First, our minds need knowledge. Knowledge in the mind is like data in a computer. A computer without any data in its software programs is useless and tells us nothing. It has nothing to work on or with. And a computer with all the wrong data is worse. It is misleading at best. Our minds will work with the wrong data, but we are led into error. We need to start the journey with solid, truthful knowledge to guide our minds. This is where the work begins. Equipping our minds for life’s journey is a priority.
How Is Sound Knowledge Found for Equipping Our Minds?
First, by understanding if the source of the knowledge is reliable.
We should also ask whether it can be verified if needed. What kind of evidence is available to support it?
- We need to hear both the pros and cons from opposing sources and wrestle with which is right. We may need to check recommendations and the reasons why they were given.
- Reading widely in fields related to the subject is essential to a thorough evaluation.
- Don’t fear thinking beyond your established beliefs. Truth is not afraid of questions. And it will always defend itself.
- Degrees or titles don’t necessarily make a wise person or even one that can reason reliably, So beware of the source that defends its opinions with its title or degrees. Trusting self-styled experts is a tricky activity.
Second, there are ways of sorting out truth from error that don’t depend on having to believe a source.
A child or adult should learn the following methods for starters, building on the ways they will be able to detect a possible error.
- We can ask: Does it make sense? Is it contradicting common sense?
- Also, we can ask: Does it contradict what we know already is reliable information? If so, we are flagged to think more about it and search for why it is a contradiction. Is it inadequately supported by evidence?
- Is it giving us conclusions and assumptions that are only hypothetical answers? Or is it relying on facts that can be verified? Basing beliefs on assumptions is a common way of convincing gullible people. We should not believe theories or assumptions without evidence beyond reasonable doubt that supports these assumptions.
- Have the conclusions been reached by the process of sound reasoning? Therefore, ask: Is the reasoning logical or illogical. Always follow the useful rules of logic when considering an argument. All good thinking must follow rules that identify what makes sense and discerning truth from error.
There are other ways of determining truth from falsehood, but these will give most people a good start. We will be looking at these and other measures in our examination of what we can be certain about in future articles.
Equipping Our Minds Includes Our Certainty About Important Subjects
Some important subjects for all of us to explore are things that affect the success or failure of our lives.
- We must know and understand ourselves.
- Also, we must know our world, including deciding on our “worldview.”
- Certainty about the people in our lives and the beliefs and values we want to teach is mandatory
- How to make and keep good relationships will be a major skill for life
- Knowing how to think successfully and not be fooled by crooked thinking is a critical skill.
- Last, but certainly not least, we must certainly develop beliefs that we have examined and found to be true as they can aid us with the more complex questions that life throws at us.
As we think, we must first have things we know to be true —facts not fiction. If we start with fiction or opinion we may never find the truth. Assumptions are not facts. Theories are not facts. Imagining things does not lead to sound conclusions. We must begin with facts that are based on adequate evidence.
Avoid the Pit of Crooked Thinking
Learn, as well, the rules of straight thinking and don’t fall into the pit of crooked thinking. Parents are reaching out for help. And the help begins with straight and sound thinking that they can pass on to their children. We all deserve to find the truth.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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DISCOVER THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE!
Lean into the whole truth by discovering the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are. Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth. Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide that help. If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation and an InnerKinetics consultant will call you to answer questions and schedule your meeting. Schedule an Initial Consultation. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.