Developing Capacity for Logic in Context of Formal Education

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The capacity for logical civil discourse obviously is an important component of well functioning societies, of societies that are governed well, of societies that experience mindfulness in context of either of agreements or disagreements.

(to which I respond) is right that capacity for responsive discourse — discourse that is responsive to arguments provided by others — has experienced significant deterioration not just in American society, but in all societies. This could be outcome of failures of educational systems, or could be the fact that society has become ever more factionalized, more polarized. Within factionalized or polarized societies people reject, without any consideration whatsoever, alternate or competing viewpoints.

Refusal of educational systems to teach scientific evidence that is supportive of Creationism (supporting scientific evidence, not religion) side-by-side scientific evidence for evolution is clear evidence for introduction of factionalism into education all over the world.

How are kids to arrive at logical thought and expression if they are factionalized in classrooms all over the world? It is impossible to plant apples and reap oranges.

That being said, said post to which I am responding is evidence that any attempts at teaching logic in Elementary School, High School, or to non-philosophy majors in College is fraught with problems. If logic is taught, kids are bound to focus on logic rules, are likely to confuse said rules (all kids are not equally intelligent is a truism) are likely to be turned into ‘discourse responsive robots’, an outcome which perhaps is worse than factional thought, expression, and argument.

Factional thought, expression, and argument thrives on ignorance. Discourse responsive robotry creates appearance it is better to be ignorant.

The current structure of the American educational system, a structure within which rigor of thinking demanded of students increases with level of education is less likely to produce discourse responsive robots. Within context of current structure of education, the mind expands with increasing rigor of demand placed on it in course of Baccalaureate, Masters, and PhD programs for endogenous development of capacity for adherence to rules of logic. This process continues and is sequentially extended until capacity for the most logical philosophization is arrived at in context of PhD level studies, and post PhD research work.

The United States epitomizes one of select few countries within which by design, rigor of education increases with level of education.

In most developing countries, there does not exist any meaningful increase in demands on the mind in progression from Baccalaureate to Masters, to PhD programs.

Within context of Developing Countries, in Baccalaureate programs students take notes, are tested on notes. In Masters programs, students take notes, are tested on notes. In PhD programs, students take notes, never are truly constrained with respect to time spent on assignments, never are tested outside of notes given by instructors.

Any developing country in search of development recognizes importance of sequential expanding of the mind of it’s most intelligent via increase in rigor of demands of education with level of education.

What Elementary School, High School, and College systems need to focus on is teaching kids (i) how to ask and recognize good questions, (ii) principles for finding of good answers to good questions, and the fact that (iii) willingness to engage with a different opinion strengthens understanding of strengths and weaknesses of one’s very own opinions.

If Jesus’ teachings and counter arguments lacked merit, had not been convincing, leaders of the Jewish nation never would have considered Him a threat to their teachings and way of life. If Martin Luther King Jr. was not perceived to be an intellectual threat to White supremacy, he never would have been assassinated. If White supremacists thought Lyndon B. Johnson would turn out to be a rational White man in respect of granting of freedoms to Blacks, they probably would not have assassinated John F. Kennedy.

All of this being said, if we live in a society within which persons willing to pivot on opinions are considered weak minded, this regardless of pivot to better arguments, then we might very well not waste any time teaching children about question asking, answer finding, and capacity for reflection for arrival at integration of ‘new’ knowledge into existing knowledge, we might as well spend all of the teaching time pouring water into baskets filled with holes.

And by the way, over the course of the last 6,000 years or so for which we have written historical records, has a normal human pregnancy ever taken less or more than the current asymptotic 9 months?

The answer? A resounding No.

Is this scientific evidence for Creationism or Evolution?

Guess we need rules of logic, or perhaps better still endogenously developed rigor of thinking in context of rigor of higher education that is consistent with, yet transcends the best rules of logic.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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