Yesterday, I posted a tweet on Facebook. Someone on Facebook argued against the tweet’s argument. Foolishly I tried to explain what the Tweet meant and why it had merit. Then I began to chase rabbits concerning arguments and the reconstruction of arguments. I read about premise conclusion, logical structures and critical thinking. While chasing rabbits I thought about public discourse and the pursuit of knowledge. I also thought about how often we can seem to get nowhere in society when we cannot agree on truths that seem to be evident.
There is a movie called “Don’t Look Up”. In the movie there is a meteor coming to earth, it is a planet killer and there is a debate in the public about the existence of the meteor. Immediately I would like to argue that society would band together and address this issue however there is currently some surprisingly large population of the public who do not believe that the world is experiencing climate change 10 % of Americans. The United States is also responsible for 14% of the worlds carbon pollution. The United States is second in carbon pollution to China.
So what happens when we cannot agree on truth? Usually chaos. The problem may however not be with how the truth is presented but maybe how it is received. Critical thinking is the process for Objective analysis and evaluation to make a judgement. One exercise that many people suggest for strengthening our critical thinking skills is the talk to a six year old exercise.
if you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself,”unknown
This is a great exercise for me sometimes when I feel myself engaging in some overthinking. By explainng our positions to a six year old we may see where we have some lack in understanding and can focus our efforts on that.
So when you catch yourself in the middle of big problem just try explaining this problem to a six year old.