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Critical Thinking-asking The Right Questions.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by the_patriot13, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Alright, to start off with, I'm not attacking anyone here, just to get that away, but addressing some flaws that I have seen as of late, some of which I've even been guilty of, and that is of critical thinking, and fact finding. All to often, I see posts like this "link: this is a sign of the end times" and that is it. Or in a debate, well in 1880, this was proven, with no supporting facts, and documents. A lot of this comes from people see it on facebook, or whatever, and panic, and automatically post it, without doing any research behind it. This is something I think most of us, including me, have been guilty of at one point or another, so I'm going to address this, and ways that we can keep from doing this in the future, and that is with critical thinking and research.

    The first thing we need to do is understand the rules of debating. The first one, is the person making the argument has the burden of proof. You can't just say "this is the end times, prove me wrong" No, you have to bring forward the supporting argument. If your in a debate that you did not start, and you bring forward a new argument, again, the burden of proof of that argument is on you, you can't just say well, so and so lied in 1995, without providing some sort of evidence of said lie.
    Second thing, is I haven't noticed a huge problem here, but it is still present, is debate the subject and not the person. In a debate, there is no reason to get personal, attack the argument. On the same note, we need to be able to differentiate between someone attacking the argument and not the person. For example, person A: says " that argument is a false argument, because this and this" that isn't an attack against the other person, just their argument, but all to often people take an attack against their argument as a personal attack, and respond in kind, and thats were a lot of good debates spiral out of control.

    You need to present supporting evidence. What evidence is acceptable is dependent on the debate, if it is a Biblical debate, then you need to list scripture, if it is debate over prophecy, then you need to be able to not only list scripture, but modern news articles, sources, etc. Commen sense arguments, can also be used, though they usually work best when combined with Biblical or outside sources.

    Scriptural evidence, is evidence from the Bible.

    Outside sources, are things like news articles, statistics, etc.

    Common sense arguments are using logic to make your argument, like if this happens then this will result.

    Now, for establishing what a good, solid, argument is, we need to apply some questions to any argument we wish to present, whether it be a new topic, or adding evidence to a debate. These questions are:






    If you are going to present a case, you need to be able to answer as many of these questions as possible. They won't all apply to every argument, but usually, at least 2 or 3 will. When your looking at starting a new topic or bringing forward an argument, you need to ask these questions. Im going to bring up end times here, because that is one Ive seen thats a hot point here, and everywhere else. You see this event take place, lets say the meteor that hit over in Russia.

    Lets get the easy ones out of the way, the what, is a meteor hitting earth, the where, is in Russia. Now, many people said that this is a sign of the end times, which brings us to the who-who prophecied meteors hitting being a sign of the end times, and you can even ask when again-when did they prophecy this. This, would be where you bring in scripture. And then, probably the most important question to ask, is how does this apply to the meteor, how is it a sign from God. You can't just say that it is, you need to back it up, the who what when and where can all be used to explain the how, but you can't just say that it is.

    When making an argument, make sure your source is legit. Just because you saw it on facebook, doesn't mean its true. And if your not willing to back it up-then don't post it. I have been guilty of this, but don't make the statement "this is true because I saw this news article that said it" and then not post the news article. If your NOT willing to post the pertinent evidence, then don't make the argument at all. If your not willing, or not able to back up the argument that you wish to make, then don't make the argument-in fact, if your not able to back it up, then you need to re-evaluate why it is you believe it in the first place. If the argument is something that requires evidence, and you say you have it but wont present it-that is the same thing as making a false argument, so if your not willing to back it up, then don't post it.

    The dangers of making an argument, without any sort of evidence, like my meteor example "this is a sign of the end times ---->link" and leaving it at that, is first, its operating under the assumption That everyone believes and interprets scripture the same way you do, and they don't. they may have no clue what your talking about. And while you maybe right, you need to be able to explain to them why it is. If you believe what you are saying is true, and you want to share it with others, then you need to explain it to them-otherwise they will not see what it is your trying to get across, and will dismiss your argument, and if its an important. For example, if someone asks you why you are a christian, and you say "I don't know" then those people will just blow you off, and you won't be reaching many people for Christ. In the same way, making a statement like "this is a sign of the end times" without being able to back it up, well that is basically saying "I don't know" and people will just blow you off.

    The other part, is a lot of christians, get into this fear thing, and don't ask these questions, they see it somewhere, and instead of sitting down and researching it, they just automatically copy and paste it. The problem here is, first, its often about end times-so when they copy and post something without bothering to research it and ask these questions, and back it up, they are, in essence, lying. And, like in the case of the RFID conspiracy theory, creating undue fear over a lie. That is a big part, the people that believe you, will then be going crazy and be all paranoid about something that may not even be so, for no good reason. The second part of this, is if what your copying without researching, is indeed false, then non-believers who see it, will just dismiss you as not knowing what your talking about, and it can, and will, ruin your witness. Now, we all at some point have argued for something that we believed to be right-and were, indeed wrong about it, we are human, we do make mistakes, but thinking through, asking these questions, and backing up our arguments with evidence and solid logic, will help eliminate this, as well as listening to arguments brought against our view, with an open mind-we may indeed be wrong, and if we are wrong, and are proven wrong, and continue to spread whatever it is we are teaching-that is lying and basically being a false prophet.

    Remember, we need to do everything in our power, to spread the truth, to be factual and clear, and making our arguments clear. Being right, makes Absolutely no difference, if we can't back it up, and explain to others why what we are saying is true. God gave us a mind, we need to use it-when we are presented with something, we need to think through it, ask the questions I brought forth, apply them to the topic at hand, and research them and answer them. If the topic at hand holds up to scrutiny, then it may be true, if it doesn't hold up to scrutiny, then dismiss it. We need to be able to think over our arguments, not just cut and paste something we saw on facebook. Think through what your saying, and what others are saying, don't just blindly believe what we see and hear.
    KingJ, Major, I_Survived_The_Eighties and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  2. (Ya got me thinking now patriot_13!)

    An example assumptive arguing is the classic "Slippery Slope" problem:

  3. That was a Great wall of text there patriot13 :)
    Rusty likes this.
  4. Twas....I dug it!
  5. It is a lengthy read, I will give you that but I had a lot to say, this was actually the shortened version. I feel if everyone were to read, understand, and apply these principles in every debate that they would stand to gain a great deal. Some things just can't be said quickly.
    Rusty likes this.
  6. Tis was a feat of its own Patriot 13, IMHO. Thats why i commented but to be honest i did not read the whole thing.

    I still cannot type with both hands and fingers quick enough yet without having to backspace to correct errors, so i stick to the one hand one finger method:mad: That wall of text would of taken me to type out oh probabaly 2-3 hrs:ROFLMAO:
  7. it took me at least that long to write it with two hands. . .I wanted to make sure I was saying what I wanted to say, without coming across as confrontational or attacking anyone.
  8. Pat - 13 said......
    "You need to present supporting evidence. What evidence is acceptable is dependent on the debate, if it is a Biblical debate, then you need to list scripture, if it is debate over prophecy, then you need to be able to not only list scripture, but modern news articles, sources, etc. Commen sense arguments, can also be used, though they usually work best when combined with Biblical or outside sources."

    Yes sir. You are 100% correct.
    You did good!

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