Critical Thinking 101

 Like everyone, I am being subjected to misinformation on a daily basis. And, I'm interacting with people who believe things I believe to be untrue. And like everyone, I'm annoyed at what I see as the crazy belief of others.

So, let's review critical thinking 101.  The best way to ensure you yourself don't believe things that aren't true, is to constantly look for evidence that what you believe isn't true.

Yes, this means, considering actively the possibility that what you yourself think - may be wrong.

You can't really help others with this. You can only really control what you yourself think.

So, the next time you encounter someone who says, you're wrong, ask them for the evidence that proves you are.  And if they provide you with that evidence, accept it. Read through it. Take it seriously.  The worst that will happen is, you will find out you were wrong and learn something.

What often happens when I do this is - I find out the other person was wrong. This doesn't make me happy. It makes me annoyed. But at least now I know. 

Taking this approach helps me have nice conversations with people because instead of arguing with them, I am asking socratic questions and they tend to like that as it helps them share what they think they know. It also opens them up to my questioning when I read say - a federalist paper they pointed me to - and I read it and find it seems to say the exact opposite of what they told me it says. 

At this point, we can have a genuine conversation - most of the time.  

I only do this when I am genuinely curious and want to know why people are thinking what they are thinking.

However, there is some science to this too - which is that introducing doubt and getting people to research their own beliefs, is what helps people deprogram from cults. 

So stop being so annoyed that the people around you appear to be in a cult, and start asking them questions - just in case, you are. 

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