Tag: Critical Thinking (home)

One of the interesting things about getting older (or experienced as I like to call it) is that you can detect a problem before you know why. Have you been in a situation where someone says “Let’s do it this way” and you get an immediate little stomach ache because you know damned well that it won’t work? And then someone asks why you think it’s a bad plan and you really can’t explain it. All you know is that the last ten plans that sounded kind of like this plan all fell apart.

permalink source: Scott Adams, http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2006/03/intelligent_lif.html
tags: Experience, Wisdom, Critical Thinking

It's hard to laugh about religion in Northern Ireland, but Oxford theologian Alister McGrath likes to tell the following joke that hints at the challenges he faced as a young skeptic in that troubled land. While visiting Belfast, an Englishman was cornered by three thugs. The leader asked one question: "Are you a Protestant or are you a Catholic?" After a diplomatic pause, the Englishman said: "I am an atheist." Confused, his attacker asked: "Are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?" The tough religion questions continued when McGrath entered Oxford University, where he became the rare student who traded his Marxist atheism for Christianity while studying science. He would eventually earn two doctorates -- in molecular biology and theology. Today, McGrath teaches at his alma mater and is admired by academic leaders around the world who are tired of being cornered and asked: Are you a Christian or are you an intellectual?

permalink source: Terry Mattingly, God and the Intellect, Scripps Howard News Service, 04/05/2006
tags: Apologetics, Critical Thinking

[Jerome] Bruner described three distinct stages in the learning process, each of which has a different state of mind: "Enactive, iconic, and symbolic." This was illustrated by an experiment with two water glasses, one short and fat, and the other tall and thin. When children are shown the contents of the short glass being poured into the tall one, they will say that there is more water in the tall one, even though they saw the pouring. If you then hide both glasses, the children change their minds, reasoning that the water had nowhere else to go. This could be done several times; each time the children would repeat the assertion that there was more water in the tall thin glass whenever they could see it but deny it when it was not visible. The experiment illustrates the different mental states that underlie our learning process. [The research cited is from Jerome Bruner, Toward A Theory of Instruction, 1966]

permalink source: Bill Moggridge, Designing Interactions, 161
tags: Education, Children, Critical Thinking

The Right Components In The Wrong Configuration

What then do I mean by saying that Pierced for Our Transgressions is deeply unbiblical? Just this: it abstracts certain elements from what the Bible actually says, elements which are undoubtedly there and which undoubtedly matter, but then places them within a different framework, which admittedly has a lot in common with the biblical one, but which, when treated as though it were the biblical one, becomes systematically misleading. An illustration I have often used may make the point. When a child is faced with a follow-the-dots puzzle, she may grasp the first general idea - that the point is to draw a pencil line joining the dots together and so making a picture - without grasping the second - that the point is to draw the lines according to the sequence of the numbers that go with each dot. If you ignore the actual order of the numbers, you can still join up all the dots, but you may well end up drawing, shall we say, a donkey instead of an elephant. Or you may get part of the elephant, but you may get the trunk muddled up with the front legs. Or whatever. Even so, it is possible to join up all the dots of biblical doctrines, to go down a list of key dogmas and tick all the boxes, but still to join them up with a narrative which may well overlap with the one the Bible tells in some ways but which emphatically does not in other ways. And that is, visibly and demonstrably, what has happened in Pierced for Our Transgressions, at both large and small scale.

permalink source: N. T. Wright, The Cross and the Caricatures, http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2007/20070423wright.cfm?doc=205
tags: Cross, Critical Thinking