Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why are thinkers so rare?

     I'm not talking about people of any particular intellectual caliber, here. I'm talking about people who actually bother to think. Anybody can do it. By analogy, fuzzy vision does not mean that one cannot open one's eyes; it only limits the perception. But it seems that most people just let some "leader" do their thinking for them. Then, with the strength of numbers, they declare that they have "demontrated" that dissenting positions are ridiculous. Obviously, religions do this. That's to be expected. It is the nature of religion. But this behaviour extends much farther than that.

7 comments:

photosynthesis said...

The allowing someone else to do the thinking also surprises me. It happens everywhere. remember that I agreed with you that scientists do that too (before we departed in, hopefully, confusions).

But it does not start that way, does it? Most kids show they are thinking. They keep asking why, why, why, they see our contradictions, and say "but you said this before ..."

Yeah, maybe it is not universal. But all the kids I have been around do this questioning. What the hell do we do while they grow that at some point they stop thinking? (Maybe they don't, just they don't think properly.)

G.E.

Pvblivs said...

     I hope you don't mind my cleaning up the "removed by author" comments.
     Don't worry about parting ways. I do not claim that people are mindless just because they disagree with me. I will argue a position passionately. But I don't mean to belittle those that disagree.
     "What the hell do we do while they grow that at some point they stop thinking?"
     I am speculating here. But I think that part of it is that the educational system teaches that there is only "one right answer" to anything, and that, once it is "found," questioning is discouraged. I think that the clues are in the way adults tend to handle dissent and questioning.

dsjohndrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penn Tomassetti said...

(I'll play the skeptic in this conversation for a second):

What constitutes thinking for yourself, anyway?

Everything I think, I learned from someone or something else.

So what is thinking for yourself? And does it equal thinking accurately, correctly, truthfully?

Maybe what you meant to say was that people don't question their authorities enough? And if they do, how do they know the authorities are wrong, right?

If there is more than one right answer to some or all things, then is there right at all? And if there is, how do you know it?

1 last question: Do religious people think dependently because you think you think independently?

Just some thoughts I'd like to add.
Thanks

Pvblivs said...

     "Everything I think, I learned from someone or something else."
     A pity that you cannot have new thoughts.
     "So what is thinking for yourself? And does it equal thinking accurately, correctly, truthfully?"
     Thinking for myself does not guarantee that my thoughts will be accurate. But being a drone wouldn't either.

dsjohndrow said...

I guess as an anon commenter I was removed.

Accurate thoughts? What the hell is that? Thoughts, and our thought process, can range from random to creative, impulsive to solutions for complex problems.

Initially it looks like a lot of folks have been conditioned in their learning - been lazy about being creative as they sit in front of TV and are morphed by media, music and the like.

It happens as folks are grouped together for what they "feel" or think is a common goal. IE: Politics, religion, teen culture types, jocks, scene whatever.

Culture certainly influences thinking, and if you look at Asian or African or South American cultures there are many differences of expression that influence thought.

Education in America has become all about spitting out "correct" answers for tests - and little about problem solving etc.

If our thoughts are not original and thinking is a stlyre taught, they how did we get the iPhone and the Chia Pet?

Pvblivs said...

     "I guess as an anon commenter I was removed."
     Strictly speaking, anonymous comments can't be sent to this blog. But the only comments I have removed here are ones that already said "This post has been removed by the author." Oh, and that means the original writer of the post deleted it. If I delete a post, and its placeholder is still there, it says "by a blog administrator." Hope this helps.
     "Accurate thoughts? What the hell is that?"
     Well, some thoughts are supposed to be a model of the reality around us. Here, a concept of accuracy would be a measure of how well those thoughts actually reflect that reality. I will grant that accuracy has no meaning for thoughts that are purely imaginary.
     "If our thoughts are not original and thinking is a stlyre taught [(?)], they how did we get the iPhone and the Chia Pet?"
     Not particularly ideal examples, from my perspective anyway. However, I didn't say that thinking and creativity don't exist. I said that they are rare and, in fact, discouraged.