True or False?

It is difficult to wade through the information available to us on the word wide web, pushed upon us via social media, repoted by TV and radio, or shouted on a tabloid headlines. Unfortunately, current K-12 and university educational institutions aren’t teaching critical thinking skills. The continued move toward standardized testing as a measure of an individual’s intelligence has left us with an entire generation unable to think for themselves and having no idea where to go to get the information they need to make a good decision.

OK, now you are sitting here asking yourself if what I have just written is true or false. Well, I cannot tell you whether this is true or false for you. I can only tell you it is true for me but many will argue it is false. On what am I basing my opinion? My personal experience in the university system as I received a Master’s in 2013. We interacted with the K-12 system until three years ago when our youngest of three children graduated.

My personal experience during my undergraduate and graduate work was mostly positive. I only had a couple professors use their classroom lectures attempting to convince us there is only truth. Further, truth is unique and individualized. Meaning, in my humble opinion, that because there is no false, there is no right or wrong.

Those courses were the ones in which I had the most difficulty. It is amazing how, particularly as a student, professors penalize students with a different view than their own. Fortunately for me, I was able to argue both sides of the issue at hand and present my position while acknowledging the validity of other viewpoints.

I was a K-12 student prior to the institution of standardized testing to prove the effectiveness of teachers. For example, I disagreed with being taught the theory of evolution and was excused from the class during that segment. Instead I wrote a paper arguing the truth being the Biblical version of creation.

Today, should a student take this position, riducule and mockery would reign. I believe there are students who do believe the Biblical version of creation attending our schools but standing for what one believes is not considered a positive character trait. Instead, high value is placed on going with the flow.

We are creating generations of followers, those who believe what they are told without question and who resent questions.

Recently, there has been quite the hubbub in the news regarding Ms. Hilary Clinton. The FBI found she had broken the law but they aren’t going to charge her with any crime. The argument being, in this case, that she did not intend to commit a crime so her truth is she is not a criminal. However, had you or I done the things she has done, we would be arrested, tried, most likely convicted, and spend a significant amount of time in prison. Our truth would be we are criminal. Fortunately for me, this simple example proves false exists.

There is truth and there is false. There is right and there is wrong. Neither is subjective. We need to teach critical thinking, the ability to question information and make decisions based on reality rather than what they are spoon fed by media.

I realize this is not a popular opnion these days. Forgive me if I have offended you. My hope is you will question rather than simply believe what you hear on the news or read on the internet.


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