A Strategy for Promoting Responsible Thinking
Most of the topics covered in this website are not difficult to understand, and if a substantial percentage of the people in the world had a reasonable grasp of them, I believe much of the strife in the world would be eliminated. These topics are not particularly controversial, and require no belief in any arbitrary dogma. They should not be a threat to any existing beliefs unless those beliefs happen to be false. Despite this, many of these principles are not widely taught in schools, and in fact are often not widely known even among well educated people. I believe, however, that most people who are intelligent, philosophical, and concerned about the public interest will agree that the sort of knowledge discussed here ought to be more widely known. We must count on the efforts of such people to promote the widespread teaching of responsible thinking principles in the schools.
These things cannot be taught in the grade schools until they are well understood by the teachers, which will require various programs of teacher education. This will take time, but like other newly emerging subjects, computers for example, our educational system can be modified to incorporate them. It is already recognized by many who are involved with science education that teaching the methods of science needs to be emphasized more than teaching the facts of science.
We should not just teach the principles of critical thinking, but must also teach the dangers of untrue beliefs. As time goes by there will be new ploys devised by those who would deceive us, and we will need to modify education accordingly. As long as intelligent people who care about the truth are involved in curriculum decisions, we can keep up with new challenges.
Naturally not every student will become an expert at
critical thinking, but if a substantial number are somewhat more aware,
they will be able to turn the tide on some important issues for the
better. We have come to accept principles such as freedom and democracy
as essential values in our society. If truth and
responsible thinking could achieve a similar status, the benefits to
humanity could be profound.