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Critical Thinking



Using the Human Condition...

To Think and Reason on The Why of Our Actions

Why do you hold certain ideas close to your heart, and others do you dispose of? If you want to live with clarity, strength, and wisdom you must question everything you know or believe. Are you willing to look at the world from a different angle? Or are you stuck in The Lizard Brain, and fight and become angry over any change or anything that is not correct? The beliefs that we hold, are they based on Tradition or Scientific Research?

Science is always trying to prove itself wrong. Religion is always trying to prove itself right. They both have a place in our lives. We must choose how much of Religion and how much Science we want in our lives. Like Yoga, there is always a balance in life that helps us become more powerful. When going in one direction, there is always a balance needed in the other. How can you balance belief with wonder?

Science creates a fantasy world for an idea to fit in. This is one reason that many new advances in science come from Science Fiction. A scientist will take one of these new ideas, and then start to attack it from all sides. If it survives the onslaught, then they will try to build on it, and see if it fails.  After many years of failing and succeeding they will come up with a working model; or shelf it, accept failure and then go on to a new project. Projects that are rejected may be viable at a later time when new information comes in from another scientist.  Even when they have a working product or idea, they will still continue to test this to the point of failure.

Even in Science, Religion will appear. Max Plank said, "Nothing new comes forth from science until the old school dies off." Once scientists discover new information, they tend to become religious about their beliefs. They are always trying to prove themselves right, even though the younger scientists are making new discoveries.  The younger scientists in turn do the same thing when they become older. If scientists were in The God State of The Human Condition, this would not happen.  

Religion takes long-held beliefs from the past and tries to validate its position. They dig up ruins of ancient civilizations to prove the truths of the sages. Even if current science goes against their beliefs, they stick to the old ways.  When insurmountable pressure comes upon them from the crowd, they make slow and gradual changes.

In the first Christian churches, a priest could have a wife and family. Later in 304 AD, God says they can't.  Currently, the Catholic Church is debating whether or not a Priest can have a family. As well, there has been debate about whether people of a certain sex or race cannot hold special offices in Religion. Currently, in most Christian Religions, it is ok for priests to be married and have families.

Even when a group breaks off from the main group because it is inflexible, the new one after a while becomes firm and inflexible.  Religion, like Science, also can be in The Devil State, The Human State or the God State.

This is how we use The Human Condition in Science and Religion...

Devil State: Do we look down on others who do not think like us? People in this state say "Those scientists just don't have the ability to have faith and lack stability."... "Those Religious people just do not have the knowledge and are uneducated."... "Anyone that does not believe in evolution is an idiot."... "Anyone that does not have faith in God is damned forever."   

Human State: Are we being honest with ourselves whether we are scientific or religious? As scientists, do we have our beliefs and understanding from science, or is it because we get funding? Are we going along with our tribe, or do we research everything carefully? In Religion, do we get our feelings and beliefs from singing songs and a large building? ...Or do we research and carefully examine our faith?

God State: Do we support others that have a different worldview than us? Do we realize that others have not lived our lives, and do not have the experiences we do? Why don't religious people believe scientists? Is it because they are always changing their minds? Why don't scientists believe in religious people? Is it because they will not change their minds? We can lift others up, and revel in their wonderment and differences, without becoming them.

To have Critical Thinking you must be flexible, be willing to listen to new ideas, and be willing to handle the pressure of questioning old ideas.

Critical Thinking is highly dependent on the crowd. The reason The Human Condition exists is because of the crowd (other people).  If you were on a desert island, all by yourself, The Human Condition would have very little effect on you. You could put yourself down (how could I be so stupid to be on this island), you could improve yourself (build a shelter, tools, a fire to signal a rescue ship). Or you could plan how to keep others from being in the same position (Better ship construction, radio contact for SOS). Without the crowd, The Human Condition becomes less important. The larger the crowd, the more important it is to know about The Human Condition. With a large group of people come banks, governments, police forces, and port-o-potties.

In the book "The Wisdom of Crowds", James Surowiecki shows that the more information you get from each person in the crowd, the more accurate the information becomes. It starts out with an event hundreds of years ago…

At a county fair, they were going to slaughter and dress an ox to sell its meat. There was a contest to see who could guess how much meat would be dressed from the ox. Everyone had a chance to make a guess, and whoever came the closest to the exact weight, would get five pounds of meat-free. A mathematician was observing this.  Out of curiosity he collected everyone's guesses, added the total weight that each person guessed, and divided the number of the total weight by the number of people making the guesses. The number he came up with was within a few ounces of the exact weight of the dressed ox.

Years later, some mathematicians put a jar of jellybeans in Times Square. Over ten thousand people guessed what they felt the number of jelly beans in the jar was. Some guesses were as low as 200, other guesses were as high as ten thousand.  When the total guesses were added up and divided, the amount came within two beans of the actual amount.

Another example of this happened when an atomic submarine sank in the Pacific Ocean. They had enough air to last for several weeks, plus the technology on the submarine was highly classified. It was important that the military find their submarine quickly. They had thousands of square miles to search, a seemingly hopeless task. They asked for input from people all over the world on where they thought the location of the submarine could be. They gathered all of the guesses. When all of the guesses were added up and divided, they found a submarine within a few hundred yards of the average guess.

With Critical Thinking, we can use The Wisdom of Crowds to be able to come up with a correct understanding of our view of anything. We must take a large sample of ideas from one extreme to the other before we come to a correct conclusion. Without the crazies on each end, the center would have never been found. When you eliminate the crazies, you weaken your strength or ability to find the truth.

On the other hand, you have probably heard of lemmings who will start migrating in a large herd. When they come to a cliff they obediently follow the lemming in front of them over the cliff without question. Is this how you live your life?

A herd can protect individual animals from predators because of the large group. In extremely cold temperatures, a herd will mill or circulate. This brings the ones on the outside who are really cold into the center so they become warm and cozy. The ones in the center will move toward the outside, insuring the survival of the herd. Which one of these herds do you live in?  Is your herd safe, or are they leading you to destruction?

With Critical Thinking we should become very observant on whether following the herd is the wisest choice, or going out on our own could provide more safety. It's never always one way.

When you acquire a large body of information, you will be able to see if new information fits into your scope of the world. When new information seems correct but does not fit with facts you already know, then you need to re-examine them more carefully. Without looking at the whole picture, you could be sidetracked by emotional arguments.

Just because you see this on the News or other Media, doesn't make it correct or incorrect. The smaller your base of knowledge, the harder it is to use critical thinking. This is why you need a photographic memory, and be able to read 4000 words a minute. The more knowledge that you can take in from many sources, the greater your ability to evaluate new information as being correct or incorrect.

For many years people believed that oil was a fossil fuel. It is impossible to burn a fossil. A fossil is made when calcium carbonate fills up a hole left by decaying tissue or bone. You cannot burn calcium carbonate. Everyone for years merrily went along with this idea until Thomas Gold. He felt this just didn't make sense. He was a maverick, never going along with the status quo. We now know oil is a biofuel that is made by bacteria that live as deep as 50 miles under our crust. Oil is a renewable resource with an unlimited supply. It takes energy to drill and pump it up from the caverns where it is stored, but there is an unlimited supply. There are oceans of oil on other planetoids (satellites of planets) in our solar system, and on these planetoids, it snows methane. We do not need to burn oil or gas for energy. There are other ways of getting energy that is more effective, cleaner, and less expensive; but it is clear that without the correct knowledge, you cannot make a decision on new energy sources or mining methods.

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The Human Condition comes into play with this knowledge. In The Devil State, you will frighten people by using The Principle of Scarcity, or you will frighten people with potential disasters. Potential disasters are always good for stimulating The Lizard Brain. You can create followers by preaching or proclaiming disasters… hinting that you have a source of protection if they follow you.

The Devil State also comes into play with The Cargo God. The Cargo God will have promised resources to alleviate the pain of the disaster if the followers will just be obedient to the leader of the group. Without critical thinking, you will be easily duped by this. As one person said, "You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."

The Human State is evident when you study hard, gain knowledge, or experiment to better know the world around you. You are willing to change when you find new information, but not be easily swayed by every new idea or a new trend that shows up. This requires study, hard work, and an effort to constantly improve yourself.

The God State takes new information and wisdom that it acquires, and uses it to benefit others. For instance, they may realize that even though there is an unlimited supply of oil, burning it could cause pollution…  They do not need to attack oil companies or people that burn oil.  With their newfound knowledge, they could show them that urine and shit could replace all of the oil and coal that we are mining today... at a much lower cost. You can lift others up without attacking.

With your newfound knowledge that we have an unlimited supply of resources: air, food, water, and energy... there is no need to be fearful of taking care of 30,000 children that have fled for their lives to live in your country. When you understand that money is merely a figment of your imagination, you will help others not to panic. When you realize robots are currently making 50% of all products that we consume and use... and within 20 years, they will be making 100%... You will realize that the only thing lacking is Love, Kindness, and Respect. In The God State, you will be more than happy to show this Love, Kindness, and Respect to others. Realizing that whatever you give away in life, will be returned to you… tenfold.  

Our brains take in information that we receive from photons or air compressions. It is only vibrations that we interpret into our Reality. It is only vibrations that we call "reality", this is not what really is. We interpret these in different areas of our brain, and then we make up a world that fits a concept that we already made up.

Others may give us information that helps us to form our view of the world we live in. Parents, Teachers, or Clergy create a story that helps us make sense of the events that we observe in life. Many times they embellish the truth to make the story more appealing, and to increase their value to us.

We can also embellish the information we receive, and create a whole new world of our own making. This is called confabulation. People that have suffered a stroke or brain trauma will confabulate to make up for the information that was provided by the damaged part in the past. When you do not have enough knowledge of a subject, you create facts to make sense of your world.

Confabulation makes it very easy for others to control us, or get us on their side. This is why The Human State is very important for us to function well. We need to gather information and make sure this is correct. You will need to keep up with current discoveries if you want to improve yourself.

Those in the Devil State will make up outright lies to dupe us into depending on them or trusting them. One way to ensure loyalty is to create an enemy that we must unite or rally to fight against. To make children more clinging or dependent, we create the bogeyman or the kidnapper that is to be feared. This causes the children to become more dependent and obedient to their parents. If you are a young man, you take your date to a scary movie so that she will hug or cling to you during the scary parts. If you are a government, you create terrorists so that the subjects will run to you for protection and give up their freedoms. In high school, they have rival schools to make students loyal or obedient to the school that they attend. High Schools will also tell you that if you do not graduate, you will only be able to get a job as a janitor.

In The God State, you make sure that people are well educated in a variety of subjects. You tell the truth when it hurts. Honesty and truth have more value to you than money and material things. Improving the living conditions and the education of the world is of utmost importance to you. Understanding that the wealthier the world is as a whole, the better off you and your loved ones will be.

To use critical thinking nothing will ever be set in stone. It is flexible and dynamic. You will need to broaden your scope of knowledge or trust the advice of the Wizard.   

Knowledge may piss you off the first time that you hear it. When experiencing this anger, it is wise to understand thoroughly why the anger is exasperating you. Finding new things out is a lot like waking up… you are crabby about it at first, but then when you realize all of the cool things that you can do with your gift… it seems to be ok. :-)

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