Critical Thinking: Learned Behavior or Naturally Inclined
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10-02-2016, 06:56 PM
RE: Critical Thinking: Learned Behavior or Naturally Inclined
(10-02-2016 04:06 PM)carol Wrote:  
(09-02-2016 11:16 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  I would like to know what you think about the mind and critical thinking skills. Are they intrinsic to some and learned to others or are they natural to humans but can be overridden by indoctrination at least for a while? As in some people have it and some just don't.

There are people like me who've never bought into the god delusion.
There are some who've bought it for a while and left it at young adulthood.
There are some who come to it late in life, usually because their indoctrination was early and the family pressure extreme.
Obviously there are many who never come to critical thinking when it comes to religion.

If it's just learned behavior, how have some never believed the dogma, even at a very early age?

Also, is religious dogma the only BS you didn't buy into?

I never bought into the racist thing. My parents were racist and vocal about it but I never agreed. I had black friends from kindergarten up. I wasn't allowed to go to their house or them to mine but we were friends all through school. I also had Hispanic friends in high school. People were people, some nice, some not.

The sexist crap didn't wash either. I never felt "less than" because I was a girl but maybe that was because I was a tomboy and did anything the boys could do.

Are these things also critical thinking issues? Have you always been a critical thinker?

I found another interesting abstract which shows the relation between intelligence and religiosity:


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23921675

One thing I have noticed on atheist threads is that there are a lot of well educated and bright atheists. I think that people with intelligence and the personality traits that encourage them to be able to live with ambiguity do not need to have absolute answers for everything. They are not as likely to be influenced by random ideas without thinking about them. And I think that strong willed people are also able to come to their own conclusions about things. If people are able to think clearly, question their own beliefs, do some research and be willing to change their minds when they are wrong, it encourages critical thinking.


As for me, I liked the idea of religion when I was young, because I wanted to feel safe. But when considering different religions- ( and I did consider very carefully, one personality trait I have is to jump into research and learn very carefully everything I can about out a topic) I was unable to find a religion that could possibly be true. I did attend a UU curch for a while just for companionship and to be in the choir. They were OK with me being atheist.

Lots of good points in this. Thx.

A lot of good points from everyone here. The inquiring mind has a lot a questions and doesn't necessarily settle for an easy answer.

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10-02-2016, 07:36 PM
RE: Critical Thinking: Learned Behavior or Naturally Inclined
Probably both. I know that I asked a question during Catechism and got told "It's one of god's mysteries". At the tender age of 8, my BS detector took notice. Later, when I visited one of my friends (atheist wasn't mentioned, but his dad did metion that his dad had looked at the buybull where jeesus walked on water and said, "I can do that, too. It just has to be frozen!", and tossed that book. His dad was always challenging our assumptions and asking why we thought what we thought. I was a single digit age kid at the time. This is, I can say now, a time when I learned even more critical thinking skills. Kind of made my head hurt, at the time.

On another note, my dad was an atheist, though clandestine, because my mother was a devout catholic. He'd say something about no god, and when he was confronted, would back down.
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10-02-2016, 08:19 PM
RE: Critical Thinking: Learned Behavior or Naturally Inclined
Without the ability to evaluate, we wouldn't be where we are as a species, so I think critical thinking is inborn.

It's sad that many religions (along with some other thought systems) actively discourage the development of this skill. IMO that's largely because most social groups need shared agreement on a set of axioms to be effective, and critical thinking makes that agreement harder to achieve.

There are many areas where I don't find myself in agreement with group axioms, including religion. I like to believe that's due to my critical thinking skills, but it's also quite possible that my disagreement is an expression of my own neuro wiring, which is not typical, rather than my logic and evaluation skills.
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10-02-2016, 08:27 PM
RE: Critical Thinking: Learned Behavior or Naturally Inclined
(10-02-2016 08:19 PM)julep Wrote:  There are many areas where I don't find myself in agreement with group axioms, including religion. I like to believe that's due to my critical thinking skills, but it's also quite possible that my disagreement is an expression of my own neuro wiring, which is not typical, rather than my logic and evaluation skills.

Yes, I agree with this. I'm not sure where a "sense of fairness" comes into it but I have a very active sense of fairness and always have. I think this is what guided me from following the racist/sexist path.

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