It helps us gain knowledge and improve our ideas and theories. It is also the basis of science and the cornerstone of a liberal, democratic society. Reason has to be used in experiments of science. Only then can the theories be confirmed. A democratic society to function properly requires that its citizens have the critical thinking power to analyze the social issues concerning society and the governance of that society without any bias or prejudices. Only if the citizens are aware objectively about issues concerning the society can they make it a dynamic place?
If citizens lack the power of critical thinking, there will be stagnation as errors cannot be detected, results cannot be evaluated and ‘ ennui’ will set in. As a result, society will become static and lose dynamism. Theorists have held that the conscious individual’ s social actions were measured by the ethical standards of right or wrong. The standards of ‘ truth’ and ‘ error’ complemented the standards of ‘ right’ and ‘ wrong’ . Actions, which were ethically right, were justified by reasoning based on logic whereas actions, which were ethical, wrong implied logical errors.
This ethical order and the logical order were deemed to be one. It was valid universally and applied to the actions of all the conscious citizens of society. The conscious individual discovered the fruits of his creative inputs and that of the others to be assessed by standards conforming to aesthetics of harmony, which was purposeful. The justification and legitimacy of social institutions and rules and the aesthetic values and principles all come under the scanner of reasoning. A crucial component of critical thinking is having the ability to explain reasons for either supporting or criticizing ideas.
For this to happen, one must be able to know how to recognize, make an analysis and evaluate the arguments.
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