The future of The Thinkery

Several years ago I created a critical thinking workshop and taught it a few times at my church, where I was an associate pastor. It quickly became clear that critical thinking skills are sorely needed (and not just in churches). I created a brand — The Thinkery — as a place where the workshop couldContinue reading “The future of The Thinkery”

This is a what?!

I took this picture yesterday. Nearly every day I take pictures in the woods and wetlands behind my house in the Pacific Northwest. I’m no John James Audubon or Bindi the Jungle Girl, but I am slowing learning to identify flora and fauna that I see on a regular basis. Of great help to meContinue reading “This is a what?!”

The white bird and the spies — I mean, birdwatchers

“You were right. It was an egret.” Mercedes greeted me this way when we met on the abandoned railroad track. Lest you think we are spies — exchanging passphrases as we rendezvous to hand over the microfilm — I’ll quickly let you know that those days are far behind me. But, seriously … Mercedes andContinue reading “The white bird and the spies — I mean, birdwatchers”

3 rewards in social media debates

How often do social media debates change someone’s mind? It’s nearly as rare as lightning striking a purple carrot during a solar eclipse. If we aim to convince someone else of our point of view, we don’t get very far, very often. That’s not necessarily an assessment of our argument skills; it’s just the wayContinue reading “3 rewards in social media debates”

Protesters are …

Protesters are … Black people are … White people are … Police officers are … Politicians are … Reporters are … Christians are … Muslims are … Jews are … Celebrities are … Men are … Women are … Americans are … If you’re about to end any of these sentences with something other thanContinue reading “Protesters are …”

Is faith rational? It depends.

“How well do CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] and religion mix? CBT is all about rationality, and religion is often about faith. The two seem kind of opposite. … CBT is … grounded in western empiracism and rationality, and faith is something that is very much different.” (Jason M. Satterfield • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques forContinue reading “Is faith rational? It depends.”

Winsome or lose some

If you want to push people away, shut them down, and make them dig their heels in … criticize them, not just their viewpoint or behavior get angry or impatient use sarcasm don’t play fair use deception If you want to draw people in, open them up, and maybe even persuade them of your wayContinue reading “Winsome or lose some”

Shoot first, and ask questions never?

“I’ve seen more _________ attack me for my decision to _________ than ask me why.” I read this in a news story yesterday. What goes in the blanks? birds / attempt flying elves / take down the Christmas lights fashion stylists / combine argyle with paisley I’ll leave you hanging, because it doesn’t really matter. Regardless ofContinue reading “Shoot first, and ask questions never?”

Pundit attacks comedian and loses — the argument

It was all going so well. A comedian tweeted his viewpoint regarding lockdown protesters. A pundit retweeted it, adding his viewpoint. The first two sentences comprised a valid argument. Then came the third sentence. “We can’t all be wealthy overrated comedians.” It took a hard turn from a valid argument straight into a personal attack.Continue reading “Pundit attacks comedian and loses — the argument”

4 ways to figure out what’s true and what isn’t

Feeling inundated with information about COVID-19? Before that, perhaps it was the impeachment or Brexit or The Bachelor finale. How do you know what bits of information are true? Here are a few ways to get closer to the truth about anything: 1 Consult multiple reliable sources. See where the consensus lies. 2 Use commonContinue reading “4 ways to figure out what’s true and what isn’t”