- Posted September 22, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Teachers: Why do you teach?
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- Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction: A Travesty of Justice Part I
- No archaic and barbaric law can ever tame the “Tiger of Jelutong”: Karpal Singh and the Sedition Act
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The True Meaning and Real Value of Critical Thinking
This work is a humble reply to some quarters of our society to the unjust and irrational claim that to be a critical thinker and subsequently to be a vigilant crusader means to oppose and defy the government. This is utterly a preposterous and supra ridiculous proposition, that does not deserve even a scant consideration! However, let me state for purposes of the record that: the charges are bereft of merit and indeed precisely unjust because the aim itself of critical thinking is to seek justice and equity in all areas of our lives! Consequently, there is no shadow of doubt that the baseless accusation is irrational, by virtue of the fact that the ultimate objective of a vigilant crusader is no other than the noble practice of responsible citizenship and universalism! The practice of Critical Thinking does not necessarily meant defying the government without any reasonable and valid justification, but primarily to change how the people as a whole thinks in a given body politic. It is not simply overthrowing the existing unjust form of government, but its primordial goal is to change society in a rational, radical transformative manner. Critical Thinking aims to change the world! How? By changing ourselves, our fellow men, our community, our society and eventually, the world in its totality! Gandhi expressed this so lucidly: “We must be the change we are looking for in the world…”
People as a whole would defy their governments not simply for the naïve reason of defiance just for the sake of defying without any justified grounds! To do so would indubitably qualify as the heights of absurdity and would undeniably suffices as the lowest form of idiocy! Let us analyze the reason behind the anger and the rant of the citizens! Why if ever they would defy the establishment? The Malayan people, then, led by its Founding Fathers defied the British Empire! Does that means they are uncritical and lacking reason in opposing the colonial masters of the past? I certainly believed without the slightest iota of doubt that the truth is the reverse! They fought the Britons not simply because they want to, but precisely because they were moved by reason and passion to see a free country, a liberated Malaya, ruled and governed by its proud people! Today, because of the sacrifices and hardships offered by this country’s heroes, their devotion and unwavering faith gave birth to a new nation: The Government of Malaysia! The Founding Fathers of this country are indeed heroes, yet they are not merely critical men of history but also great leaders of the new nation by virtue of their deeds and action!
Critical Thinking is not exclusive not it is limited to the philosophy subjects of Logic, Ethics and Epistemology, but rather it encompasses all the relevant rivers and branches of knowledge! Hence, let us not reduce this Elemental Truth but instead further expand and maximize it for purposes of continuous human use, mental progression and social development for all Mankind!
For my last point, I admit that exercising self-knowledge and developing critical thinking through constant reflection is not only a noble task, but also a ‘dangerous’ occupation! Why, history has shown us repeatedly that, it is always those critical men and women through-out the ages who uses their thinking for the benefit of mankind, who stood and fought for the general interest of Humanity to change the world!
Who are they? They are the “crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, trouble-makers, the round pegs in a square wholes, the ones who see things differently. They are not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they changed things. They pushed the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones --- we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change --- are the ones who do”. (Quoted from YouTube, Think Different)
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
Subang Jaya, Malaysia