There’s nothing a writer likes more than when a reader gives thoughtful consideration to something they read and then response. Such was the case when Facebook friend Michelle Grewe responded to my post, “Some People Are Smarter Than Others”, with her own thoughts. Oh and for the record, you don’t have to agree with my points for me to appreciate yours. PS…this is a generic image, not a photo of Michelle.
Here’s what Michelle had to say:
I think the word “intelligence” is about as defined as the word “love.” So many theories come into play, but to me, Human Intelligence entails social intelligence, emotional intelligence, analytical intelligence, critical thinking skills, divergent thinking skills, abstract thinking skills, instinctive intelligence, wisdom, etc.
BUT the dictionary pretty much defines intelligence as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge, the collection of information.” So, basically, intelligence is an Excel Spreadsheet according to Oxford Languages. Aristotle seemed to think intelligence was the ability to categorize things which feels more like a Keirsey Temperament, like he was trying to organize data, and see like honestly, imagine if all the stuff on the internet was NOT organized by topic, or keyword? But either way, I can’t say I agree that intelligence equates with critical thinking skills.
About critical thinking
But let’s talk about critical thinking skills. Coursera defines it as the “ability to interpret, evaluate and analyze facts to form judgments.” The Helpful Professor gives critical thinking skills 3 processes we use – Deduction (draws conclusions based on facts), Induction (draws conclusions based on generalizations), and Abduction (draws conclusions based on educated guess – most logical possibility given the knowledge at hand).
Republicans do not lack critical thinking skills as much as they use induction and abduction more often than deduction. Democrats do not have extra critical thinking skills just because they use deduction to validate an opinion derived from the status quo.
A view on liberals and conservatives
In American Politics, there’s a lot MORE social reasoning at play than any other. With the liberals, if you don’t believe exactly what they believe exactly how they believe it, you are a hateful bigot who supports hateful bigots and you can’t sit with them. Like a Baptist Church. Sinners and Heathens will not be welcome in our all-loving all-inclusive house of Self Righteousness!
With the conservatives, if you don’t believe roughly what they believe, then they are so better than you, and they are going to do their thing anyway, so get with it or get gone. Like a Union Hall Meeting. We accept disagreements, let’s just agree to disagree… 2 hours later, the rabblerouser was met with unfortunateness.
Hypocrisy and Lies are not Logical Thought Processes.
They are weapons.
Liberals justify their agenda behind a worthy cause, “It’s for the children. It’s for the black people.” Conservatives justify their agenda behind Moral Idols. “It’s just the right thing to do. I did good, why can’t you? I work, so you should. It sucked for me so it should suck for you too.” But both are using a “god” of sorts to hide behind.
Both parties, if you don’t quote the meme, the news, the media outlet, the headline… if you don’t regurgitate what you are told to believe…. if you don’t believe the status quo, the majority of that party… then you are not part of it.
Neither of that is what I would call Critical Thinking, though you can see some reasoning processes taking place, and I can agree that both sides are super judgey like they sure got the “Form a Judgment” part down…
But I would consider it a Social Thinking Skill, and one that is good for survival or to climb the hierarchy for that American Dream, the network of people that will take you to money and power if that’s what you care about… But it’s not logic.
I think the issue is more the motivation and objective. Nobody in our politics is really trying to resolve anything. Nor do they actually care about the people they claim to.
Is it all about friends?
Their main purpose is “How do I keep my friends? How do I impress my friends? How do I make friends?”
With leaders asking, “How do I make money? How do I get more donations? How do I impress the party association to get the backing I need?”
It’s just a fact, Bill Clinton is not going to your Congressional Campaign and speak for you if you are running as a Democrat and saying Republican things and voting Republican agenda. He only shows up to where he’s told by the Democratic Party Association. They make those decisions, and without them, you will not win an election.
It’s purely socially motivated from the people who write the memes, the people who write the press releases, to the people who read the newsfeed.
The bulk of the critical thinking skills being used is how to move in the social hierarchy and how to justify a belief you were told to believe. What argument can you give to win the debate? What argument can you give to win over the hoard of people watching?
Metaphorically, American Politics believe the earth is flat when everyone believes that, and to suggest otherwise is blaspheme and off with their head. AND NOW the earth is round when everyone accepts that, and to suggest otherwise is basic ignorance that we are just going to mock for sake of personal amusement and ego.
It is very ego-driven.
But one study did show that bigotry, meaning “prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group,” is directly correlated to lower IQ. Correlation does not prove causation. It’s hard to tell if hating people is indicative of a low intelligence, or if a low intelligence makes people hate people… I don’t know…. But I do know a lot of people with low IQ scores who are very loving, so I’m leaning that hate makes you stoopid. Whether the group membership is having darker skin tones or wearing solo-cup-red hats, I’d be mindful of where your feelings and emotions are with that because it does rather seem hate isn’t the smart way to roll.
We’re missing the point: we need real solutions
God forbid we all just do the crazy thing where we state the problem, and then try to come up with a do-able solution that best serves everyone. The closest thing we have to that right now is the Roman Catholic Church.
Too bad we can’t just merge holidays together like the Romans did because Racial Bigotry Month would be bad on Feb, and 2nd Amendment Appreciation Month isn’t going to fly in November. I still say we pay off Donald Trump to tell everyone he done built the wall, it’s working, the only people here are legal. We need someone the Republicans trust to convince them that we are all related to black people. We blackwash the culture. We also ban books about math, science, and philosophy so the liberals will read them. Like Rene Descartes Discourse on Method. Antisocial books that require one to focus on conceptual thoughts and ideas and focus less on sociopathic ones.
Could this be what’s happening?
Like it’s crazy one is judging me because they don’t know anything about me and their ego is making up the parts they don’t know. The other is judging me because they don’t care about me and is just using me to make themselves appear better. Like the Republicans judge to justify themselves to themselves, and the Democrats judge to justify themselves to everyone else.
I’m sick of being judged. But at least it’s clear they aren’t qualified for the role so I’m taking it less seriously with age.
Thanks, Michelle, for this thought-provoking response. And for the rest of you–got any of your own? I love comemnts!
Oh and a reminder that the fall candle studio is only open through Oct. 10. I’d love for you to visit my shop, here.