Here is the conclusion of Debbie Aliya's series on critical thinking.

The Power of Critical Thinking

Real critical thinking allows us to see the world in a new light. This allows new ideas, new solutions to problems (both new and old) and facilitates the transformation of ideas into reality. Of course, this produces baleful and beneficial outcomes, and it’s not always obvious which group any specific outcome might fall within.

That is the nature of the human condition. We’re always creating unintended consequences. What was good at one time, or in one place, becomes a dead weight tying us to traditions, habits and beliefs that hold us back in the following age. Critical thinking is hard work. Unless you are a comedian, making fun of people for making bad decisions is not usually the most fruitful way to promote the use of critical thinking.

Critical thinking is based on thoughtful inquiry and doubt. Simple rejection of a consensual theory or set of data in favor of some arbitrarily defined opposite theory or data set is not critical thinking. It could be considered rational thinking, which is based on comparing and contrasting. Considering the opposite is a legitimate and often even desirable activity is not critical thinking! 


In order to master critical thinking, we need a way to evaluate the truth claims that underlie our logical constructions. The first aspect of this is determining when to QUESTION the context.

If logic assumes that the given is correct, critical thinking assumes that there’s likely a reason to doubt the given as given. We are not to necessarily doubt that the truth claims are ever true, but doubt that they are applicable in the particular situation.

Doing critical thinking in an effective manner requires learning to recognize suspicious facts. Doing critical thinking in a masterly manner eventually requires questioning the nature of the underlying assumptions that the majority of people around us take for granted.