Week 2 Critical Thinking 7/16/19



hello everyone my name is Joshua Colby and I am the instructor for your critical thinking class here at pima Medical Institute I wanted to take a minute to record a short sort of video lecture to introduce myself to all of you and to kind of set up what the course is about and what our work for this week entails so first just welcome to the class I hope you guys had a great weekend and that you enjoyed our first discussion if you've looked through the course a little bit through the course due date map that is posted on the blackboard you'll see that there are a lot of discussions like that this is a very discussion heavy class so please make sure that each discussion week you have your first posts in by Friday and that you contribute a few replies to your classmates in order to earn full credit throughout the semester I will post a handful of video lectures like these some of them may be real short and sweet 3/4 minutes some may be 10 12 15 minutes long to try to explain some of the more difficult concepts that we'll be talking about I hope they help I hope you get a chance to watch them and so let's jump into it this week we are getting into like the real meat of the class now that we've had an introduction week behind us and we are focusing on becoming a critical thinker so first I wanted to talk about what critical thinking is and also why it matters and sort of how we will approach learning it so critical thinking in my opinion is one of the most important skills that we as humans can develop and what I think critical critical thinking really means or what us someone who is a critical thinker does is that they question how we question how we know what we think we know and so what I mean by that is if we are being really honest with ourselves a tremendous amount of the knowledge and quote-on-quote knowledge that we know or that we believe or buy into has been passed down to us and that's fine but it's not knowledge that we've tested firsthand it's not knowledge we necessarily have experienced for ourselves it's all secondhand we read it in a book we were told it by a teacher we were it was culturally ingrained in us something as simple as our families taught it to us and there's there's nothing inherently wrong with any of those methods of learning they're all tremendously important valuable methods of learning but we tend to just accept those things as correct or true or right or wrong and never really think about it again and so what we have been developed over time is just this large large large pool of knowledge that we have digested and accepted into our lives and our thought processes and have never really contemplated again and we make decisions sometimes important decisions life decisions based on that knowledge again without actually re-examining why we think what we think should we think those things should we believe those things and so critical thinking or a critical thinker is someone in my opinion who is willing and able to re-examine ideas and beliefs and ingrained knowledge and all of those things to reconsider them to think think critically about them why do I think that way why do I believe that has there been new information made available that would change my mind about it um we sort of live in this culture where if we don't we don't want to admit that we're wrong about something that we got something incorrect which is dangerous because it means that we are what to stand up and sort of brashley defend wrong opinions or I mean the opinions is the wrong word but just wrong concepts wrong ideas rather than admitting like oh hey I fought this for a very long time I have since learned this changed my mind in ancient Greek philosophy the ability to change one's mind scepticism was a hugely important part of being an intelligent thinker if you know I have lived for example I've lived my entire life thinking that the world functions off of channel a and you proved to mean that a functions off a channel B I would be a fool to continue to defend channel a that makes sense it's early where I am so if it doesn't make sense I apologize so that's why I think critical thinking is here's why I think it matters we live in this super globally connected world now where we are sharing ideas with people all around the world I mean even in just in this class if you read through the discussion posts where we all introduced ourselves we're from all over the place and we all have different backgrounds and speak different languages and have different beliefs and that's awesome and the only way that we are going to be able to thrive and prosper in this global connected world is have an open mind to be able to hear other people's opinions and opinions and ideas and beliefs and other people's knowledge and examine it take parts of it in let parts of it go understand why people might think or believe things different than you and still be able to interact in a productive manner it's you know in the last hundred years or so the world has changed in such a way that your job probably no longer involves you working with primarily people that look like you and talk like you and think like you so how do we deal with that right how do we live in a world that challenges us in that way and truthfully I believe the only way is critical thinking so we will approach learning critical thinking by participating in several discussions throughout the course thinking about sort of abstract philosophical concepts like what knowledge really is what language really is what does it mean to say a word what power do words have we'll think about argument form deductive reasoning inductive reasoning how we know things that we think we know and we'll talk about this week the concept of Authority so we're gonna look at our work for the week which is the obedience discussion it's gonna run from Wednesday the 17th through Sunday the 21st and you need to get your first posts in by Friday the 19th this discussion is all about the Milgram study so the Milgram study is this crazy experiment where volunteers were brought in and they were led to believe that they would be participating in a study in which one person would be in one room another person would be in another and the the participant who's not in on the trick he doesn't he or she doesn't know about this would be asking questions to the person in the other room and every time they get one wrong they would be pushing a button which would which would shock that person for getting the wrong answer and each wrong answer the voltage would increase now the trick to the study is that there is no one in the other room no one is actually getting shocked there's like a recording of you know a person screaming in pain begging for no more and the actual thing that is being studied is that the person doing the shocking is in a room with an for tative figure sort of a scientist and a lab coat with like a note chart who is strongly encouraging them or suggesting that everything is okay and that they should continue on with the experiment and the results are pretty crazy um you have people who are you know hearing someone's agony on the other side and are turning to the bed to the authoritative figure and being like should I go on and all it really takes is the authority figure to say yes it's important that you continue and they press on and so it's sort of analyzing or studying why how is it that we end up doing things that we wouldn't normally do in on an individual level and yet now we are you know pushing forward with these things despite our own personal beliefs or understanding of the situation which is a crazy concept I mean there's just a lot going on here so as you are watching the video and participating the discussion this week there are a few things that I want you to consider the first is one of the questions is about like whether or not she would actually participate in the study and how far you would go in it and almost every time I run this discussion everyone's initial response is oh I would never do this how it never caused pain to anyone or you know I work in the medical field goes against the oath I would never do that and yet the majority of the people who participated in the study did continue on to extreme levels of electrocution so no voltage so I mean what separates us from them I would invite you to consider that it is probably the fact that we are approaching this from the safety of our computers with Cree knowledge pre-existing knowledge that we're watching the video I just explained with the video to you and it's really easy to sort of look back on something from a nice safe distance and be like oh that's crazy I would never do that it's different if you're in this scenario so just can sir that second thing I want you to consider if causing pain is always wrong I see a lot of responses to this discussion and where people say Oh causing pain to another person is always wrong I would never cause pain to anyone okay but a lot of you are already in the medical profession in some manner last time I went to the doctor and got shots it hurt I go to the dentist and they drill a cavity or do a root canal that hurts if you have a bone that needs to be set that hurts that's pain you are causing pain so is pain always wrong is causing pain always wrong are things absolutely right or absolutely wrong or do we have to determine rightness and wrongness based on the outcomes or the intent finally I want you to consider something called utilitarian ethics essentially utilitarian ethics are for the greater good one of the driving factors of the Milgram study is that the authoritative figure seems to suggest that this is for the benefit of science that somehow the pain of this one person being shocked is for the benefit of humanity as a whole now obviously with the trick of the experiment that isn't the case but imagine if it was imagine if essentially torturing one person could lead to saving hundreds thousands millions what if some a horrible horrible experiment like this led to the cure of cancer would it be worth that one person suffering or even that one person's death if we could save millions I don't know it's it's complicated right I mean if it's not me suffering it's no one I love I'm probably gonna be like yeah yeah yeah that's awesome but as soon as it's like okay great I'm glad you think that's step right up you're the chosen one hmm or perhaps even worse your family member hmm Henry comes hard so these are kind of like you know deeper deeper things going on behind this week's lesson I hope that helps if you have any questions about the work for the week please let me know I hope you guys have a great week

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