As has been authoritatively written, human thought (thinking) is the mental process in which memory forms psychological associations and models of the world. Thinking is managing information, such as concepts, problem solving and decision-making.
Before we proceed to our theme, viz., objective, or clear thought, we feel constrained to once more, refer to the 18th Century, English philosopher, John Locke. Locke declared that Man is born with a clean slate (which he termed, “tabula rasa”) and that he acquires (all of) his knowledge by his life experience (“empiricism”). This enlightened philosophy, to which, we fully, subscribe, leaves no room for irrational thought or inherited or transmitted beliefs. Thus, one’s life involves an ongoing process of learning and is factual and anecdotal (presumably, including human emotion).
After much initial frustrating and disappointing attempts at some cogent analysis, we have fundamentally, concluded, that much of our Nation’s (and democracy’s) problems have, as their foundation, a too-ready believability, or instinctive gullibility, of a vast segment of the American society. In addition to this human weakness, there are many other individuals, who are inclined to support a particular mode of thought, because it happens to be, in accord with their religious beliefs. This latter inclination, by illustration, may explain the ardent passion of those, of the Christian right to, eternally, oppose a woman’s right to abortion. Many beliefs are irrationally, maintained, not because they have merit, but because they “seem right.” For this reason, individuals find it unseemly, or improper, to deign to question, the existence of a Deity.
It is a matter of public record that many citizens, most especially, members of the extreme right, have declared and circulated (perhaps, even believed) an entire plethora of bizarre conspiratorial ideations, which may, properly and clinically, be ascribed to schizophrenia or paranoia. These delusions are taken as valid by those whose political persuasion induced them, as fellow party members, to loyally subscribe to a (their) groupthink. An important caveat is that to make rational decisions, one must have sufficient confidence in himself and in his ability to accurately, see the world.
We would be overjoyed to observe the decline of ignorant, irrational thought in society; however, such subjective (irrational) mode of thought seems, unhappily, to be flourishing. The popular admonition, “Do not believe propaganda,” is of no practical utility, unless one has the ability to distinguish empirical fact from the tactical falsity.
We need to efficiently, promote a universal respect for science, for legitimate, newspaper media, for academia and scholarship, for the maintenance of our democratic government, with its Constitutional checks and balances, and, most significantly, the existential importance and positive utility of rational thought, to achieve human progress in understanding, health, interpersonal relations, and, to enhance the quality of human life.
It is certainly conceivable, that we may be able to, include, as a vital part of our educational system, the useful and important subject of the fundamental and existential necessity for rational thought.