Everyone has an opinion. That's what makes us human, right? Trouble with opinions is that many times they are not based on any facts, but rather they are based on hearsay or false information meant to confuse and sway opinion.
Rhetoric is King?
With all the rhetoric being bandied about these days is it more important than ever to make sure that you hone your own critical thinking skills. When you are armed with facts and true information from reliable sources then you are a contender for the information throne! What better way to argue your point but to know what your point is. If you are unaware of the statistics and actuality of information then you may just look like a foolish person more than a scholarly thinker.
It's Good Business
The process of critical thinking is very important in some fields more than others but it is a necessary habit in nearly everything. If someone chooses to argue that grass is not green, that is not as critical as considering the causes and solutions to say, global warming, or terrorist activities. The controversial and arguable input that people can obtain is the very same input that requires critical thinking.
Is it Hard to Know the Facts?
Today, with readily available sources of information from media outlets, the television and radio and an inordinate amount of web resources, it becomes more and more difficult to filter the fact from the fiction. That is where scholarly thinking comes in. Check your sources, check the information from others. If you are unable to corroborate their stance or comments then it is time to inform them that you are unable to find where they got their information from. It is acceptable to respectfully request the source of the information that someone is touting as fact.
Business Needs to Think Critically
When it was merely a debate and possibility, I received an email from the American Psychological Association regarding their stance over the Affordable Care Act. In it they told me they were supporting the health care reform bills that I disagreed with. They had valid points that I was not aware of.
Be Personally Informed
I am not in the mood to read a 2000 page document or two. However there are some very good things included in the bill. There are also awful things in the bill that were not thought out very well by Congress. The requirement that every person have health insurance or face imprisonment is one of those not well thought out requirements. I'll go to jail before I let the US Government force me to get insurance if I am unable to afford it. That puts a person in prison for an average cost of $46,000 a year. If I am older or on medications the price tag for a single person goes up to averaging $150,000.00 annually. That is much more expensive to the taxpayer than an occasional visit to a doctor's office that I am able to pay for myself. This is just the little picture in this one clause. There is also paying for foster care for the children of the people imprisoned. Then since the children and the parents are probably traumatized there is added cost of anti-depressants and counseling to help them past the ridiculousness of their plight.
Do the Math
Mental health care is not inexpensive. Now that $150,000 stay in Federal hotel adds another $65,000 or more to the tab. How much is foster care? How much is child counseling? How much is paying for the child's clothes, food, etc? Burdens are already great on the taxpayer, so now the US government believes that throwing honest, law-abiding citizens in prison for a year to stop paying taxes and further burden the already over stretched budget is a good idea.
But I digress. My point is that the example above shows critical thinking, and not just fly by night ideas that were not thoroughly researched. With statistics and knowledge comes power. With the right information someone can change the world.
Use your critical scholarly thinking and do some good for mankind. You'll be rewarded for your bravery in contradicting others who may not have done their homework. Who knows? The Pulitzer? The Nobel Prize? Getting the truth out? Any of those are honorable.