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Derek Best has contributed to several publications, including Macleans Magazine Canada, and Omni Magazine, USA. He is has also produced many documentary films for Television. For many years, he has been interested in A Course in Miracles, a metaphysical thought system, and maintains the official website for that organization. "ACIM", he says "is central to my personal way of seeing the world." This site is strictly personal however. Derek has an eclectic range of interests, and writes about them here as the mood strikes him.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Critical Thinking

I took only one course at college this past semester, to remain on the books as an active student while thinking a lot about what I want to do in the future. Last semester I took 5 courses (and made the Dean's list... yeaah!), but the second half of the semester was a struggle with relevance. The thing is that the philosophy dept of this university, and (I'm told) most modern universities, is profoundly secular - in fact outright atheistic. An atheistic framework means not only is the curriculum slanted against faith, but even the modes of inquiry (the tools of the trade) are biased. Modern universities seem to worship "critical thinking", which is an excellent way of analyzing the form of the illusion -- but not the content. By restricting the currency of truth in this way, the truth is inherently equated with the scarcity principle. Truth, in a nutshell is all about "If this then that." "If not that therefore this." The rules and restrictions are precisely aligned with experience. Other modes of discourse are ridiculed if they might contradict experience. So it is a rather self-serving little Flatland of two-dimensional rules and possibilities. Nothing else is allowed the possibility of existence because nothing else can be perceived or deduced. It is a confining all, and all can be explained or should be explicable by some subset or aspect of this all. That which cannot is not fact, therefore not truth. This is the church of critical thinking. Such belief in scarcity is not belief in God for the two are incompatible. So I find myself asking rather sadly: do I want or need to continue such a line of study? It is without meaning, and can have no ultimate outcome. This semester I studied simple college physics - which was refreshing because at least it knows its limitations. It only claims to be about the measurable aspects of illusion. Learning about it is a pleasant mental excursion, like solving a crossword.