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> Dialogue ain’t for Sissies!
coberst
post Apr 24, 2008, 11:26 PM
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Dialogue ain’t for Sissies!

Human discourse seldom goes beyond adolescent styled discussion, debate, or argument. Intellectually, judging by our discourse, few Americans have the sophistication to undertake dialogue. I am 74 years old and have never experienced dialogue either as a participant or as a spectator. Our discourse seldom takes us beyond tacit (only a vague feeling) knowledge.

I am convinced that until we can dialogue we will never be safe from self destruction and perhaps even destruction of the planet for any life forms.

Few Americans are prepared to dialogue. Dialogue is much different from discussion and debate. To dialogue requires much preparation and our educational system have not prepared us for the practice of dialogue.

Our educational system is almost completely dedicated to rote teaching. Our system is almost totally a system of teaching by telling. Why is this so?

A didactic technique of educating young people is the most efficient way of inculcating facts into the memory of children. It seems to me that it is necessary to teach facts to children as quickly and as efficiently as possible during their early years.

It is vital that we have knowledge of many and varied types of algorithms. The more our lives are controlled by technology the more algorithms we must know.

However, there are no known algorithms for many problems that we face daily. Where we fail to have algorithms we must find ways to facilitate understanding.

How does the Socratic technique, or as it is more often called the dialogue method, enhance understanding by a student?

A classroom that is focusing on a dialogue technique of instruction would be one wherein there would be the usual teacher and a number of pupils. A question or a matter of interest would be introduced and pupils would be asked to give their opinion on the matter. Each student voicing a point of view would be subject to questions by members of the class and the instructor and each would be expect to defend the opinion as best they can. Such a class program would require, in many cases that the students come to class well prepared and ready to become an active participant.

The subject might be the American war in Iraq, for example. One can imagine in such a case that there would be many different points of view. Some students might be from homes wherein varying political affiliations might be held. Some students may be Muslims or Jews of Protestants. Such a question would elicit many and strongly held views. The views of all students would be subjected to questions focusing upon the quality of the argument supporting a view and perhaps questions that might focus upon the biases exposed by the view. Assumptions would be examined and questioned. The whole process is directed toward establishing a critical habit of thought in all students.

How does a young person who has finished their schooling develop their own value system?

How does a young person develop a sound intellectual foundation upon which to build a life?

What is a sound intellectual foundation?

How does a young person learn to ask the important questions?


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Joesus
post Apr 24, 2008, 11:38 PM
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QUOTE
How does a young person who has finished their schooling develop their own value system?

How does a young person develop a sound intellectual foundation upon which to build a life?

What is a sound intellectual foundation?

How does a young person learn to ask the important questions?

Enlightened guidance...
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coberst
post Apr 25, 2008, 04:55 AM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Apr 24, 2008, 11:38 PM) *

QUOTE
How does a young person who has finished their schooling develop their own value system?

How does a young person develop a sound intellectual foundation upon which to build a life?

What is a sound intellectual foundation?

How does a young person learn to ask the important questions?

Enlightened guidance...


Where do our children find enlightened adults? Today's adults are yesterday's students in a system that does not produce Critical Thinking graduates.
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Joesus
post Apr 25, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Adults by their own intelligence must seek to become enlightened.
If we, by our own recognition have become aware that we are not serving our children through the habit of perpetuating ignorant choices, we must change and effect a greater understanding of ourselves and by that effect pass that on to our children through the example of initiating intelligent choices.

It begins with a few and eventually spreads as mind becomes more open.
It has already begun. Seeds have been planted over the past millennia and they are beginning to take root.

People are slow sometimes to respond but changes in spirituality and the belief in reality has come a long way in just a few hundred years.

There is always enlightened guidance. Most are just not ready for it, and the children of the world have their own destiny to fulfill as well in developing the ability to make choices, regardless of our beliefs in how that should take place.

There is a saying: When the student is ready the Teacher will appear.

Enlightened guidance can emerge from anywhere at any time regardless of ignorance and its widespread affects.
We often don't see it or hear it because we are too preoccupied with the distractions of what is wrong with everything and our focus on that.

What you focus on grows....
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coberst
post Apr 25, 2008, 10:32 PM
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Before Americans can dialogue there must be preparation. That preparation is not furnished by our educational system. The only way that Americans can prepare themselves for dialogue is through a process of self-actualizing self-learning. It is here that we must begin our effort to dialog.

A dialogical process is not one wherein individuals reason together in an attempt to make common, ideas that are already known to each individual. ”Rather, it may be said that the two people are making something in common, i.e., creating something new together.” Dialogical reasoning together is an act of creation, of mutual understanding, of meaning.

Dialogic can happen only if both individuals wish to reason together in truth, in coherence, without prejudice, and without trying to influence each other.
Each must be prepared to “drop his old ideas and intentions. And be ready to go on to something different, when this is called for…Thus, if people are to cooperate (i.e., literally to ‘work together’) they have to be able to create something in common, something that takes shape in their mutual discussions and actions, rather than something that is conveyed from one person who acts as an authority to the others, who act as passive instruments of this authority.”

“On Dialogue” written by “The late David Bohm, one of the greatest physicists and foremost thinkers this century, was Fellow of the Royal Society and Emeritus Professor of Physics at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Bohm is convinced that communication is breaking down as a result of the crude and insensitive manner in which it is transpiring. Communication is a concept with a common meaning that does not fit well with the concepts of dialogue, dialectic, and dialogic.

I claim that if we citizens do not learn to dialogue we cannot learn to live together in harmony sufficient to save the species.

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Joesus
post Apr 25, 2008, 10:47 PM
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QUOTE

I claim that if we citizens do not learn to dialogue we cannot learn to live together in harmony sufficient to save the species.

I would like to make the claim that if one is not able to understand reality, anything coming to that person is beyond his/her ability to reason objectively.
That being the case anyone who can reason objectively will abandon any efforts to move a mountain that doesn't move without feeling failure or a loss of compassion.

Mt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

It is not beyond a persons capacity to live harmoniously in and amongst ignorance and chaos. One simply detaches ones self from the need to control a situation and allows for the situation as a parent would allow for the lack of experience and understanding in any child.

Patience is an evolutionary achievement...some say an enlightened achievement.

The species has teetered on the brink of extinction from the get go. Saving it is not an issue. I would say understanding it is tantamount to Ascending it.
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coberst
post Apr 26, 2008, 06:05 AM
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Joesus

Technology has given humans the power to destroy the species and even the planet. We can no longer enjoy the luxury of apathy. We must acquire a higher level of inellectual sophistication just to comprehend our problems, let alone solve them.
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Joesus
post Apr 26, 2008, 07:51 AM
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I'm not disagreeing with you, but I'm not speaking of apathy either, I'm speaking of a higher level of Intuition and understanding of reality that frees the mind from fear and misunderstanding of the nature of humanity.

Everything has its time and its place....
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Lindsay
post Apr 26, 2008, 11:27 AM
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QUOTE(coberst @ Apr 24, 2008, 11:26 PM) *

Dialogue ain�€™t for Sissies!...
Nor is it for people, sissies or bullies, who allow their emotions to call the shot.

QUOTE
...I am convinced that until we can dialogue we will never be safe from self destruction and perhaps even destruction of the planet for any life forms.
What topics come to mind?

QUOTE
...Few Americans are prepared to dialogue. Dialogue is much different from discussion and debate.
What about Canadians? Do you feel that we are better at it than our American (people-of-the-gun smile.gif ) cousins. As a long-time advocate of dialogue I ask: Where do we go from here? About what topics would you like to dialogue?
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coberst
post Apr 27, 2008, 01:51 AM
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Lindsay

I think that all people need to learn to dialogue because we cannot solve our moral problems without this form of reasoning together.

I first learned of CT (Critical Thinking) about 6 years ago. I studied "Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World" by Paul and Elder. This book taught me many things but one of the most important things that I was unfamiliar with is dialogical reasoning.

I think that a comprehension of CT is fundamental to the ability to dialogue.

Our greatest problem today is the development of a global morality that will allow our species to survive the next 200 years.
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Lindsay
post Apr 29, 2008, 04:18 PM
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QUOTE(coberst @ Apr 27, 2008, 01:51 AM) *

Lindsay,...Our greatest problem today is the development of a global morality that will allow our species to survive the next 200 years.
Just 200 years? How about for any number of years?

In the spirit of dialogue, Coberst, I ask: "Are you a Christian? Or whatever? Have you any idea which faith community is best aqualified to establish any kind of "a global morality"?

What is your opinion of the Golden Rule?--part of all of the world faiths.
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coberst
post Apr 30, 2008, 03:45 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Apr 29, 2008, 04:18 PM) *

QUOTE(coberst @ Apr 27, 2008, 01:51 AM) *

Lindsay,...Our greatest problem today is the development of a global morality that will allow our species to survive the next 200 years.
Just 200 years? How about for any number of years?

In the spirit of dialogue, Coberst, I ask: "Are you a Christian? Or whatever? Have you any idea which faith community is best aqualified to establish any kind of "a global morality"?

What is your opinion of the Golden Rule?--part of all of the world faiths.


I want to talk about ideas. Too often talk of religion and politics makes discussion of ideas impossible.
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maximus242
post Apr 30, 2008, 04:30 AM
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I think that the saving grace for the minds of now and of the future lies in philosophy. The reason why is because philosophy requires that you ask questions and by nature it is Socratic. No teacher can just preach one school of thought without incurring the wrath of their students with an endless sea of questioning.

Philosophy at its heart is about asking questions even if you wont find out the answers, the questions themselves can yield interesting ideas. I guess philosophy teaches you to think where many other subjects merely require memorization.
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coberst
post Apr 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Apr 30, 2008, 04:30 AM) *

I think that the saving grace for the minds of now and of the future lies in philosophy. The reason why is because philosophy requires that you ask questions and by nature it is Socratic. No teacher can just preach one school of thought without incurring the wrath of their students with an endless sea of questioning.

Philosophy at its heart is about asking questions even if you wont find out the answers, the questions themselves can yield interesting ideas. I guess philosophy teaches you to think where many other subjects merely require memorization.



I think that CT (Critical Thinking) is philosophy light. For those who have not studied philosophy it would be advisable to start with CT.

CT is an acronym for Critical Thinking. Everybody considers themselves to be a critical thinker. That is why we need to differentiate among different levels of critical thinking.

Most people fall in the category that I call Reagan thinkers—trust but verify. Then there are those who have taken the basic college course taught by the philosophy dept that I call Logic 101. This is a credit course that teaches the basic principles of reasoning. Of course, a person need not take the college course and can learn the matter on their own effort, but I suspect few do that.

The third level I call CT (Critical Thinking). CT includes the knowledge of Logic 101 and also the knowledge that focuses upon the intellectual character and attitude of critical thinking. It includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.

Most decisions we have to make are judgment calls. A judgment call is made when we must make a decision when there is no “true” or “false” answers. When we make a judgment call our decision is bad, good, or better.

Many factors are involved: there are the available facts, assumptions, skills, knowledge, and especially personal experience and attitude. I think that the two most important elements in the mix are personal experience and attitude.

When we study math we learn how to use various algorithms to facilitate our skill in dealing with quantities. If we never studied math we could deal with quantity on a primary level but our quantifying ability would be minimal. Likewise with making judgments; if we study the art and science of good judgment we can make better decisions and if we never study the art and science of judgment our decision ability will remain minimal.

I am convinced that a fundamental problem we have in this country (USA) is that our citizens have never learned the art and science of good judgment. Before the recent introduction of CT into our schools and colleges our young people have been taught primarily what to think and not how to think. All of us graduated with insufficient comprehension of the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary for the formulation of good judgment. The result of this inability to make good judgment is evident and is dangerous.

I am primarily interested in the judgment that adults exercise in regard to public issues. Of course, any improvement in judgment generally will affect both personal and community matters.

To put the matter into a nut shell:
1. Normal men and women can significantly improve their ability to make judgments.
2. CT is the domain of knowledge that delineates the knowledge, skills, and intellectual character demanded for good judgment.
3. CT has been introduced into our schools and colleges slowly in the last two or three decades.
4. Few of today’s adults were ever taught CT.
5. I suspect that at least another two generations will pass before our society reaps significant rewards resulting from teaching CT to our children.
6. Can our democracy survive that long?
7. I think that every effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they need to study and learn CT on their own. I am not suggesting that adults find a teacher but I am suggesting that adults become self-actualizing learners.
8. I am convinced that learning the art and science of Critical Thinking is an important step toward becoming a better citizen in today’s democratic society.


For those who are not familiar they can start with Google. I first encountered the concept about five years ago. The following are a few Internet sites that will familiarize you with the matter.

http://www.freeinquiry.com/critical-notes.html

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:mkodB...s&ct=clnk&cd=11

http://www.chss.montclair.edu/inquiry/fall95/weinste.html

http://www.criticalthinking.org/resources/.../glossary.shtml

http://www.doit.gmu.edu/inventio/past/disp...ng03&sID=eslava


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Joesus
post Apr 30, 2008, 10:09 AM
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QUOTE


I want to talk about ideas. Too often talk of religion and politics makes discussion of ideas impossible.

Religion and politics are the heart of all subjects.
True religion is to be connected to ones surroundings intimately.
Politics is to engage in community.
In order to live within community and participate in it you must be connected to it and not just subjectively but objectively with the ability to be open to all experiences and points of view.
An objective mind must be free of its attachments and its stress related needs based on personal beliefs and experiences.
Critical thinking does not necessarily allow for the removal of personal stresses and the objectivity to stand in another mans shoes, but enlightenment does.

Lets look at it this way. Critical thinking for a 16 year old based on peer related issues is bound to 16 years of experience, emotional instability and hormones geared toward bodily changes and sexual attraction. What is important to a sixteen year old is irrelevant to an octogenarian.
Granted at any age we think about survival but survival has different priorities for different beliefs and personality addictions.

I've heard people speak of critical thinking in sciences but their box had limited their thinking to what is learned personally not what can be learned, or what has been learned by everyone. This is basic to how one understands a situation. No two people experience the world or any event the same way. Each nervous system is mapped with the influence of personality, the integration of the the past as it is filtered through personal interpretations and experience of interpretations.

True judgment doesn't take place until ego is given its rightful place as the servant rather than the master, when all of humanity takes a place in front of the personal, when we live for others as ourselves.
When the universe is seen as a union of religion and politics in that we are responsible for each other and that choices affect the whole we get a glimpse of the relationship of the world with our soul.
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Lindsay
post Apr 30, 2008, 01:46 PM
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QUOTE(coberst @ Apr 30, 2008, 05:51 AM) *


Coberst, thanks for your enthusiasm regarding Critical Thinking. Good for you. I just finished reading the information I found at:
http://www.freeinquiry.com/critical-notes.html

Unless I miss my guess, I have been a fan of this CT approach to KNOWLEDGE since I was a student at http://www.mta.ca Much to my joy, I remember one of my beloved professors, Dr. Arthur Ebbutt--then the head of the newly-created Department of Theology--saying to us: "Fellow students, when you enter my classes, please, bring your brains with you. Do not leave them with your hat when you hang it up in the cloak room. This is you opportunity to be critical and analytical thinkers.


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coberst
post Apr 30, 2008, 01:55 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Apr 30, 2008, 01:46 PM) *

QUOTE(coberst @ Apr 30, 2008, 05:51 AM) *


Coberst, thanks for your enthusiasm regarding Critical Thinking. Good for you. I just finished reading the information I found at:
http://www.freeinquiry.com/critical-notes.html

Unless I miss my guess, I have been a fan of this CT approach to KNOWLEDGE since I was a student at http://www.mta.ca Much to my joy, I remember one of my beloved professors, Dr. Arthur Ebbutt--then the head of the newly-created Department of Theology--saying to us: "Fellow students, when you enter my classes, please, bring your brains with you. Do not leave them with your hat when you hang it up in the cloak room. This is you opportunity to be critical and analytical thinkers.


Unfortunately most readers see the words critical thinking and they asssume "been there done that" and never get beyond the Reagan critical thinking.

Most people fall in the category that I call Reagan thinkers—trust but verify. Then there are those who have taken the basic college course taught by the philosophy dept that I call Logic 101. This is a credit course that teaches the basic principles of reasoning. Of course, a person need not take the college course and can learn the matter on their own effort, but I suspect few do that.

The third level I call CT (Critical Thinking). CT includes the knowledge of Logic 101 and also the knowledge that focuses upon the intellectual character and attitude of critical thinking. It includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.
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Lindsay
post Apr 30, 2008, 05:00 PM
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QUOTE
It (CT?) includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.
Coberst, say clearly what you mean in a sentence for two. Only then will I understand what you wish to communicate.

BTW, what is a Regan CT? Somewhere, I read that he was one of the great presidents of the USA. Did he not help end the Cold War?
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coberst
post May 01, 2008, 01:28 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Apr 30, 2008, 05:00 PM) *

QUOTE
It (CT?) includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.
Coberst, say clearly what you mean in a sentence for two. Only then will I understand what you wish to communicate.

BTW, what is a Regan CT? Somewhere, I read that he was one of the great presidents of the USA. Did he not help end the Cold War?



We have irrational forces driven by both the ego and society to see things that fit these needs rather than fitting the needs of reality.

Most people fall in the category that I call Reagan thinkers—trust but verify. Then there are those who have taken the basic college course taught by the philosophy dept that I call Logic 101. This is a credit course that teaches the basic principles of reasoning. Of course, a person need not take the college course and can learn the matter on their own effort, but I suspect few do that.

The third level I call CT (Critical Thinking). CT includes the knowledge of Logic 101 and also the knowledge that focuses upon the intellectual character and attitude of critical thinking. It includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking.
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