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Question: It is in the government's interest to foster a nation of critical thinkers.  (Voting closed: July 03, 2009, 09:28:25 AM)
True - 3 (60%)
False - 2 (40%)
Total Voters: 5

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South African government and national sceptical ability

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Rigil Kent
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« on: June 26, 2009, 09:28:25 AM »

Our constitution now guarantees freedoms unheard of in the recent past, and leaves more decisions up to the individual. But is there anything that the government can gain from nurturing a sceptical public, and is it therefore likely to promote critical thinking amongst South-Africans?

I think yes. By teaching critical thinking, people are likely to make more informed and logical decisions which will surely stimulate the economy. The government will benefit from a stimulated economy, and will be perceived as progressive, and get voted for again.

Mintaka
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Owen Swart
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 10:39:43 AM »

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I think there's a considerable risk for an ANC-led government to promote critical thinking and scepticism. The last thing they want is their supporters questioning their promises and decrees. That's the sort of thing that loses elections before "Jesus returns".
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Barryl
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 11:30:18 AM »

Quote
But is there anything that the government can gain from nurturing a sceptical public, and is it therefore likely to promote critical thinking amongst South-Africans?


In my opinion there are two sides to this motion.

1. If you foster and promote critical thinking amongst the citizens of a country it will eventually lead to a more advanced society with resultant economic and
   other benefits. Hopefully also a society with good moral and ethical values.

2. On the counter side power-hungry governments will not be inclined to  relinquish their power. And if they come to realize that a society may become
   autonomous in their thinking by becoming critical thinkers, they may just change their mind about promoting such thinking. 

But I get the feeling that the government has come to realize that they should not cook the proverbial goose, rather nurture him and in that way we all score.


Critical and Creative thinking should, I think, be introduced as a school subject in South Africa. The great guru on this subject is Dr Edward de Bono.
He has been promoting the idea of "thinking clubs/groups" where a small number of people gather to practice and acquire the skill of thinking (not debate). He has been instrumental to having "thinking"  introduced as a school subject in Venezuela and (I forget) some other countries. He is also being contracted by Australian cricket.

Metaphorically speaking, just look at the recipes used by highly successful countries.

Refer: Edward de Bono: "De Bono's Thinking Course"
      www.edwdebono.com/

Barryl
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2009, 14:52:55 PM »

Quote
At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I think there's a considerable risk for an ANC-led government to promote critical thinking and scepticism. The last thing they want is their supporters questioning their promises and decrees. That's the sort of thing that loses elections before "Jesus returns
Any clear headed voter will not vote for this incompetent bunch so the last thing they want is a nation of sceptics
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Mefiante
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 22:23:04 PM »

As a matter of fact, whether they actually realise it or not, it is in any government’s interests to foster a populace capable of consequent and critical thinking for the simple reason that it is the surest path to all-round prosperity, which in turn makes governing easier because prosperous people demand less interference by and help from their governments.  However, seeing the bigger picture is not usually prominent among governments’ abilities.

'Luthon64
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Barryl
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 10:07:43 AM »

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is there anything that the government can gain from nurturing a sceptical public, and is it therefore likely to promote critical thinking amongst South-Africans?
We all know that a government can gain when it's a win-win situation which could and would manifest through proper education and sceptical analytical thinking.
Whilst this is plausible in a first world situation I doubt if such promotion would materialize in South Africa. In his book "Capitalist Nigger" Chika Onyeani says "I believe I have successfully established and defended my thesis that the Black Race is a nonproductive but rather a consumer race."
By the very nature of the majority of peoples who inhabit and govern this country I can not see that a motion for fostering sceptical thinking will be initiated by the present government. And should they ever mention such intention it would be rhetorical.

To digress from the topic I stress the point:That it is a priority for the SA government  to take an audit of it's weaknesses (relating to service providing) And to foster and nurture a good ethical society; and to instil such qualities as responsibility, conscientiousness, diligence and puntuality in its citizens.

Barryl
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