Beware of the “critical thinking” criticism

Critical thinking is good and great, especially if there is a ton of conflicting opinions around you, so if you’re an MRA, you shouldn’t blindly follow what your group says. However, too much critical thinking might actually be counterproductive to your MRA activism.

I think ideology and activism can be compared to scientific progress. According to the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, science doesn’t smoothly progress, it often has paradigm shifts (example: when classical physics were shown to be an approximation to relativistic physics, or when it was discovered that the Sun didn’t revolve around the Earth). Scientific progress could be describes like this:

pre-science –> normal science –> crisis –> revolution –> new normal science.

Pre-science is when it’s followers aren’t even in agreement about the fundamentals of it, and it isn’t very effective at solving practical problems.  Normal science is when its members are in agreement about fundamentals, experimental methods and standards about what is scientific and reasonable. At the same time, followers of normal science (normal scientists) are pretty unquestioning about all those things, and only start to question them if there is a crisis – that situation when your theories just don’t fit with observable reality. Despite that, normal science is pretty effective at solving practical problems and getting somewhere, precisely because its members work using the same rules and don’t spend tons of time questioning them.

For ideology, it means that critical thinking is important, but too much of it stops you from progressing and working under the same rules/assumptions, and together. And to get anywhere, MRAs would need to collectively apply their efforts to the same problems. So think about this when someone says you agree too much with everyone else.


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5 Responses to Beware of the “critical thinking” criticism

  1. Samuel says:

    Good post, emma. My problem is that much of my theory is based in things that are unpopular to the point that my credibility gets attacked. My sources remain unrevealed to the masses.

    when you are right, you are right… and when something rings true, that’s great… but when it comes down to WHY something is right, that’s where I get tangled with most folks.

    I think critical thinking plagues many people kinda like “choice addiction” to the point that they never settle on any answers, and are therefore quite lost. I don’t have that problem, but the inflexibility of much of my theory does not please those who disagree.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      Oh, what’s your theory? What do you base your theory on, since people don’t find it credible?
      Also, thanks.
      I think I know what you mean with choice addiction. It’s that feeling where you have way too many choices and can’t settle on anything, right? I’m slightly in that position about many things, but a few I’ve gotten pretty sure about. I think more reading and research would solve this problem, for me and most people.

  2. Firepower says:

    ha – WHAT makes you think “mras”
    are capable of doing
    ANYTHING – but whining?

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