Critical Thinking #3: Logical Fallacies

So far in this series, we’ve explored the concepts of critical thinking and a hindrance to it, cognitive biases.

In this article, we will discuss a second hindrance: “logical fallacies.”

What is a Logical Fallacy?

Again, let’s define some terms:

logic
reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity
fallacy
a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument; a failure in reasoning which renders an argument invalid

So putting them together, we arrive at this:

a mistaken belief, especially one based upon unsound argument, caused by a failure to accurately assess reality.

Accordingly, such arguments and their conclusions should always be regarded as invalid. The use of logical fallacies as rhetorical devices are one of the primary tools of propagandists to exploit biases, both real and imaginary, within their hearers.
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Critical Thinking #2: Cognitive Biases

In the previous article in this series, we discussed what defines the term “critical thinking” and why Christ-followers should care about it. In this installment, we’ll discuss the topic of cognitive bias.

Bias is easy to grasp because we’ve all encountered them in others, especially those of us who are not Caucasian, though we all tend to be completely oblivious to biases within ourselves. We who have performed some serious self-examination during our getting free from various addictions, abuse/neglect, or a bad marriage or two have been brought face-to-face — often quite painfully! — with their presence in our own thought-lives so those barriers to our recovery can be removed.

But before we proceed further, again let’s establish some solid definitions to work with:
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What If?

The Holy Spirit had been urging me to write this article for a week or so before I started it and frankly, I’ve struggled with this article over a period of a couple more weeks.

Why?

Because I desperately don’t want this article perceived as an angry diatribe judgmentally lashing out at everyone who doesn’t “measure up to my standards” of what a Christ-follower should be, say, and do. This is written as much a challenge to myself as it is for you, my precious readers, and no one — least of all me! — has a moral high-ground from which to pass such judgments.

Instead, I want to present these thoughts as a challenge for all of us to rise up and “take a stand for Christ” in ways that phrase is not typically/traditional understood or interpreted.

My heart — and I believe God’s heart, as well, or He wouldn’t have led me to write this — is grieved and breaking from the dysfunction in His Body: the strife, division, backbiting, entitlement, laziness, scriptural ignorance, and spiritual hubris. So there is more than a little bit of me feeling like “a voice crying out in the wilderness,” calling the Army of the Lord to arms, for us to:
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