critical thinking

The report on CBS’s woes has prompted some attempt to clarify its weaknesses as examples for critical thinking exercises and the theory of logic.

a standard of proof requiring metaphysical certainty and the withholding judgment so long as contrary conclusions are theoretically possible is ludicrous. Indeed, it is a standard that the report applies nowhere else other than to the sensitive issues of document fraud and political motivation.

The Rathergate Report never directly addresses the standard of proof the panel applies to resolve disputed questions of fact. In general, it appears to apply the commonsensical “preponderance of the evidence” standard that operates in most civil cases. When the report reaches particularly touchy issues for CBS as a corporate entity, however, the report applies a standard of metaphysical certainty that is known nowhere in the real world outside of freshman philosophy classes. [ Big Trunk; Prove it! Powerline 12ja05]

And then a worry about what those who do not engage in critical thinking might think.

The lie that concerns me is the one that might actually have some public effect–that there was no proof that the National Guard documents were forgeries. It’s amazing Thornburgh and Boccardi could assert this with a straight face, considering their own expert–[ Roger L. Simon. Why Did Dick Thornburgh Lie? 12ja05 ]

And a reason for this worry.

It is hard to think of a stronger argument for teaching people to examine arguments critically than the tragic history of 20th century totalitarianism and its horrors in peace and war. Dictators often gained total power over a whole nation by their ability to arouse emotions and evade thought. [ (Thomas Sowell; I beg to disagree 13Ja05]

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