Food For Thought...

I have encountered numerous situations [and been the perpetrator of them myself] wherein someone will watch a documentary about a certain subject and then immediately feel as if they've read the "Bible" on it; they'll watch a documentary on, say, Vietnam and then anything than anyone else decides to tell them about the course of events, facts, etc will be dismissed if it doesn't agree with "the word of God" that they took in while watching "their documentary" because their "oh, OH so smart!"

There are many, many problems with critical thinking nowadays, but I think that in the arena of documentaries it gets a little out of hand at times. It may seem like I'm blowing this out of proportion and who knows, I very well might be, but I feel that these things specifically are merely a symptom of the much bigger problem: people do not know how to exercise critical thinking; they do not understand the concept of finding things out for themselves, doing a little research, and that Wikipedia is an aid and NOT God on every single subject under the sun.

Anyways, like the title says - it's merely some food for thought. Cheers!
multiplex multiplex
18-21, M
3 Responses Jul 13, 2010

This could very well be true. I still think that the "documentary syndrome" can be avoided by understanding that a movie doesn't make you a professor emeritus in the subject the film covered. I don't think that there's really pressure for anyone to have an opinion about these things from documentaries, per say, but I can see where you're coming from with your statements about the media; it's almost always "this or that", and people are being sold an opinion by a journalist that they've never fact-checked.<br />
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Yes, it definitely could be very, very tedious to commit to "checking the facts" on everything that you learned in order to ensure that you're formed as ob<x>jective and unbiased opinion as possible, but if not for everything I feel it's extremely important for the "major" decisions/beliefs/opinions we have or make.<br />
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If you Google "The Foundation for Critical Thinking", you should come across the website by that name. They do a great job of recognizing the need for critical thinking and go about defining it very thoroughly and explain steps that you can take to better your thinking, etc. It's an entirely different topic in itself.<br />
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Anyways, I'm really glad I posted this and it was stimulating for some!<br />
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Cheers! :)

finally, someone agrees with me on this subject! We MUST be right! =P<br />
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Cheers, mate! :)<br />
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P.S. Any suggestions on "critical thinking" reading material? I love the subject.

I couldn't agree with you more!! I have taken critical thinking and advanced critical thinking in college and those were some of the most life changing and inspiring classes I have taken yet! I told my professor that his class made me realize how stupid I am actually capable of being- but it also gave me so much strength because now I recognize when manipulation is being used to form sway my opinion.<br />
I get so annoyed with binary thinkers. And- Just because the documentaries that you watched reinforced something you already thought to be true doesn't make it true and does NOT make you smarter on the subject! A real education involves exploring both sides fairly and unbiased.