Here's a fun site:
About Less WrongIt's kind of off-topic, but still relevant to the general topic of reasoning and logic.
Interested in improving your reasoning and decision-making skills? Then you've come to the right place.
Less Wrong is a large, active website for people who try to think rationally. To get a quick idea of why rationality is important and how to develop it, try reading Your Intuitions Are Not Magic, The Cognitive Science of Rationality, or What I've Learned From Less Wrong.
I would suggest, given our natural human irrationality, that it is not off-topic at all.
We have to learn
to use rational-critical thinking. It's not something we are born with, but a skill that we have to learn - like riding a bike. That's why they started teaching it as an "O" (Ordinary) Level syllabus in UK secondary schools some years back (better late than never). They found - perhaps unsurprisingly - that it was definitely a transferable
skill and that it helped students to not only improve their grades in other "O" Level subjects, but also to be able to better cope with university 101 material.
I gathered from my reading that the idea for introducing it to secondary schools was partly because the results of tests on student intake to universities showed that they lacked (amongst other things) rational-critical thinking skills - so, to work around the problem, universities started teaching it as part of entrance foundation courses at university and then later addressed the problem directly by shifting the rational-critical thinking training to secondary level. That way, all children could thus benefit, whether they went on to university or not, and, as I noted above, they found that it was a transferable skill that benefited secondary student grades on other "O" Level subjects.
You arguably could not have
a rational discussion about Peer Review and the Scientific Process
if you were not employing critical thinking - i.e., reasoning and logic.
I have used that site you point to (http://lesswrong.com/
) quite a bit, to check/help improve my own reasoning skills, and have pointed other people (including my then 11 y/o daughter) to it as well. It's rather useful.
To understand a deeper potential significance of this, consider The Parable of the Talents
(Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28). In this case, the Intellect
is one of our servants.
Why would we deliberately continue to squander, cripple or imprison our intellects in ignorance, shuttering it up, uneducated, in a dark box, throughout the duration of our lives, when once we can understand this simple truth: that everything of ourselves has been given to us - a gift of Life - and that it is up to us to make the fullest use of our gifts, and that it is never
too late to start?
As I wrote above:
"However, the depressing reality seems too often to be that many people are so unable to think rationally for themselves that they seem gullible to this kind of barrage of logical fallacy. One's head would be full of a confusing and probably conflicting mass of invalid premises, with ergo no real knowledge or understanding of truth."
This is a very old
idea and the stuff of wisdom. Fiat lux
- literally, "Let there be light".
From the third verse of the Book of Genesis. In the King James Bible, it reads, in context:
- 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- 1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
- 1:3 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- 1:4 - And God saw the light, and it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
I would prefer to exist in the light, and am still working on it.