"Given the enduring importance of conspiracy theories, I want to circle back to some of the criticism of the DNS article before focusing on few preliminary suggestions on how Christians can begin to think through healthy online habits." - Andrew MacDonald
I’m dead serious about the title of this little essay. I’ll explain later. The focus of this piece is the need for more and better critical thinking (some of you probably already see the connection to the title).
Interacting on the Web for the last three years—culminating in the last three days—has revealed a severe lack of critical thinking. By “lack of critical thinking” I do not mean lack of criticism! (As a college friend of mine would say “Nay, verily!”) What I mean by critical thinking here is the discipline of looking at a highly emotional situation and intentionally subjecting claims on all sides to healthy skepticism and—above all—vigorously questioning our own “gut feelings” and reasoning.
I’ve found myself repeatedly wondering, doesn’t anybody believe in critical thinking anymore? I fear our culture has slipped deeply into a tyranny of sentiment. Feelings rule. Calm reflection is for—I don’t know—“elites”? Maybe it’s just for “bad people who don’t care.”
I’m not a top-notch critical thinker, so this is a bit like like the guy who heats hotdogs in a microwave telling people how to cook. But the sort of rhetoric flooding the Web (and TV) lately suggests we’ve sunk so low that I may actually be a pretty good source of expertise on the subject. So here it is.
"...some terms (especially if they accrue divisive political overtones) can become what the New Zealand philosopher, Jamie Whyte, has called “boo-hooray words”—words that provoke an almost visceral reaction of either disgust or delight, denunciation or celebration. Such is the case with “Cultural Marxism” (also known as Neo-Marxism, Libertarian Marxism, Existential Marxism, or Western Marxism)." - TGC
"G.K. Chesterton once observed that the 'special mark of the modern world is not that it is skeptical, but that it is dogmatic without knowing it.' His point was that moderns have forgotten that they are assuming what they believe to be a given. 'In short,' he concludes, “they always have an unconscious dogma; and an unconscious dogma is the definition of a prejudice." - Breakpoint
"The adults polled were presented with ten news-related statements, five that were demonstrably true or false and five that were opinions. Two 'borderline' statements were also presented. Only 26 percent of the adults polled recognized all five of the factual statements as such. About 35 percent recognized all of the opinion statements as opinion." NReview