Thinking For Ourselves: A Word of Encouragement

Opening Note: Don’t miss the book recommendations on Critical Thinking at the bottom of the page!

We’ve all seen those ‘questionable’ questions posted in various places on the net.Why do I call them questionable? Well, depending upon the question’s complexity, I wonder if the person posting it has given the matter any thought for themselves. Perhaps they only want a second opinion or, are simply curious about what others think. After all, two heads are better, right? There is safety in a multitude of counselors, correct?

Well, if a person’s goal is to humbly acquire verification from the “brain trust” at large, I understand and applaud him/her. Yet, if the questioner is prematurely assuming they cannot answer for themselves, I feel they are either selling themselves short or perhaps being a little lazy. Okay, those last few words sounded a little harsh. Take a minute to huff and sigh and then please bear with me.


I can already hear people saying, “But wait a minute, David Ragland! The intellectuals of the world are gifted by God to answer questions for us!”

Okay, let’s talk about intellectuals a bit.

1.) Intellectuals are people using their intelligence and thinking as a professional or as an individual. They generally work in such an environment such as academics wherein their mind is the key player involving learning, critical thinking and analysis, researching and reasoning.

2.) Their skills are required in many different fields like literature, medicine, law and scientific research. Intellectuals demonstrate the capacity to show the different aspects of human thinking and try to focus on the value of thinking.

To be sure, intellectuals play a positive, critical role in humanity’s development. Where would we be, if not for the many men and women who’ve solved myriad problems? And I agree with the assertion that many of them are/were intellectually gifted by God. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator. Yet many will say that the truly great intellectuals were given a little something extra between the ears by our Creator and placed amongst us for a purpose.

And yet . . .

What ‘really’ separates the “Critical Thinker” from the average person? Is it in how they train their minds or, is the intellectual simply different by birth? Wait! Perhaps it is both those things! That is, are intellectuals born or made? I believe that, just as a person of average physical ability can become an athlete, a person of average intellectual ability can become a good critical thinker. Think I’m wrong on that? Well, why don’t you just ‘think’ about that before you answer?  Oh, and pick one or more of the below recommended books or a book(s) like them and READ.

“I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.”    ~ Thomas Jefferson

Final note: Blessed is the one who finds wisdom (Proverbs 3:13-18) And we cannot find wisdom if we don’t use our brains!

Book recommendations:

1.) The Holy Bible – The most thought-provoking book ever written!
2.) Critical Thinking: Powerful Strategies That Will Make You Improve Decisions And Think Smarter
3.) How to Think Clearly: A Guide to Critical Thinking
4.) Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies

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