Thinking About Theist Thinking


The aim of this post to describe three different modes of thinking (analytically, cogently, and critically), and to provide examples of theists who fail in one or more such modes.

Analytical Thinking

This refers to the process of looking at a situation, and analysing it into its component parts. The choice for the word “analysis” comes from such activities as forensic chemists analysing the constituents of a powder that they have been given, and systems analysts breaking down the activities of a business into its component parts.

One result of a failure to think analytically is to conflate things that are quite different from each other.

A favourite is to conflate facts with evidence. Just by way of a re-cap, a fact is a confirmed observation, and evidence is a collection of arguments based on facts (and usually in support of a hypothesis). Here we have a wonderful example of facts being conflated with evidence:conflate_1

Another is to conflate legal evidence with scientific evidence, as illustrated in this exchange:conflate_2

Cogent Thinking

Cogent thinking refers to the process of being able to draw inferences without making an error of logic.

The paradigm that best illustrates this in theists is the “No watch without a watchmaker, therefor God” example:incogency_1 This the logical fallacy of false analogy.

Another example is “Mine is the one true god”:incogency_2which is a wonderful example of the logical fallacy of special pleading.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is about identifying and challenging assumptions and hidden agendas.

This is a classic example of somebody who assumes that he is correct about atheism:naive_2

Many Muslims also assume that there is such as thing as a “soul” to which this seems to be an appropriate response:naive_1


It comes as no surprise to me that people who lack these thinking skills are easy prey for religious charlatans wanting to relieve them of their money!


About notoreligion

I was a victim of religious predators as a child. I am here to oppose their ongoing evil.
This entry was posted in christianity, religion, thinking. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Thinking About Theist Thinking

  1. Pingback: A Flock of Sheep, An Irrationality of Theists | notoreligion

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