We (most people) consistently deceive ourselves about many things including the state of, the degree of, and the nature of our knowledge, our freedom, our objectivity, and our character. Over the past few days, I've found myself thinking again about that piece -- and about ignorance in Americans -- as several examples of said ignorance have floated across my Facebook page. However, an electorate that does not understand the issues on which the quality of life depends cannot hope to do any such thing. These are just a few questions that I have been thinking about. Ah, self-deception reigns supreme. To put the point in other words, issues and events which, to be approached fairly must be approached from many points of view, are often (perhaps mostly) analyzed and answered from one-side, or perhaps at most two, socially dominant points of view. Indeed, teaching efficiency (maximum number of students or “customers” “served” by a minimum number of faculty utilizing minimal resources and minimal faculty time) is valued far more highly than teaching effectiveness (maximizing student learning and student skills). (And, of course, even the first-class researchers are lower ranked than the coaches in revenue generating sports! It's also closely tied to religious ideologies associated with many Christian sects, in particular, that arrogantly reject that there can be any other truth aside from the beliefs they profess and attempt to spread. Indeed, in 2012, the platform statement for the Texas GOP stated, "[w]e oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that...have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs...". However, by and large, what purports to be education is often indoctrination. The current resident of the White House is my evidence to verify that assertion. Many who do vote cast their votes in response to simplistic slogans (Make America Great Again) and emotional nonsense that is so transparent that any thinking person could easily see through it. I respectfully suggest that these are questions that all of us need to think about. Indeed, many do not want to have to think at all. While there are certainly some exceptions in school systems across the United States and some schools do a better job than the norm which is where I’m directing these comments. Professor of Religious Studies and Human Dimensions of Organizations, University of Texas, Austin, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. It is expedient, writes Jefferson, that people should receive a liberal education so that they can "guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, and that they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or other accidental condition or circumstance.". Free choice, manipulated choice, and prejudiced choice have become one and the same phenomenon. But the politicians who espouse this simplistic approach are counting on the fact that most people are indeed not thinking. My biases about the right wing in this country influenced me to be unsurprised by such comments from members of the GOP. Prejudice and intolerance is rampant in the world (and on the rise in the age of Trump). An ideology that resists or rejects critical thinking in favor of blind adherence to fixed belief is anathema to maintaining a free society. Welcome to America 2019! Like programmable androids, students from an early age are deprogrammed from the natural state of curiosity inherent to children and brainwashed to mechanically repeat back what they are told, think what they were told to think, and rarely consider the logic of what they are being told or what they themselves are saying.
2020 lack of critical thinking in america