This post consists of reflections on critical thinking and is inspired by my findings after reading the DOGAMI report.
After reading the DOGAMI report I finally and fully grasped the concept of the importance of critical thinking and skepticism. These are also skills that a Liberal Arts education prides itself on giving students. Although throughout my life I have been told “Do not believe everything you read or hear” this message has only resonated a with me a handful of times. Some of these times being in the Era of Fake News and when exploring conspiracy theories. But many times I have been reminded that all truths were once conspiracies.
Before I read the DOGAMI report I was afraid and paralysed by the fear of the imminent earthquake. This was a result on consuming news articles from sources around the country. Although I think articles can be helpful I also think that news organisations are not partial and may shape the truth to fit their agenda. This is why I think it is important to read the reports for ourselves and then seek understanding through other people. This way we are informed before being influenced and able to exercise skepticism.
Critical thinking is defined as: “the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex, and several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence”. I think the word evaluate is key in this description as individuals need to make their own decisions regarding their personal stances. All individuals are able to do so unless they are impaired for a due to a variety of circumstantial factors.
Critical thinking is becoming an important skill in the 21st century where information is abundant but can also be flawed. I think this is a skill that should be highlighted, at all scholarly and non-academic levels and places so that people are able to feel empowered by their own choices, allowing them to move forward.