There are several ways to grow intellectually as a beginning thinker. Traits are a part of our thought process. I’ve learned that intellectual traits are characteristics of a fairminded critical thinker. You have to realize that practice makes a perfect critical thinker. The process of independently analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information as a guide to behavior and beliefs is what is thought to be a critical thinker. Critical thinking is that method of thinking about any subject, content, or problem in which the thinker increases the quality of his or her thinking by proficiently taking charge of the structures essential in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them. The standards of thinking to the elements of thinking result in the development of intellectual traits. The trait I’ll focus on is intellectual humility. A person that thinks he or she knows everything doesn’t possess the trait of intellectual humility.
Intellectual humility is having an awareness of the limits of your knowledge. Intellectual humility depends on realizing that you should not claim more than what you actually know. It does not infer spinelessness or submissiveness. It denotes the lack of intellectual self-importance, bragging, or arrogance, combined with insight into the logical foundations, or lack of such foundations, of your beliefs.
Native egocentrism can characterized as being boastful, arrogant and conceited. For example, if a known A student steps into a classroom before taking an exam, bragging about he knows his grade already. He also boasts about his pretentious grade and looks down on other student, that’s being egocentrism. Egocentrism serves as our default mind when our rational mind is underdeveloped or not engaged. The human mind has an instinctive tendency towards irrationality but the native capacity of our mind is rational. The natural mind is not concerned with the rights or needs of others. The more a thinker knows about native egocentrism, the better he or she can recognize it within themselves.
There are times when a person’s opinion can really make the beginning thinker uncomfortable. During the learning process of becoming a good thinker, you have to understand and be empathetic of different people’s point of views. For instance, you may meet a lady on the street who’s ministering for her church. She approaches you and tries to give you a pamphlet. Being that you’re an atheist and really didn’t want to be bothered with her or the literature, you engage in a biblical debate that last for hours. If you’re learning to become a good thinker, respect the lady’s opinion while being respectful of her views. There are ways to tolerate people’s opinion. Seek to understand different views, never say the other person is wrong based on your ideas, use patients, avoid arrogance and use respect.
Recognizing my prejudices is more than an organizational goal; it needs to be a personal goal for everyone. There are things we can do...