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OPINION

The decline of thinking

By Bradley R. Gitz

This article was published April 3, 2017 at 2:21 a.m.

A recent Martin Center essay by Rob Jenkins, "Why College Graduates Still Can't Think," addresses a contradiction--the claim by colleges that they go to great lengths to instill "critical thinking" in their students and a growing number of research studies and employer surveys suggesting that the diplomas they award no longer certify the acquisition of that ability.

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RBear says... April 3, 2017 at 7:21 a.m.

So I read Jenkins' piece and will give Gitz some credit on this one. I agree that it's important for students to accept and rationalize over differing viewpoints, but I don't think liberal arts departments are shunning those with opposing views so much as performing some vetting of extremism. Take, for example, Richard Spencer. Should he be given a platform to express his racist views on a college campus? In Gitz's academic world, yes. But is that really constructive? I mean, if we are going to slide down that slippery slope, why not teach Mein Kampf in schools?
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To go a step further, while Gitz likes to attack liberal institutions when's the last time a conservative school like Liberty University offered critical thinking on liberal subjects? When have we ever seen some of the conservative schools offer time for liberal viewpoints? The pendulum swings both ways Mr. Gitz and the fact you don't recognize that seems to show you're really incapable of critical thinking yourself.
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The day you call that out about the conservative schools will be the day I think you've finally arrived at this utopic state you preach about.

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3WorldState1 says... April 3, 2017 at 8:21 a.m.

Good point Bear. You never hear a liberal side speak to a conservative school. Almost never. B. Sanders I think was the most "radical" speaker Liberty ever had.
I listen to conservative radio all the time and there is almost NEVER any dissent in callers (Actually, it's been years since I have heard any). When I listen to NPR, they always take people's calls that have differing views on both sides. The question is, why is that?
I'll tell you. Because one is truthful and real, the other IS fake and based on a very weak foundation. This is why you can have no other view point. Their line of reason breaks down even under limited push back. .

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Delta123 says... April 3, 2017 at 8:40 a.m.

I believe that Dr. Gitz hit the nail on the head here.

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betheverett says... April 3, 2017 at 11:31 a.m.

Thank you Bradley Gitz

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JakeTidmore says... April 3, 2017 at 11:51 a.m.

Excellent reply RBear. As usual, you go to the deeper questions that people find much more difficult to consider, much less answer.

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idratherbesailing says... April 3, 2017 at 12:09 p.m.

Although RBear may be somewhat disingenuous in his stating that LIBARTS is just 'vetting' opposing views, it is perhaps actually the fact that he cannot distinguish between what's an extremist view and what is not. I would posit that, like most liberals, it's the latter. They appear to feel that literally nearly ANY view that opposes their own is not just 'extremist' but also racist, sexist, etc. 'ist'. Can we NOT have a discussion here (or anywhere) about the difficulty in reconciling the fact that the Muslim 'religion' apparently begats vicious extremism for the majority of it's believers? No? I thought not - thus my point proved. Gitz 1, libtards 0.

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JakeTidmore says... April 3, 2017 at 1:09 p.m.

i'd rather be sailing would make a lousy soldier. He closes his argument by firing his gun haphazardly into the air and claiming that he has won the battle. A loser is often prone to say, "I said I won therefore I won!" The use of the ad hominem label "libtard" is another loser tactic (rather than develop a clear line of reasoning and fact, just toss out a hot button label that inflames both sides).
Nothing seems to capture the foolishness of online debate better than the tale of the seven blind men describing an elephant. Given just a minimum of information, each makes an observation that logically seems true, but is in fact false when one sees the whole picture.

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RBear says... April 3, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.

ROTFL @ JakeTidmore. You hit the nail on the head with Mr. Sailing. I think he answered his own question with regards to intolerance of viewpoints in his comment. Amazing when they trip over their words trying to make a point.

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TimberTopper says... April 3, 2017 at 3:42 p.m.

I have certainly thought on more than one occasion that Bradley has this problem.

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Packman says... April 3, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

Hey RBear - Your comments about Richard Spencer supports Dr. Gitz's argument. That this never crossed your mind illustrates the precise lack of critical thought mentioned by Dr. Gitz.
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Who are YOU to pronounce Richard Spencer's views as "racist"? Why not let others hear what he has to say and allow them to make up their minds for themselves? What's constructive is allowing folks to make up their own minds instead of folks like you making it up for them.
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As an aside, any college that offers a degree in anything that ends in the word "Studies" should be ineligible to receive taxpayer dollars.

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