“The proper method for hastening the decay of error is not by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself.” — William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice
“So trying to keep certain things off television or out of books is futile. That same energy should be applied to helping children develop their own capacities for judgment, taste and sensitivity, so that they know how to make decisions that are based, we hope, on positive values.” — John Culkin, “In Conversation with John Culkin,” Television and Children Journal, Summer, 1981
“The facts are indispensable; they are not sufficient. To solve a problem it is necessary to think.” — Robert Maynard Hutchins, Great Books: The Foundation of a Liberal Education
“The more easily we agree with something, the less critical thinking we apply.” — Vaughan Bell, Scraping the bottom of the biscuit barrel
It took me a while to get my error of the other day out of my head. I thought a lot about it – too much even. I found it difficult to admit (emotionally) that I had been wrong and I continued to indirectly argue my case. I spent my time thinking about prejudice and I had a minor epiphany that allowed my mind to put this to rest.
If prejudice is maintaining an opinion in spite of reason, then the answer to solving it is teaching critical thinking. The commonly evoked solution is teaching understanding yet this does not seem to address the definition of prejudice.
Anecdotal evidence supports this theory. Asia has a racist reputation and a reputation for lacking in critical thinking. Google confirmed that theory of using critical thinking to reduce prejudice was neither new nor wrong.
It is funny that I had to ‘solve’ the problem intellectually to let go of it, yet the true problem was that I got upset when reason could not defeated a prejudiced opinion. I needed to find a way to win my argument without continuing the argument. This was the only way I could forget about it.
- I Know Better (yahooeysblog.wordpress.com)
- Critical Thinking and Ethics (socyberty.com)
- Measuring the Impact of a Diversity Requirement on Students’ Level of Racial Prejudice (www.diversityweb.org)