by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Critical thinking, aka crap detection, and discernment is a necessary skill in the age of spin
The ability to think critically and with discernment is one skill separating innovators from followers.
Critical thinking reduces the power of advertisers, the unscrupulous and the pretentious, and can neutralize the sway of an unsupported argument. This is a skill most students enjoy learning because they see immediately that it gives them more control.
Far too many people, young people especially, but not only they, fall prey to advertising and this blind following can have devastating consequences, as was so plainly the fact with Nazi Germany and other extremist regimes and groups.
Young people, who are often without significant life experience and anxious to fit in, are especially vulnerable to surface appeal as well as and especially to the influence of the wrong kind of people and groups.
As already said it is, however, no just young people. Many older people also fall prey to various groups and to advertising, etc. and this can be seen by those that believe the lies, and more than just lies, perpetuated by the likes of Alex Jones and his ilk.
Some just seem to want to believe that this stuff is true though, is also has to be said, that at times those people actually also bring forth the truth, or parts of the truth.
It is in those instances that we all need discernment and that also goes for religion and religious groups.
None of those so-called Holy Books have been written by the hand of the gods themselves but by men and thus have been interpreted by men and that also applies to the Bible. Period!
Too much harm has been done in the name of religion and god, whether with a capital G or a small one, because of deliberate misinterpretation of the Scriptures.
In all those instances, as said already, discernment is required and many people fall short of such discernment. It can be learned, however, and that is the good news.
But, should we rely on that for educators? I think not. We must educate ourselves to do this and it can be done.
There are many false prophets, and not just religious ones, out there and we must learn to recognize them. Most of those have a hidden agenda which often is quite obvious if we but look behind the scenes.
So, let's do it... and unmask the liars and discover the truth.