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Posted: 23 May 2009 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]  
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Josh - 22 May 2009 08:01 PM

I fully agree that these are extremely important issues for us to tackle. As a solution, I propose that every school on earth add “critical thinking skills” to their curriculum as a mandatory subject for all students (of all grades) to advance to the next grade. At the kindergarten level we can start simple, teaching them how and when to ask “why”, and each year the course can be a bit more detailed and challenging, until we have high school seniors who are highly skilled at critical thinking, and know how to apply this skill in their everyday lives. This new generation of critical thinkers would be less credulous than, and not as easily indoctrinated as, their parents and grandparents were at their age, so those issues would be solved as well (as the younger generation ages and replaces the older).

Would these classes in critical thinking include discussion on how everyone is conditioned by parents, guardians, and others?  Could students sit at a round-table and discuss their own conditioning?

When I went to school we were taught tolerance.  “You’re a Christian, she’s a Jew, he’s a Buddhist . . . respect each other.”  In your critical thinking classes, would the Christian, Jew, Buddhist and other kids discuss how they came to be that way?

“I was born in this household and I’m a Christian.  You were born in that household and you’re a Jew.  We both think that our religion is the one true religion.  Why is that?  Have we been conditioned?  Brain-washed?  Why are different religions around the world at war with each other?  Why do our Christian or Muslim parents teach us that theirs is the one true religion and God will punish those who don’t agree with them?”

Josh, is that what you mean by students being taught critical thinking?

[ Edited: 23 May 2009 03:05 PM by unsmoked]
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Posted: 24 May 2009 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]  
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unsmoked - 23 May 2009 03:39 PM

Would these classes in critical thinking include discussion on how everyone is conditioned by parents, guardians, and others?  Could students sit at a round-table and discuss their own conditioning?

I don’t see why not…

In your critical thinking classes, would the Christian, Jew, Buddhist and other kids discuss how they came to be that way?

Yes…..with civility and respect, of course. And the critical thinking skills they acquire will aid them in determining WHEN to be tolerant of a belief and when not to. If a Muslim kid believes that Muhammed (PBUH) rode a winged horse to heaven and saw Allah, that’s okay. If this kid also believes that suicide bombing is a good idea, then that’s NOT okay. The former does not harm anyone; the latter does.

“I was born in this household and I’m a Christian.  You were born in that household and you’re a Jew.  We both think that our religion is the one true religion.  Why is that?  Have we been conditioned?  Brain-washed?  Why are different religions around the world at war with each other?  Why do our Christian or Muslim parents teach us that theirs is the one true religion and God will punish those who don’t agree with them?”

Josh, is that what you mean by students being taught critical thinking?

Yes, I’m all for every student on the planet asking all of these questions and more. However, the religious issues would only make up a part of the critical thinking class, not ALL of it. Critical thinking skills would be taught in many other areas of discourse as well. For example…..politics. WHY are my parents conservative or liberal? Is it contingent on which part of the country they happen to live in (conservatives in Birmingham/liberals in San Francisco).....or because they really have done their own research and considered the arguments from BOTH sides, equally, before affiliating with one or the other?

So what I mean by “students being taught critical thinking” is that students would be taught HOW to think critically in general, by applying this skill to specific areas of discourse. And I mean EVERY area of discourse, not just religion. One beneficial exercise comes to mind for 12th grade students in their final critical thinking classs before graduation (since they are either 18, or close to turning 18). They can use their acquired, and finely tuned, critical thinking skills to objectively discuss whether a cigarette is better when smoked, or UNSMOKED. What is your opinion in this area?

[ Edited: 24 May 2009 08:41 AM by Josh]
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Posted: 24 May 2009 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]  
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And the critical thinking skills they acquire will aid them in determining WHEN to be tolerant of a belief and when not to. If a Muslim kid believes that Muhammed (PBUH) rode a winged horse to heaven and saw Allah, that’s okay.

I wonder if anyone else here agrees with that, and why?

I do agree with everyone about complete and open discourse with kids. We bullshit kids, and it doesn’t help our society. Make kids smart and completely educated about the world and many realms of bullshittery will shut down within their lifetime.

[ Edited: 24 May 2009 11:06 AM by Argo]
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Posted: 24 May 2009 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]  
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Josh - 24 May 2009 12:33 PM

They can use their acquired, and finely tuned, critical thinking skills to objectively discuss whether a cigarette is better when smoked, or UNSMOKED. What is your opinion in this area?

You’re Joshing, right?

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“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 24 May 2009 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]  
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Argo - 24 May 2009 03:00 PM

And the critical thinking skills they acquire will aid them in determining WHEN to be tolerant of a belief and when not to. If a Muslim kid believes that Muhammed (PBUH) rode a winged horse to heaven and saw Allah, that’s okay.

I wonder if anyone else here agrees with that, and why?

I do agree with everyone about complete and open discourse with kids. We bullshit kids, and it doesn’t help our society. Make kids smart and completely educated about the world and many realms of bullshittery will shut down within their lifetime.

If a kid grew up believing in Santa Claus he or she would be considered mentally ill, or ‘culturally impaired’ or something like that.

But it’s okay to grow up believing that Muhammed rode a winged horse to heaven and saw Allah?

This is a point the kids could discuss at their round-table.  Grade 3 or 4?  When would they be ready for a question like this?  As far as public education is concerned, is it okay to grow up believing lies that your parents tell you?  At least 100 million Americans believe absolutely that Genesis is the true story of creation - a particular Mediterranean fable in the world’s library of hundreds or thousands of creation fables.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 24 May 2009 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]  
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unsmoked - 24 May 2009 04:19 PM

If a kid grew up believing in Santa Claus he or she would be considered mentally ill, or ‘culturally impaired’ or something like that.

But it’s okay to grow up believing that Muhammed rode a winged horse to heaven and saw Allah?

This is a point the kids could discuss at their round-table.  Grade 3 or 4?  When would they be ready for a question like this?

Third grade, when they start to learn cursive writing.

As far as public education is concerned, is it okay to grow up believing lies that your parents tell you?

The law protects them and they continually fight to impose their lies on others.

At least 100 million Americans believe absolutely that Genesis is the true story of creation - a particular Mediterranean fable in the world’s library of hundreds or thousands of creation fables.

Which is why we continually fight for choice and facts.

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Posted: 24 May 2009 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]  
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Argo - 24 May 2009 03:00 PM

If a Muslim kid believes that Muhammed (PBUH) rode a winged horse to heaven and saw Allah, that’s okay.

I wonder if anyone else here agrees with that, and why?

By “that’s okay”, I was referring to the fact that this belief is not physically HARMING anyone…..any more than does a belief in Santa Claus. Of course there would be in-depth class discussion on what is reasonable to “believe”, in which the Muslim kid could apply critical thinking skills to assess the probability of likelihood that Muhammed really DID fly on a horse with wings.

My point was that the belief that suicide bombing is a good idea is a much more pressing matter to be addressed immediately. Muhammed/winged horse/Allah? That’s okay for now; let’s put that on the back burner while we focus on convincing the Muslim kid that suicide bombing is a BAD IDEA. Once that is out of the way, then we can focus on the more harmless beliefs such as winged horses and flying reindeer.

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Posted: 24 May 2009 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]  
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unsmoked - 24 May 2009 03:57 PM
Josh - 24 May 2009 12:33 PM

They can use their acquired, and finely tuned, critical thinking skills to objectively discuss whether a cigarette is better when smoked, or UNSMOKED. What is your opinion in this area?

You’re Joshing, right?

LOLOLOL. I have no idea why I found this so funny! Perhaps it’s because of this joint that I’ve been un-smoking…..

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Posted: 25 May 2009 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]  
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Josh - 25 May 2009 01:16 AM
unsmoked - 24 May 2009 03:57 PM
Josh - 24 May 2009 12:33 PM

They can use their acquired, and finely tuned, critical thinking skills to objectively discuss whether a cigarette is better when smoked, or UNSMOKED. What is your opinion in this area?

You’re Joshing, right?

LOLOLOL. I have no idea why I found this so funny! Perhaps it’s because of this joint that I’ve been un-smoking…..

Well, we all know what it means to uncork a bottle.

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“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 05 June 2009 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]  
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Josh - 25 May 2009 01:12 AM
Argo - 24 May 2009 03:00 PM

If a Muslim kid believes that Muhammed (PBUH) rode a winged horse to heaven and saw Allah, that’s okay.

I wonder if anyone else here agrees with that, and why?

By “that’s okay”, I was referring to the fact that this belief is not physically HARMING anyone…..any more than does a belief in Santa Claus.

I get your point, and I did misunderstand you at first, but I just don’t think a belief in Allah and a belief in Santa Claus are equally harmless at all. I never took Santa Claus seriously because my fellow human beings didn’t either. My fellow human beings took God seriously though. While I was told both could hear my thoughts, I didn’t ever worry about Santa, unless it was Christmas. I worried about God -all- the time, because he was watching me constantly. The very idea of introducing the idea of an omnipotent and omniscient God to a child is abuse.

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