Thought Holes and the Value of Freethought

How to overcome adversity with critical thinking.

There is a great article over at edutopia on thought holes -

What I like about it is that it is actually a lesson in critical and creative thinking. Basically, the article talks about how our perception of reality is distorted and how those distortions affect our moods, thoughts, actions etc. If we have a negative distortion that we believe is true, even when it isn’t, it can cause us to do stupid things and that would be bad.

The article then goes on to identify 8 common thought holes or distortions and suggests correcting them by doing 3 Cs:

• Checking to see if you have entered a thought hole

• Collecting evidences to see if it is a thought hole and if it is

• Challenging your original thoughts

I am a Humanist and Humanists engage in freethought. Freethought is a way to challenge our thinking because our thinking is biased and it can cause us to make mistakes. By actively checking and challenging your thoughts and testing them against reality, you can avoid mistakes. And that’s always a good thing. This is why Humanists are always going on and on about the necessity of critical thinking and freethought.

The good news is that doing this works. It works really well. Check to see if you made a mistake in your thinking; collect evidence to verify whether you have or not and if you have, challenge the incorrect thoughts and replace them with more accurate ones. That’s pretty much freethought in a nutshell.

The next time you start thinking that you aren’t good enough and that no one likes you so you might as well go eat some worms, think again. You may just find that the adversity you were working so hard to overcome didn’t really exist in the first place.

Question: Which of the fallacy (ie: thought holes) do you fall prey to most often? Personally, I tend to mentally filter.

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