I am a blogger, an artist and a writer.

The underlying theme in my work of all sorts is ethics and the critical thinking skills required to discern the right and wrong in any particular case. That is what Graphictruth is "about," to the extent of my ability to manage - the application of critical thinking to the dangerous truisms, moralisms and unsupportable assumptions that seem to be the summa logica of the leadership, "moral" and political, of our time. 

I doubt that what I'm saying is inapplicable to other nations, but I've seen the rising tide of stupidity overtop the levees in These Assorted States of Decay with despair for decades now.

Critical thinking is the Art of being Correct - which is entirely distinct from The Art of Being Right as  Schopenhauer ironically demonstrates in his very accessible (that is to say, short and fairly readable) essay.

As you read it, consider how familiar the tactics described in the latter are used by those barely familiar with the former against those with no familiarity with either. Baffled explorations of the results may be found in many places, one of course being "What's the Matter with Kansas?"
You might be tempted to think of critical thinking as a partisan art. I might be tempted to suggest (from the depths of my own well informed bias) that would not only be true, but obvious.

Nonetheless, some of the greatest practitioners of the art have been rock-ribbed Conservatives, such as Barry Goldwater, Ron Paul and the much lamented William F. Buckley Jr.

They may or may not be correct on any given issue - but the odds are better that they are than the odds of anyone of any particular dogmatic preference stating a conclusion reached without benefit of critical insight. One may well offer up an incomplete argument, or argue from what seem to be well founded premises that turn out to be founded in sand, but one will at not least be engaging in disputation in defense of willful stupidity in the face of an all-too-well-armed reality. 

Indeed, many conservatives (increasingly a group wishing to distinguish themselves from Republicans) would insist that the critical facility is essential to their philosophical distinction. Conservatism (with or without an initial capital C) has as it's foundational idea that change of any sort, without due and cautious examination, is a far more dangerous thing than hewing to current practice. Even if the present evils are understood by all - at least they are well understood by all, and that cannot be said about some ideological panacea, such as, say, Communism. Or NeoLiberalism. Or, indeed Dominionism.

William Graham Sumner offers a useful summary of critical thinking:
The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators ... They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens.
Dr. Martin Luther King said:
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically . . . The complete education gives one not only power of concentration but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.

I say it's a useful tool for the detection and subsequent verbal kneecapping of the lyin' bastards that rule - and those who wish to rule. 


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