Learning V. Thinking
We are brought into this world not as critical thinkers but as social learners. We learn socially and derive most information from what we are told and how we shape experiences. As we grow we develop our ability to reason and logically assess the information that we take in yet we never assess that which we ‘hold’ as true. Most don’t consider the information accepted before our critical faculties have developed and hence not examined by our own mind to check the validity of the statements. The shift occurs as people move away from ‘social truths’ (social learning) and instead move to ‘philosophical’ (reasoned analysis) of statements without accepting presuppositions.
‘My Identity’ an indication that it is something freely chosen is most often not the case. Instead we allow other people through their reactions, opinions and social learning to shape who we think we are. Worst yet we think it is a good thing!
“When we all think alike, no one thinks very much.” Walter Lippmann
Rationalizing accepted truths
Look around you. What is the prevailing thought within the area that you live. What is the religion of choice? political stance? views on relationship? The ideas in and of themselves may not be bad it is the fact and the reasons by which people accept the information that is. We accept these truths and then and only later backwards rationalize why we have accepted them. Then we say “I have perfectly logical reasons why I believe what I do!”
We are always “right”
Thoughts we hold as “true” become part of our neurology eliciting chemical reactions in our body showing that ‘this is true’ as opposed to another thought. We naturally think we are right and for good reason; the psychological angst of ‘not knowing’ can cripple a person’s ability to survive.