Using Your Head Over Emotion (or How To NOT Sound Like An “Ignorati” Idiot): Part 1 – Critical Thinking

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Edition:  032617a – Words: 952 – Audio: 08:59

Some need this book.

(NOTE:  I thank my blog buddy, chuq, over at In Saner Thought, for the introduction to the term. “Ignorati” .. . those ignorant of mental discipline.)

The two subjects you stay away from in public is politics and religion.  We all know that.  We accept this because people, in general, are solid in their opinions and beliefs.  But while that is true, there are different reasons between the two subjects.  Beliefs are one thing; that’s usually between our inner selves and whatever

entity we believe in, and how that translates toward living our daily lives.  It’s a spiritual, psychological, many times illogical faith-based comfort zone that we don’t want disturbed by debate.  Religion is based on hope and faith and we typically don’t want someone tampering with that as a matter of conjecture.  Makes sense.

The reason we are sensitive to political discussions is that politics defines our particular social order; how we govern ourselves and choose our leaders (in the average democracy).  In that, us humans are as different as night and day… all of us arriving at similar or very different conclusions to how we want to live our lives inside a political system.  Deep within most of us its very basic “animal” form.. “laws and rules are for the other guy, not me”.  But in a democracy we are forced to compromise.

But there are venues where we do choose to talk politics.. like with friends who generally accept us regardless of how foolish our opinion might be, or online, where basic anonymity presents a somewhat neutral environment to exchange thoughts and ideas without the fear of having our character stereotyped or physical retribution.  For those of us who engage in political blogging it’s more or less the idea that “I have something to say, goddamnit, and I’m going to say it because I am right and you aren’t!”.  But there are a number of political bloggers, and reader/followers, who do manage to try and have an open mind.  Speaking only for myself, I have visited some blogs that have indeed caused me to modify my particular political perspectives over the years.  I have also visited far too many blogs where the author is simply a babbling tirade of nonsense where it’s so obvious emotion rather than serious thought is their motivation.

That brings us to the subject of my post here.  These are politically volatile times and there is a lot of “screaming” between opinions, not only here in America but world-wide as citizenry rise up to object to economic and political conditions in their respective countries.  Since I can only opinionate from an American perspective… idiotic perspectives abound.  Now, you could make a point that if I am calling another’s perspective idiotic that I myself am being in narrow judgment, a condescending, elitist (whatever that word means today) and likely self-centered.  But here’s the thing…  some folks with the blogging “megaphone”, be they average opinionated people or contributors to some extreme right, quasi (pseudo?) conservative news and opinion blogs, are just so incensed about their own opinion that they fail to make any attempt to try and explain their own opinion by trying to cite some level of facts (knowing that facts themselves can be interpretive) and be convincing in justifying their opinions.  In fact, many of these folks could care less about the results of mainstream fact checking sites; facts be damned.  It’s pretty much “This is how I feel and if you don’t agree then go f**k yourself.”  Well, that attitude might make you feel good in a blog reply because it’s anonymous, but if you’re going through all the time and effort to post opinions then at least be flexible with your opinions as they relate to those alternative facts.  Otherwise, your opinion IS idiotic… and not the result of some level of applied critical thinking.

I try to focus the theme of my blog site strictly on the character behavior and complete incompetence of Trump.  That includes some policy differences, but mostly it has to do with reckless implementation rather than a complete policy difference.  I am no far right or far left idealist.  I am an American who thinks a flat out unqualified guy is president and should be removed, in legal ways.  Now, if you want to dispute my opinion on his character or performance, that’s fine.  More importantly, if you want to convince me otherwise using critical thinking, I welcome that more than you know.  Unfortunately, those on the right.. and mostly the far right.. are truly rabid about their idea of patriotism and white isolationism, and using the Constitution as their justification to impose their racist agenda.  Trump brought out these people because of his own maverick behavioral opinions, but encourages them by keeping silent about their views and using rhetoric that inflames their populist defiant anger, at his ridiculous rallies.  The folks I appreciate are those from the rural red states; the folks who make up middle America who used to vote in other traditional parties and changed to Trump from a sense of disenfranchisement with Washington politics.  Their vote that led to Trump’s win reflected a cry for help and attention.  These are the folks that on any other day in past America candidate Trump would have been discarded as a political anomaly.

But let’s go to Part 2 to understand the concept of critical thinking.


(You might prefer to hold your replies until you read all three Parts.)



9 thoughts on “Using Your Head Over Emotion (or How To NOT Sound Like An “Ignorati” Idiot): Part 1 – Critical Thinking

  1. I thank you for the shout out…ignorance in 3 part harmony…..I started this read and have been called away…I promise to get by a little later and check out all 3 parts…have a good day my friend….chuq

  2. I’m back! When my father was alive we would have screaming matches for he was a raging racist and bigot…and he was one that would start the argument just because he could….there is little critical thinking as you have pointed out….it is all about one’s self and not the country….there is my problem I cannot write about something and then a Right leaner comes and cannot grasp the concept without insertion of some sort of platitude… now…Part 2 in a few chuq

    • My GF and I were making just this same observation about the so-called Greatest Generation folks about how many were so racist and overtly bigots… and most certainly sexually repressed with very hypocritical religious zeal (although not church-going religious). Her father, my former in-laws… all fell into the classification. Former Victorian garbage.

      • Yeah I could not understand my father’s logic if there was ever any there…..they were sick people…even my grandfather was more liberal actually he was an anarchist from the labor days of the early 20th century…..BTW loved the series….chuq

  3. The comparison of Politics and Religion is one that has always interested me. Many who avoid discussing religion are happy to talk about their political beliefs, especially those on the extremes of the Left or Right. (Including myself, at one time)
    I recall a conversation fro decades ago, when I told someone that I was an Atheist. He corrected me by saying, “You have more belief than anyone I know, but it is in your politics, not religion.” Sometimes, people can be as blinkered and evangelical about politics as they are about Faith. They will never see the other point of view.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. You are very correct, Pete. You have a wide range of cerebral interests and you do very well presenting your interests across the board… including cultural. Takes a talent to do that. And you have diverse readership to prove it.

  5. The information you are presenting in this series is valuable and much needed in today’s volatile political environment and one of the greatest failures of our educational system has been the failure to teach more “Critical Thinking” courses.

    Two things we need to get back into our schools is “Civics” and “Critical” or “Creative” Thinking courses.

    So I do not know how far your articles here are going to help to heal the great divisions that separate us in The United States today but I can only respect you for the effort you are making.

    Good job!

    As for me, I shall go on screaming mindlessly and publishing my fecal-smelling garbage in the hopes of impressing another ghetto dweller or two somewhere down the line so they can call me nasty names here on the Internet and make themselves feel like they are in possession of working sexuality.

    I have recently been subjected to this kind of stuff but the perp drew in its horns and retreated to the seclusion of its own less-than-significant little racist blog.

    One more time …. thank you for the very informative, very clearly-written, very valuable articles on “Critical Thinking” —- something that is sorely needed in today’s vitriolic climate.

    Yes, I am impressed …. greatly impressed!

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