Hello , I am an ex Scientologist , this blog is primarily about that but I may address other topics as the mood hits me to . I was in Scientology for 25 years and spent about 10,000 hours using the indoctrination and thought reform method "study tech " . I also spent time on staff and met hundreds of Scientologists and did hundreds of the cult practices . Many were the "ethics cycles and OW writeups " that really are an attempt to suppress or remove a person's identity and replace it with a mental pseudo clone of Ron Hubbard . To make a fanatical slave for the cult .

I looked outside the cult for answers in about January 2014 and left the cult in about March of 2014 . While in about 99% of members have no idea of the truth .

We are told we are in a mental therapy or spiritual enhancement or religion or science for helping people unlock potential . Or any of several other fronts that all pretend kind and humanitarian goals .

The truth is Scientology is a terrorist mind control cult and this blog is my attempt to understand and expose that . And try to state as clearly as possible the tools that I have found helpful in dealing with this .

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 4 Being a Pain in the Ass

In referencing Critical Thinking I should point out a book on the topic and strengths and weaknesses in the book and subject. How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Asking the Right Questions by Christopher DiCarlo is an excellent book on the subject that covers a lot of the basics in the subject and the history of some people who have helped advance the subject by their actions.

One principle that is promoted as the first priority regarding critical thinking is consistency. It makes sense that you need to strive for consistency as a fundamental. You need consistent terms to even discuss critical thinking and mean today what you meant yesterday.

The history of Socrates and several other important philosophers is covered. How Socrates challenged people with questions and exposed inconsistencies in beliefs and gaps in knowledge is one of the most important developments in critical thinking.

Socratic debate and how good arguments are constructed is broken down for people as well. Any serious student of critical thinking needs to understand Socratic questions and debate and also logical fallacies and sound arguments and poor ones. These critical thinking basics are indispensable for everyone. Without them you honestly can't debate, spot poor arguments or understand what makes them poor arguments.

You will get caught up in poor logic and not be able to tell good ones from bad ones in your own thinking without this knowledge.

Several other philosophers including skeptics get recognition for their important contributions to critical thinking including separation of claims regarding nature and claims regarding the supernatural.  The approach of setting aside things you don't know about is explored as well.

I highly recommend this book, even for people who have some familiarity with critical thinking because it's so strong regarding explaining how to construct arguments and how logical fallacies impede arguments and debate. It also excels in describing the important contributions of several historical figures and the ideas they forwarded that critical thinking still is built on today.

Whether you take my suggestion and read this particular book or not all the basic components of critical thinking which it provides are ones you simply cannot do without for any serious student of critical thinking.

All in all very good for critical thinking. What's it bad at or lacking ? It has the weakness most work by an expert gets when they are dealing with something way outside their expertise.

The weak area it has is dealing with what the author calls faith. The author likely doesn't know about the work regarding influence and awe and fervor. They likely don't know about the work of people like Robert Jay Lifton regarding mass movements or Yuval Laor regarding awe and fervor or Robert Cialdini regarding influence. There's a lot more involved in faith than a knowing and conscious decision to believe something without evidence.

The lesson here is that to understand a subject you need to discover the weak points in the subject, or at least a particular author, and the strong ones and go outside the work to supplement it when needed.

This book is definitely a great start for critical thinking despite one or two weak areas. Just look outside of it regarding those areas.

I recently completed a long series of blog posts on something many of us encourage but rarely actually discuss - critical thinking. It's essential to good reason and in my personal opinion recovery from the harm Scientology and other cults do. Here's the entire series.
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 1 Looking at Both Sides
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 2 Logical Fallacies and Biases
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 3 Paul-Elder Critical Thinking Framework
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 4 Being A Pain In The Ass
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 5 Show The Work
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 6 Propaganda: 7 Most Important Techniques of Propaganda
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 7 Rhetoric and Sublime Writing
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 8 We Learn Together

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