants them to mean.

    Tony Morris has already pronounced on the subject of “critical thinking”.............

    “It’s kind of amazing that once you learn critical thinking, once you remove yourself from it and then take another look from a different perspective. How manipulative it is. How the ‘double think’ is right there in your face.”

    This  fatuous, almost grotesque explanation of what critical thinking is, exposes a fatal flaw in the credibility of a large corporate organization. The unbelievable crassness of this quote from his assembly speech a couple of years back should alert any outside enquirer to the dismal depths of ignorance which come from the very top of the JW org. It should also flag up a red alert to the JW who still has any residual intelligence left in them.

    Tony Morris has declared to the zombie masses that critical thinking is carbon dating is BAD and homosexuality is BAD and other religions are BAD (apostates however are way beyond BAD!) It is easy to put people off things isn’t it?

    @Stuckinarut, I like your word ‘analytical’, this has not yet been stigmatized by the seven holy baboons of Brooklyn. To analyse is to question the validity of the sources of the information, to contextualize, to question assumptions about the subject; to ask does the received wisdom on this stand up to a logical, factual, semantic and philosophical investigation etc.

    Yes with rational analysis, the Watchtower doctrines fall at the first hurdle. It’s little wonder they condemn critical thinking and the higher education which depends on it as a matter of course.

  • jwleaks

    WARNING This site >>>>> <<<<< will teach you how to think.

  • aboveusonlysky

    The following is a quote from the June 22nd 2000 Awake article 'do not be a victim of propaganda!'

    Ask questions: As we have seen, there are many today who would like to ‘delude us with persuasive arguments.’ (Colossians 2:4) Therefore, when we are presented with persuasive arguments, we should ask questions.

    First, examine whether there is bias. What is the motive for the message? If the message is rife with name-calling and loaded words, why is that? Loaded language aside, what are the merits of the message itself? Also, if possible, try to check the track record of those speaking. Are they known to speak the truth? If “authorities” are used, who or what are they? Why should you regard this person—or organization or publication—as having expert knowledge or trustworthy information on the subject in question? If you sense some appeal to emotions, ask yourself, ‘When viewed dispassionately, what are the merits of the message?’

    Although criticle thinking isn't specifically mentioned in the article, some critical thinking skills are discussed here.

    I've used the reasoning in this article to good effect with some of my family to show that looking at the organization's real history is not 'critical' in a bad way.

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