1. Are you sure of your beliefs?

2020/11/12 Elhuyar Zientzia



Many times to give for good the information that we have in our hands, it is enough to hear by the mouth of another one a reasoning according to own opinion, but it is very important to know opinions and reasoning that do not coincide with our opinion.

A critical thinker questions his opinions on a subject, takes into account other opinions, and tries to understand his reasoning. That is, it is capable of arguing one's own ideas and attitudes before evaluating the arguments of others. Furthermore, when he considers that his opinion is good, he is able to give and defend with respect his argumentation and promotes a rich and substantial debate.

To participate in a debate it is very important to know how to argue, that is, from a point of view, express your opinion through reasoned arguments; and learning to argue is the perfect starting point for developing critical thinking skills such as clear approaches, identifying ambiguous approaches, evaluating arguments, etc. The debate, therefore, encourages learning and develops empathy and communicative skills, contributing to the development of critical thinking.

Contrary to all of the above, a person without critical thinking vehemently defends his opinions and tries to nullify the arguments of the other by disparaging his reasoning and, in the worst case, using the argument “ad hominem”. Whoever uses the fallacy known as “arguum ad hominem” does not present the appropriate reasons, but rather rejects the person who defends an affirmation, or attacks it for its characteristics or ideas, trying to deny the credibility of the affirmation.

Many of the political debates that can be seen on television are a sign of this: the Tertullians who want to express their reasons by shouting and despising the arguments of others often use the argument "ad hominem" to deal with the opinions of the opposing party, without any criticism of their own arguments, without objectivity, and all of them marked by the ideological tendencies of the speakers.

The deputy of the PP, Celia Villalobos, for example, spoke of the deputies of Podemos and its aspect, since they were away from the suit and tie that until then was habitual in the Congress of Deputies. In particular, he told deputy Alberto Rodríguez Rodríguez: “It gives me the same thing to wear rakes, but to carry clean so as not to get infected.” With these statements on television, Villalobos, instead of criticizing with arguments the opinions of the deputy of Podemos, tried to despise his appearance.

But not only do they look on the TV. In our day to day it is also customary, for example, to use the word “feminazi” to argue against the feminist movement. In this way, instead of expressing with respect the reasons why they oppose the demands and opinions of feminists, they are assaulted trying to condemn the people who are in their favor. That is, a feminist assimilates herself to a Nazi, trying to slander the individual (feminist) and the movement (feminism).

A critical thinker, therefore, must know how to listen and analyze the arguments of others about information and, to defend his opinion, will contribute arguments based on evidence, always maintaining respect for the other and expressing what is meant with the greatest possible clarity (adjusting to the level of dialogue).


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