Critical Thinking – What Are Thoughts?
Remember, this series is focused on critical thinking. So when I ask, what are thoughts, I am asking relative to critical thinking. Why? Because people are given evidence every day and yet these people come to different conclusions. Why?
There are plenty of books written by several authors about the mind, the way we think and how the mind is a battlefield. But understanding critical thinking skills puts into action our conclusion. Let me try to explain.
Last time we explained the mind and the brain are different. It is the mind that does the thinking and the brain is the tool we use to think. Brain damaged people still think but they are using a tool that has been damaged. It is like a piano player, the piano is the tool but the player is the mind doing – the action.
The brain is like your tool box or like a file cabinet. As you go through life you store information in your tool box. You store your experiences in your tool box. Then when presented with a question or a problem, your mind ( your thinking process ) goes to your tool box searching for the proper tool to answer the question or solve the problem. But what if the tool needed is not there?
The world, government run schools and even religious leaders all try to fill your tool box with their tools. You have to decide what tools and whose tools you want in your tool box. How you fill your tool box and with what determines your mind ( your thinking process ).
We add tools to our tool box as we travel through life. And some tools we gathered we throw out. And for believers, they have set the word of God as their main tool. 1 Corinthians 1:25-31 KJV “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called :
 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea , and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Critical thinking has a method and a process:
Method ~ Students / people weigh the evidence of a claim, thought or teaching and apply critical thinking skills to come to a conclusion and be able to present a compelling case for their conclusion.
Process ~ Gather evidence related to the subject matter. Lay out the evidence. Separate the evidence into each point of view or teaching. Perform experiments when possible and catalog results. Ask yourself questions like what if I do this instead of that, what happens? Or from a scripture point of view, are there other supporting scriptures? Come to a conclusion.
The key to the process of critical thinking skills is the evidence. Where does the evidence come from? Is the evidence supplier biased to a particular conclusion? Who supplied the evidence? Is there more evidence available than what I was given? Answering questions like this is where critical thinking skills are critical to coming to a correct conclusion.
Evidence can be presented in a way to lead students or people along to a predetermined conclusion. Government run schools do this with their teaching of evolution. Because government run schools threw God and the Bible out, they are leading their students to a predetermined conclusion – evolution.
And those who believe in “the big bang” never explain where the pieces came from to bang. Oh they are particles. But where did those particles come from? Cells. Where did the cells come from. And whatever answers they give, they can not explain where the matter that banged came from. And because they threw God out, they do not believe,
Genesis 1:1 KJV “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Critical thinking skills would look at both sides of the issue, the evidence, ask questions, run experiments, research and come to a conclusion. Then they would be able to give a compelling case for their conclusion.
People still come to different conclusions after examining evidence. Police still target or arrest the wrong person. Things once thought good for us are now known to be deadly. Even believers disagree on some spiritual matters and Paul addressed this when he said 1 Corinthians 14:26 KJV “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”
The secret – It is the mind that does the thinking and the brain is the tool we use to think. The mind processes what is put into the brain. The evidence is fed into the brain through words and sometimes, visual aids. If the evidence is slanted or biased then the mind processes the biased or slanted evidence and concludes a biased or slanted conclusion.
The problem – After you come to a biased or slanted conclusion, how do you handle information that comes along disputing your conclusuon? A modern example today is a computer saying, that does not compute.
Information is fed into computers to process information. But when you throw in a curve, something the computer was not programmed for, you get, this does not compute.
The hard drive is the brain, the tool for the processing. And because only God gives life, computers may appear “alive” but they have processors. The Tin Man in the movie The Wizard Of Oz wanted a brain, a tool to process information. In government run schools, the government is supplying the evidence through their curriculum. The government feeds the information to your brain and then you are told to process that information. No wonder students come out of school today all thinking the same way. I am going somewhere with all of this.
You see, when we bring God into the picture, and his word, we learn the key is twofold – our thoughts and our mind ( how we process those thoughts ). Let me explain. Presuming you are a believer in God and you believe God’s word, do you believe there is a devil? Do you believe there are many devils? Do you believe Satan is in charge of the devils? Your answers to these questions you base on the information you have stored in your brain, your tool box.
We often say there is a force of good and a force of evil meaning an energy. Even the world believes there is good and evil in the world, they just can not explain those forces because then they would have to acknowledge God. As believers, we believe God and his word. So if we were to apply critical thinking skills to what God tells us about good and evil we would conclude, there is a war going on in the spiritual realm. But why?
Scripture tells us Satan rebelled against God. But Satan is not alone in his rebellion, he took one third of the angels in heaven with him and God reserves them for judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 KJV
” For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”
But how did Satan do it? How did he convince one third of the angels to rebel with him? He had to put thoughts in their mind convincing them he would win. And Satan wants to control your thoughts and your mind through deception. Why? So he can war against God. Because Satan is in warfare against God. So Satan and his workers are dedicated to destroying your thoughts. What processes your thoughts? Your mind.
It is not your tool box Satan is after, not your brain. He wants to destroy your processing information from God and he uses half truths and deception and greed. He is trying to mess up your mind, the way you process what God tells you. And if you are not taught critical thinking skills, how to process information correctly, you are confused or indoctrinated. That is how cults are started.
We will pick it up from here next time. Until next time.