what, how & why?

why this website?

ever had someone tell you that something’s really easy, and you know what they mean – it’s just that you find it really hard!

when I was at school I had an english teacher who reckoned higher english was like that… you just learned some definition and (so he said) went into the exams and answered some questions…. and I believed him…

but then everytime I went into an english exam, or looked at a past paper I stopped believing him again! I knew loads, but I couldn’t answer any of the questions… this website is for people who have a critical thinking teacher like my english one…. OR for people who like to pretend to themselves that they’ve nailed critical thinking, but aren’t quite sure they’ll nail the NAB and the final exam…

hopefully you will find all the exercises you need to become a critical thinking machine and then you can go into the exam with one less section to worry about…

why critical thinking?

the world is FULL of people trying to convince you of stuff… often it’s that people want to convince you to buy their product to make them rich, sometimes it’s to make you vote for, or agree with them to make them powerful… but it’s going on…

it’s not just your mates, or people on tv but sometimes it’s like everyone is trying to make you think things… now you could (i suppose) just turn your back on anyone with this sort of an agenda and refuse to listen to anyone’s reasons for what they want you to think…

you could, but it would kind of screw your life up. you wouldn’t be able to decide on very much at all… so most of us realise we have to look at the reasons people have for what the say… you look at who the person doing the saying is. you look at lots of other factors and you make your mind up.

the advertisers….

there is a special breed of very clever people who get paid lots and lots to make you think things… they’re like dynamo and derren brown rolled into one – only richer… and the reason they’re so rich is that they can make you think things, with few or no good reasons. and then they can make you spend money too…

one of the ways these lads and ladies often get people thinking stuff is by using the ‘h’ word…

now coke’s really a bad example, ’cause not many of us think that’ll really make us happy happy. but most of us do want to look back on our life and say we ‘got’ happy – our life wasn’t a waste – or something like that… most of us would pay a lot of money to guarantee this, and that’s why it’s so powerful… people have mid-life or quarter-life crises because they realise they’ve been chasing the wrong one of all the options presented by advertisers, by religions, by their parents, by lifestyle magazines….

so what do we do to avoid this? that’s a tough one but a lot of us recognise it has to do with looking at the reasons for believing stuff is true, not just by gambling on one of the options… the ad on the bus above shouldn’t persuade anyone of anything! even if you are a member of this ‘Christian Party’ you should see it doesn’t give anyone who’s not a good reason to join. Why? Because there are no reasons given to agree, none.

now the bus example is fine, ’cause it doesn’t look convincing to anyone, but there are cleverer people out there who try to make you think things; to avoid getting sucked in to some scam we can use a part of philosophy called logic, or critical thinking to help…

to start…. click the ‘Arguments in Philosophy‘ button above.

Click here for a Site Map page if you ever get lost…

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