"Critical thinking" or "critical thinking skills" come up in two common scenarios.
One, when a leftist defends their worthless liberal arts degree, claiming it provides them with the rare and enviable skill of "critical thinking."
Two, when liberal arts professors defend their bogus fields of study by claiming the "#1 thing employers look for in college graduates is critical thinking!"
Of course, I never gave "critical thinking" much thought, writing it off as some kind of worthless, commonsensical skill your average person develops during childhood. But because of the cacophony coming from academia, not to mention, the academic left's complete and utter reliance upon and championing of it, I decided to find out, once and for all, what the heck are "critical thinking skills anyway."
A standard google search will pull up a ton of results, but the first thing you'll notice is that there's NO standard definition of critical thinking skills. You can go to Wikipedia and you'll see two amorphous definitions with pages and pages of text vainly trying to define it. You can even go to the "Critical Thinking Community" (which serves, I presume, as the "professional association" of critical thinkers) and even they have four separate, equally amorphous definitions. But as far as my evil, empirical, logical, and sane mind can tell me, critical thinking closely follows what I set out in my "reality principle" video. It is merely the discovering of reality. A commitment to intellectually honesty. Or what we normal people, with normal jobs, who live in the real world call...
"getting to the bottom of things."
Naturally, leave it to the wanna-be adults of academia to take a simple concept your average 10 year old understands and turn it into an entire 4 year study unto itself. Leave it to inferior-minded people to extrapolate thousands of painful pages from a concept as simple as "be intellectually honest." And do you want pain? Just imagine how anal retentive, unimaginative, and truly void of any intelligence you have to be to come up with a "Critical Thinking Community" replete with:
assessment and testing.
But, as are with most things in academia, their championing of "critical thinking" is not merely an intellectually-void, navel-gazing, masturbation exercise to falsely validate handing out worthless doctorates and self-importance in a field that provides no value to society. It is to provide them authority over the rest of society. And it is here their nefarious and malicious intent is exposed.
On the face of it, any introductory video to critical thinking will explain it as intellectual honesty, the pursuit of reality, and (as we commoners call it) "getting to the bottom of things." It is based in sanity, reason, logic, and reality. However, if you delve into the world of academia and critical thinking "experts," you'll start to notice a common refrain. They not only obfuscate a simple concept like "reality" in volumes of unnecessary pablum, but they always include some sort of "social awareness" or "adherence to other people's feelings/thoughts/opinions/culture" political component to that definition. AND usually that component trumps reality. Matter of fact, I rarely saw the word "empirical" or "empiricism" mentioned in these definitions. And all one has to do is take a look at a sample definition from one of these "critical thinking authorities:"
"Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way. People who think critically consistently attempt to live rationally, reasonably, emphatically. They are keenly aware of the inherently flawed nature of human thinking when left unchecked. They strive to diminish the power of their egocentric and sociocentric tendencies. They use the intellectual tools that critical thinking offers – concepts and principles that enable them to analyze, assess, and improve thinking. They work diligently to develop the intellectual virtues of intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, intellectual civility, intellectual empathy, intellectual sense of justice and confidence in reason. They realize that no matter how skilled they are as thinkers, they can always improve their reasoning abilities and they will at times fall prey to mistakes in reasoning, human irrationality, prejudices, biases, distortions, uncritically accepted social rules and taboos, self-interest, and vested interest. They strive to improve the world in whatever ways they can and contribute to a more rational, civilized society. At the same time, they recognize the complexities often inherent in doing so. They avoid thinking simplistically about complicated issues and strive to appropriately consider the rights and needs of relevant others. They recognize the complexities in developing as thinkers, and commit themselves to life-long practice toward self-improvement. They embody the Socratic principle: The unexamined life is not worth living , because they realize that many unexamined lives together result in an uncritical, unjust, dangerous world. ~ Linda Elder, September, 2007"
That's a whole lot of SJW-ing and crusaderism when all we want to do is get down to the truth. But keep in mind this overkill of verbosity is on purpose as they are more concerned about advancing political agendas (not to mention keeping their academic fiefdoms financed by leftist governments) than they are pursuing empiricism. And they obfuscate these ulterior motives by attempting to not only hijack a concept like "critical thinking," but by self-appointing themselves as the final authorities and arbiters as to what is "reality," "truth," and "empiricism." This not only grants them sweeping powers (in their minds anyway) to dictate to the rest of us what reality is and how society should be ran, but why when one of us "commoners" question their politics, their motives, and their incentives, they simply bog you down in minutiae, academic pablum, bogus studies, and of course, the always reliable accusation of "you lack critical thinking skills."
However, rather than fight them in their own turf, allow me to simply debunk, disprove, and destroy them in a much simpler, and sniper like way from the opposite direction. If they are so committed to reality. If they are so correct. And if they truly know better than all of us. Then why have nearly all the liberal arts and humanities failed to improve, let alone solve, any of the social ills they purport to be solving?
The wage gap between blacks and whites has not closed, nor has the wage gap between men and women.
Income distribution has worsened since the academic left's wet dream of The Great Society has been implemented.
Divorce, single-parenthood, and broken families have skyrocketed.
And they never seem to point to any success they've had in solving the social ills they purport to (thus always resulting in a hypocritical clamoring for more money and funding).
It is exactly like the laughable Keynesian economists, whose economic policies have spectacularly failed to combat the great recession, but still have the gall to demand the taxpayer "didn't pay enough, because if they did THEN our policies would have worked."
In short, the irony is that if we were to use GENUINE critical thinking, we'd look at all those academic left champions of critical thinking, see that they have made virtually NO progress in their OWN respective fields, and empirically deduce they not only have failed, but are con-artists, charlatans, and parasites cowardly using "critical thinking" as a means to avoid working real jobs in the real world so they may continue to live off of the rest of us. So the next time you hear an academian, a liberal arts graduate, or any other variety of leftist boast about their "critical thinking skills" tell them the truth. Critical thinking as a skill is no more impressive than wiping your own ass. And sadly, most of them lack the intelligence to do either.
A related somewhat response