From: Miriam MacDonald

I have learned SO MUCH from your writings on your truthpizza website. You have given words to my ineloquent voice! I Have written so many letters to the editor, essays and such, trying so hard to express these very notions about personal and public responsibility to seek and know truth--as far as is possible. As a substitute teacher, my daily lessons and subjects vary but I am always motivated, regardless of topic or subject or grade, to create better citizens who are propaganda-savvy and aware. But the foremost reason for my letter is personal. I have been called a "mental bully" and, while believing it were true in some sense, I could not pinpoint how I manage to bully people in such a fashion. I also have some sort of "hang-up" about being intelligent -- at one moment, humble and grateful for my inate gift, while the next, weilding it like a tool of mass instruction! :-)

Then I read your writings about "critical thinking" and "responsible" thinking. When I discovered critical thinking in university, I excelled! And no one won an argument since. I also used my "skill" to bully others and shut down opinions, quiet voices. I am embarrassed to admit it, but now at least I realize what I have done -- and how, and using what tool. I aim not to rely on critical thinking (its like a game), but rather responsible thinking. This will make me a whole lot nicer to be around!

Thank you


I'm really pleased that you found my website to be valuable.

Critical thinking has so much to offer but far too often people seem to see it as a tool for winning arguments than a tool for getting at the truth. A few years ago some friends and I were involved in starting a critical thinking club. It was good to see people enthusiastic about critical thinking, but it was typical for people to say that they were anxious to learn critical thinking principles so they could use them to refute the arguments of people they disagreed with. I tried whenever I could to emphasize that it's our own beliefs that we should be most concerned about. Hopefully they took a little of what I had to say to heart, but it seemed like there was still a big temptation for many to spend their effort "winning" arguments.

It's great to hear that you're writing and teaching the sorts of things that encourage responsible thinking. Keep up the good work!

Thanks so much for your email and be sure to let me know if you have other thoughts and experiences you'd like to share.