Good Thinking

Good Thinking

There are two types of thinker in this world. There are those who simply accept what they hear. They are destined to hear claim, counter claim and continually change their mind, never knowing what they know. There are those who hear the noise of 'experts' and politicians disagreeing and become sceptical, doubting everything and assuming all around is lies. This section aims to provide you with a tool kit to healthy scepticism. When the facts change you should change your mind but only if you have weighed the evidence and spotted the lies, half truths and deception.

Even if it they are unstated, all arguments have assumptions (premises) that they start with and work their way through logical steps to a conclusion.

To be valid an argument just needs to be logically consistent e.g. people who wear glasses are geeks, John wears glasses, therefore John is a geek. This is a perfectly valid argument but it is also a false argument because the premise (that people who wear glasses are geeks) is not correct. It is always important to examine the premise of an argument before accepting it but even if the premise is correct, the argument could still fall flat.

 Some people, perhaps many people find numbers terrifying. For others they are just ‘not good at maths’. The bad news is that there are lots of people out there who will use that, deliberately or accidently, to blind you with figures and convince you what they are saying must be right. The good news is that with a bit of thinking and a little help from us, even those of you who consider themselves number phobic will be able to spot the common disguises the unscrupulous use and ask the right questions.

There are lots of tools in the pseudo-scientist’s arsenal but here are 3:

Sometime in early November each year, the UK ‘celebrates’ equal pay day. Promoted by the Fawcett Society, this is the day each year from which women are effectively working for free, or to put it another way: on average, men earn so much more than women that they could stop working for the rest of the year and still earn the same as their female counterparts.