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Transcript of Critical Thinking
Ins & Outs
A Starting Point For Muslims
When speaking about critical thinking, it is not enough to cover critical thinking only within the bounds of the Human Sciences; we must evaluate critical thinking as it pertains to our own selves, our worldview and our existence. Muslims must critically think about where Reason stops and Faith begins. Islamic critical thinking needs to define its own starting point and its operational framework. Naturally, pure rationalists question this very premise. But as Muslims, it will be convenient for us to recognize that the basic tenets reside in the realm of Faith, while everything else is potentially open to questions and critical inquiry.
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking — about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.
Our Conception of Critical Thinking
A well-cultivated critical thinker
Raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely
Gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively
Comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards
Thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as needs be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences
Communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems
The concept of critical thinking we adhere to reflects a concept embedded not only in a core body of research over the last 30 to 50 years but also derived from roots in ancient Greek. The word ’’critical’’ derives etymologically from two Greek roots: "kriticos" (meaning discerning judgment) and "kriterion" (meaning standards). Etymologically, then, the word implies the development of "discerning judgment based on standards."
Everyone thinks. It is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or downright prejudiced. Yet, the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.
Does God Allow Critical Thinking?
Inspired By: https://alochonaa.com/2016/01/02/critical-thinking-for-muslims-a-lecture-by-tariq-ramadan/
to Develop Your Critical Thinking
When you fail to think independently, you will start to believe everything the majority tells you. People at this level of thinking tend to believe what other people or society tell them to believe. To change this mindset, it all starts with you. You should feel confident in your ability to use your own mind to solve your own problems. So, stop relying on the majority and start to think on your own.2
Believing in what others tell you
Do you think in terms of binary? If so, you may view the world as either black or white. You are unable to accept the ambiguities in your everyday life. You might find that you fall into the trap of confirmation bias, which means that you only accept information compatible with your stance and simply filter out opposing ideas. So, learn to recognize the in-between area’s in your everyday life and stop filtering out opposing ideas. Absorb different areas of interest and learn to look at things from new angles.
Trapped in binary opposition.
This type of thinker is able to judge things from more than one dimension. For example, when buying a cup, they know that cups with higher prices are more durable, and cups with lower quality cost less money. They can see the pros and cons in everything and are able to judge the validity of information they read logically. However, they have a narrower perspective than the level 4 thinkers. To reach level 3, you should first realize the fact there is no definite answer for everything, and then you should keep challenging the assumptions you have, especially those you’ve adhered to for a long time. With constant practice in this, you can develop your own point of view when analysing an issue.
Being able to see things from more than one dimension
Connecting the dots and thinking in multiple dimensions.
When you become a level 4 thinker, people will be amazed by your strong intuition when making decisions. But deep down you know that mature critical thinking ability enables you to connect the seemingly irrelevant dots, and so you can see things from a much wider perspective than others. While you’re used to thinking outside the box, even when you encounter an unfamiliar problem, you can instantly identify the root of the problem, and come up with the most effective solution.
When you start to progress through the stages of critical thinking development, you will start to learn how to connect the dots. When you connect the dots, you learn to think for yourself and form a full and complete picture. Yet, the most amazing thing you will find is that you now have the ability to possess insights that other people simply cannot.