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Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the process of evaluating evidence to assist in making sound decisions.  A critical thinker makes an effort to try
to see issues from the opposing perspective through careful, exact evaluation and judgment.

Critical thinking is not only helpful in making sound decisions, but it is an extremely useful tool in dealing with conflicting
ideologies. Making an effort to see the facts of an issue from the opposing view will assist you in making your best decision
based on the available facts. As you know, honest debate is crucial in understanding the available facts on an issue.  

Critical thinking is extremely important in the process of making decisions. Often, at first glance, a quick decision may seem like a
good idea. When you look deeper into the facts you may find that you create more problems than you solve by rushing a
complex decision.

Before you can make a decision, you need to use a little critical thinking to make a sound decision. Try to see both sides of the
issue. Ask yourself the correct questions. For example, the question of secret wiretaps. Ask yourself a few questions. Here is a
baker's dozen.

1.        How serious is the issue of secret wiretaps?
2.        Does the current program comply with the laws of our nation?
3.        Does the President already have the needed authority to order wiretaps?
4.        Is there adequate oversight?
5.        Can wiretaps without oversight lead to an abuse of power?      
6.        Are protections for civil liberties an important consideration?
7.        Is it wise to allow secret government programs in a democracy?
8.        If the current laws for wiretap surveillance aren't adequate, should Congress consider changing the law?
9.        Who is being wiretapped?  (We don't know the answer without oversight)
10.      Have you listened to both sides of the debate?
11.      Is your decision driven solely by fear?
12.      What are the long term implications of your decision?
13.      Will your decision make you safer?

These are just a few of the questions you need to consider in this type of decision.
What would you decide?  Use your critical
thinking skills and make a decision.
Listen to both sides of the issue carefully! Gather all the available facts!

You can improve your decision-making skills when you practice critical thinking. Remember, looking at situations from the
opposing view doesn't  mean you give up your beliefs. Critical thinking does improve decision-making skills.  
Make your own
decision!

Fred Flanagan
1/12/06
Copyright © 2005

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