Critical Thinking

Growing up and being educated in Australia, it was a very independent and critical teen. I was gifted to have an education that prized student learning, independent of teachers, problem solving and being outspoken. I grew to have a very argumentative nature and enjoyed battling wits with all and sundry. I would often take a side of an argument, and use my critical thinking skills to drive the argument to victory or stalemate, even though I knew the case was weak or even down right wrong.

This ‘powerful mind’ and sense of ‘being righteous’, having the right to represent a point of view, irrespective of others point of view or the soundness of the view, is common in western society. People’s right to think, believe and act as they please is held in very high regard. We train our youth to analyze situations from many angles. This is good in the sense that it creates very powerful critical thinking and problem solving skills, as well as empathy.

The problem is: we end up with children who can find holes in most arguments, who are critical and have a very strong sense of ‘wanting to learn things for themselves’. These youths often grow up to rebel against their elders and society in general because they feel they have the ‘right’ to discover life for themselves. They can justify whatever they do with the reasoning that ‘It’s my life.’

The factor missing is the knowledge of right and wrong. We teach our youth that there are many possible choices in life BUT we fail to teach them that there is a definite right choice. Education without faith can only direct children to the view that they can anticipate an outcome but the best way is probably to ‘give it a go’ and see what happens. You can’t put an old head on young shoulders after all. Boys will be boys and so on.

Oh how I wish I knew God when I was young. Life was so lonely back then. Drinking, drugs, rebellion, looking for love in all the wrong places, it only led me to destruction. I know there are so many lost kids, teenagers and adults in my home country of Australia that are struggling to get through life on their own strength. I just wish they were taught the truth. Secular education doesn’t teach you the one thing you really need to know…God loves you !

God bless you, Gef

2 Responses to Critical Thinking

  1. Philippa says:

    Gef, you are so right! And compound today’s education system with the immediacy of the internet, the gimmicks of iPhone, iPod and various other devices that keep us wired, wireless and impersonal, and you’ve got a fully “Me, me, me” generation.

    I’m a Kiwi who lived in Sydney, Oz, for 3 years, and I’ve lived in Canada for 15. I think it’s the same in any westernized country.

    A lot of teens lose their faith even if they have Christian parents who share the truth with them. I think it’s likely that the parents are Christian enough – giving lipservice, saying grace and going to church does not a passionate Christian make. Lots and lots of prayer, that’s what it’ll take… lots and lots of prayer.

  2. gefs says:

    Thanks for your reply Philippa. I have been living in Indonesia for 8 years now and I always say that I would never be a teacher in Australia. The eastern trait of respecting your elders is still prominent and students are generally angels compared with the west.

    The negative aspect of eastern education is that it is still very much rote learning. Students are dependent on teachers as knowledge dispersers. This leads to a society that believes pretty much whatever it is told, gives automatic respect to anyone in a position of power, is largely unable to problem solve or express its discontent. Thus, there is a large amount of exploitation.

    What is needed is education that empowers kids to be strong because of who they are in God. We need to ensure that they have a CHRIST like identity and can discern God’s will in their life. Perhaps if society valued God a little more, kids would be more enthusiastic about following Him.

    Life has become a quest for pleasure and material gain. The people in society who are successful are the richest.

    The concept of ‘school’ itself was developed to place people into slots in the workforce. If you look at the Greek system of education, it was about teaching people to think. The Roman was about training them to for a position in the ’empire’. They are the systems we have derived our modern education from. There is little or no trace of the Jewish system where children would spend their youth learning about God and the Holy scriptures. We don’t even have prayer in most schools anymore.

    Society has voted about what is important and money, not God won.

    May He be merciful.

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