critical paper #1

Then answer the questions (taken from the article) below.

Are you a non-critical thinker? Ask yourself these questions.

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First, do you find that you generally believe the same things that your peers believe? Think about what you believe about politics, religion, abortion, and other controversial issues. If you find that you are squarely among the majority of your peers, you may be a non-critical thinker.
Second, ask yourself why you believe the things you believe. Can you give a reasoned defense of those positions? Are the reasons actual reasons, or do you find yourself simply repeating things that you’ve heard other people say? If your “reasons” sound like a tape-recording of someone else, then you are probably a non-critical thinker.
How do you respond to people who disagree with you? Do they irritate you? Do they make you angry? Do you consider them to be “radicals,” “bigoted,” “hateful,” or “ignorant”?
If you answer yes to any of these, you are probably a non-critical thinker.
What do you know about views which oppose your own? Pick a topic and try to give sensible reasons which would support your opposition. If you can only think of silly “reasons,” then you are probably a non-critical thinker.
Are you a critical thinker in the weak sense? Here are some questions to help you find out:

First, do you tend to start with a position that you already “know” is true and then look for reasons which support it? This is called rationalizing and is backward from the proper reasoning method.
Second, do you find your reasons by only looking to sources which will agree with you?
Third, do you tend to ignore criticisms of your positions or become very defensive?
Fourth, do you mentally suppress evidence that might make your opposition look good? Are you unwilling to change your mind about things, even when presented with good evidence?
To determine if you are a strong sense critical thinker:

First, go through the list (at the end of the article). How many of the characteristics describe you?
Can you think of examples where you used to believe one thing, then through your own initiative researched a subject and realized that the only intellectually honest thing to do was to change your mind? (This does not count if the position was one where you came into conformity with the predominant beliefs of your peers. That could be better explained by the bandwagon effect.)
Can you say you did this when you had a vested interest in holding the first position?
Do you have a genuine sense of curiosity regarding the beliefs of others?
Submission Guidelines:

Writing in the first person, I, is acceptable for this paper since I am asking how you view yourself as a strong sense/weak sense critical thinker!
Do not write in the second-person
Answers should be in paragraph format
There should be a well-thought paragraph for each section
non-critical thinker
critical thinker in the weak sense
strong sense critical thinker
This is considered a formal written assignment

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