Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Reality Test 18-How has my thinking gone wrong?

Posted by Ann on February 19, 2011

18) Seeking certainty and control, neat and simple explanations, can lead to an oversimplification of reality, not to mention inadequate problem solving.

The human mind often looks for explanations for the unusual or unexplained in life within the realm of the supernatural or paranormal. Scientific, critical thinking doesn’t come to us naturally…we have to train ourselves to be rational thinkers.

Thinking is skilled work. It is not true that we are naturally endowed with the ability to think clearly and logically–without learning how, or without practicing. People with untrained minds should no more expect to think clearly and logically than people who have never learned and never practiced can expect to find themselves good carpenters, golfers, bridge players, or pianists. –Alfred Mander

Training ourselves to think rationally means letting go of our need to be absolutely certain, to be in total control, and to have simple, effortless solutions to life problems. Sometimes solutions are simple, but not usually…

Here are some ways we use faulty problem solving skills:

1–Form an immediate hypothesis, looking only at evidence confirming what you already believe. Like morals must come from somewhere outside of the natural world because most people believe this to be true. Or ugly (whatever people a society doesn’t find appealing, but another society or even other subculture within the same society might find appealing) people are more attractive to women than to men because women are biologically different in what they find attractive (women like an emotional and mental connection, but it seems like men do too when they get one). This may have some truth for some people biologically, but is there more to it?¬† Shallow people can find happiness too, if being shallow is what they are and want.

(Sure, women can’t possibly get turned on thinking about Christian Bale naked doing naughty stuff to himself and to them, ummm, or any man they find physically attractive, or even only by body parts just like men)

2–Whatever you do, don’t seek evidence to disprove your hastily formed hypothesis. Nah, nah, nah, nah, I can’t hear you (placing fingers firmly in your ears)

3–If the information coming at you from credible sources is too complex, make up your own less complex explanation or strategies to solve the problem, or use an unreliable source

4–And if there is no solution to the problem, assign an answer randomly or develop a hypothesis from a coincidence you observed

“Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.” -Thomas Jefferson

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One Response to “Reality Test 18-How has my thinking gone wrong?”

  1. Ann said

    For those of you who read my last post where I said I was through writing about feminism, technically this one isn’t about feminism lol

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