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Thread: Is negativity critical, cool, and courageous?

  1. #1 Is negativity critical, cool, and courageous? 
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    Is negativity critical, cool, and courageous?

    ‘To be negative’ is not the same as ‘to be critical’.

    The dictionary has many definitions for the word “critical”, but I would choose the critical (decisive) meaning, as regarding learning, to be—exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation.

    A negative persona is an attitude of non-acceptance.


    I think that part of the problem is that too many of us have only an accept button and a reject button.

    Accept or reject are not the only options one has. The most important and generally overlooked, especially by the young, is the option to ‘hold’.

    It appears to me that many young people consider that ‘to be negative is to be cool’. This leads them into responding that “X is false” when responding to any statement that “X is true”.

    When a person takes a public position affirming or denying the truth of Y they are often locking themselves into a difficult position. If their original position was based on opinion rather than judgment their ego will not easily allow them to change position once they have studied and analyzed Y.

    The moral of this story is that holding a default position of ‘reject or accept’, when we are ignorant, is not smart because our ego will fight any attempt to modify the opinion with a later judgment. Silence, or questions directed at comprehending the matter under consideration, is the smart decision for everyone’s default position.

    By hold I mean ‘not making any decision until due diligence has been executed’.

    Our options are reject, accept, and hold. I claim that ‘hold’ is the most important and should be the most often used because everyone is ignorant of almost everything.

    Do you accept, reject, or hold judgment regarding my claim?


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  3. #2  
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    For how long should one press the hold button?


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  4. #3 Re: Is negativity critical, cool, and courageous? 
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    It appears to me that many young people consider that ‘to be negative is to be cool’.
    It's not just the young folks. There are older folks who can match the young folks negative comment for negative comment. To quote one of them: "everyone is ignorant of almost everything." How's that for negativity?
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  5. #4 Re: Is negativity critical, cool, and courageous? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyn
    There are older folks who can match the young folks negative comment for negative comment. To quote one of them: "everyone is ignorant of almost everything." How's that for negativity?
    :-D
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    In most cases I would choose to use the 'Hold' button. This is because it takes time to read, process the information and conduct due diligence on a statement before a judgment can be made. But even after all these I would still choose to 'Hold', either way if you choose to accept or reject a statement, there will still be critics on other side and they both have relevant points to prove. The ego also plays a part in all choices.
    ~ One’s ultimate perfection depends on the development of all the members of society ~ Kabbalah
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    In most cases I would choose to use the 'Hold' button. This is because it takes time to read, process the information and conduct due diligence on a statement before a judgment can be made. But even after all these I would still choose to 'Hold', either way if you choose to accept or reject a statement, there will still be critics on other side and they both have relevant points to prove. The ego also plays a part in all choices.
    Well said!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    For how long should one press the hold button?
    I would still like an answer to this.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    For how long should one press the hold button?
    I would still like an answer to this.
    Until one is prepared to make a good judgment. One may never be in such a situation and thus many disputes never reach a situation where they are accepted or rejected.

    A person who has learned to be a Critical Thinker can live with such situations as long as necessary.

    I once asked a professor of philosophy what is philosophy about, she said “philosophy is about radically critical self-consciousness”. I have decided that CT (Critical Thinking) is the first important step on to this stage of critical self-consciousness. CT is philosophy light.

    Our mind tends to be dominated by the ego and the group when we have not yet become critically self-conscious. I am not an expert in these matters but from the things I read regarding critical self-consciousness they make sense to me.

    Ego influences me by:
    I think it is true therefore it is.
    I want it to be true therefore it is.

    Group influences me by:
    The group name identifies me.
    The group influences my associations.
    The group is us and the other group is them.
    What we do is good what they do is bad.

    I suspect that the ego domination was the natural human condition during early evolution and slowly the ego morphed (transformed) into a group in some areas of consciousness (focused attention).

    I think that Madison Avenue (advertising agencies) and the oligarchy (non elective group running the nation in that group’s interest) have learned to manipulate our egocentric and sociocentric characteristics for the advantages of marketing interests. Our ego drives us to buy the BIG car and our group drives us to dominate the other group in the interest of our group.

    ‘To be critical’ is often, I think, confused with ‘to be negative’. To be critical is to stop, think, analyze, and seek comprehension and possible improvement. To be critically self-conscious is to focus the critical effort inward with the self as the object of criticism.

    I think that most of our personal and international tragedies are a direct result of our lack of critical self-consciousness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    For how long should one press the hold button?
    I would still like an answer to this.
    Until one is prepared to make a good judgment.
    Let me seek clarification. Prepared, in this sentence, could be used in several ways, both with quite different meanings.

    This could mean 'Until one is willing to make a good judgement.' This is a valid option since judgement requires a particualr mindset.

    It could mean 'Until one is sufficiently informed to make a good judgement.' I suspect this is meaning you intend, but would like confirmation.

    Assuming it is how are your proposing the individual know, with confidence, that they are in a position to make that judgement? How do they know they are sufficiently informed? That in itself requires a further judgement? Do they then hold that button until they are prepared? Is there a danger of an endless heirarchy of buttone holders?
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  11. #10  
    Lyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Is there a danger of an endless heirarchy of buttone holders?
    The greater danger, in my opinion, is when a person uses the "Let's-Push-The-HOLD Button" defense as an excuse to ignore legitimate challenges to their claims. The HOLD button can easily be abused by both sides of a debate.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    For how long should one press the hold button?
    I would still like an answer to this.
    Until one is prepared to make a good judgment.
    Let me seek clarification. Prepared, in this sentence, could be used in several ways, both with quite different meanings.

    This could mean 'Until one is willing to make a good judgement.' This is a valid option since judgement requires a particualr mindset.

    It could mean 'Until one is sufficiently informed to make a good judgement.' I suspect this is meaning you intend, but would like confirmation.

    Assuming it is how are your proposing the individual know, with confidence, that they are in a position to make that judgement? How do they know they are sufficiently informed? That in itself requires a further judgement? Do they then hold that button until they are prepared? Is there a danger of an endless heirarchy of buttone holders?
    Critical Thinking is the art and science of good judgment

    The first step toward solving our problems is to learn CT (Critical Thinking).

    CT is an acronym for Critical Thinking. Everybody considers themselves to be a critical thinker. That is why we need to differentiate among different levels of critical thinking.

    Most people fall in the category that I call Reagan thinkers—trust but verify. Then there are those who have taken the basic college course taught by the philosophy dept that I call Logic 101. This is a credit course that teaches the basic principles of reasoning. Of course, a person need not take the college course and can learn the matter on their own effort, but I suspect few do that.

    The third level I call CT (Critical Thinking). CT includes the knowledge of Logic 101 and also the knowledge that focuses upon the intellectual character and attitude of critical thinking. It includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.

    Most decisions we have to make are judgment calls. A judgment call is made when we must make a decision when there is no “true” or “false” answers. When we make a judgment call our decision is bad, good, or better.

    Many factors are involved: there are the available facts, assumptions, skills, knowledge, and especially personal experience and attitude. I think that the two most important elements in the mix are personal experience and attitude.

    When we study math we learn how to use various algorithms to facilitate our skill in dealing with quantities. If we never studied math we could deal with quantity on a primary level but our quantifying ability would be minimal. Likewise with making judgments; if we study the art and science of good judgment we can make better decisions and if we never study the art and science of judgment our decision ability will remain minimal.

    I am convinced that a fundamental problem we have in this country (USA) is that our citizens have never learned the art and science of good judgment. Before the recent introduction of CT into our schools and colleges our young people have been taught primarily what to think and not how to think. All of us graduated with insufficient comprehension of the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary for the formulation of good judgment. The result of this inability to make good judgment is evident and is dangerous.

    I am primarily interested in the judgment that adults exercise in regard to public issues. Of course, any improvement in judgment generally will affect both personal and community matters.

    To put the matter into a nut shell:
    1 Normal men and women can significantly improve their ability to make judgments.
    2 CT is the domain of knowledge that delineates the knowledge, skills, and intellectual character demanded for good judgment.
    3 CT has been introduced into our schools and colleges slowly in the last two or three decades.
    4 Few of today’s adults were ever taught CT.
    5 I suspect that at least another two generations will pass before our society reaps significant rewards resulting from teaching CT to our children.
    6 Can our democracy survive that long?
    7 I think that every effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they need to study and learn CT on their own. I am not suggesting that adults find a teacher but I am suggesting that adults become self-actualizing learners.
    8 I am convinced that learning the art and science of Critical Thinking is an important step toward becoming a better citizen in today’s democratic society.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyn
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Is there a danger of an endless heirarchy of buttone holders?
    The greater danger, in my opinion, is when a person uses the "Let's-Push-The-HOLD Button" defense as an excuse to ignore legitimate challenges to their claims. The HOLD button can easily be abused by both sides of a debate.
    I am a great believer in the use of the hold button. Some less discerning colleagues have accused me of 'putting off decisions', but these are the ones who roar into action mode at the least provocation and who spend much of their time changing their initial decision mutiple times because they had incomplete information and because the situation changes as time passes. Decisions should be made when they need to be made and not a moment before - even when you have all the information necessary for that decision. Wait, cogitate, decide - once.

    That said, I agree with you that pending a decision can be an excuse not to make a decision, to avoid conflict, or to enable a 'decision by default'. All of those are negative uses of the hold facility.

    Coberst, I am digesting your reply. It would have been more digestible if there had been less copy and paste elements in it.

    Ophiolite, in hold mode.
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