Rigger or Riggee: Do to or done to I go to a Poker Parlor for the first time and sit down at the table to play a bit of poker. Two hours later I leave the game fleeced. After a couple of experiences similar to this I recognize I must better learn the rules of this game. I diligently study the rules of the game and return to the game to find that while I am not fleeced as quickly as before, I am fleeced more slowly but continuously. I was puzzled until I conclude that perhaps the fleecing results because of the nature of the game and of those rigging the game. I discover that I am being fleeced consistently because the people running the game also have the ability to reason; like the bull fight, if the bull does not learn to “see” the Matador he shall always end up as hamburger. When I learned this I decide that I too shall become a rigger of games and thus fleece others who are ignorant of the facts. Later I decide that I do not wish to be either a rigger or a riggee. The rigger of the ‘game of living’ is the predator and we are its prey. We must adapt. We must now be able to match our reasoning ability against those with reasoning ability that wish to take advantage of us. The rigger of the game understands that s/he who is more skilled at reasoning can fleece those less skilled at reasoning. Reasoning is a human ability that can be studied and improved. One can become better at reasoning just as one can become better at dealing with quantity. When I learned arithmetic I became better at dealing with quantity. When I study critical thinking I become better at reasoning. When I study the rules of the poker game I become a better poker player. When I study the science of reasoning—CT (Critical Thinking)—I become a better thinker; I become better at understanding the complexity of the human intellect. It would also help if I become knowledgeable about how the human psyche works, i.e. if I learn a bit of psychology. Our educational system is attempting, slowly and without much success, to teach our youngsters the science of reasoning—CT. We adults were not taught CT and thus do not recognize its importance. If we taught ourselves CT we would recognize its importance and its importance to our children. Those who rig the game of life understand the importance of learning the science of reason and use this knowledge to fleece us and will continue to do so to our children. Learn something about critical thinking and you will better understand this message. The books are there at your local community college library or at your local bookstore. You don’t know what you don’t know. What you don’t know can hurt you. Read a book on CT. You might open up a new worldview. The uncritical viewer cannot see beyond the surface appearance. ------ CT is an acronym for Critical Thinking. Everybody considers themselves to be a critical thinker. That is why we need to differentiate among different levels of critical thinking. Most people fall in the category that I call Reagan thinkers—trust but verify. Then there are those who have taken the basic college course taught by the philosophy dept that I call Logic 101. This is a credit course that teaches the basic principles of reasoning. Of course, a person need not take the college course and can learn the matter on their own effort, but I suspect few do that. The third level I call CT (Critical Thinking). CT includes the knowledge of Logic 101 and also the knowledge that focuses upon the intellectual character and attitude of critical thinking. It includes knowledge regarding the ego and social centric forces that impede rational thinking. Most decisions we have to make are judgment calls. A judgment call is made when we must make a decision when there is no “true” or “false” answers. When we make a judgment call our decision is bad, good, or better. Many factors are involved: there are the available facts, assumptions, skills, knowledge, and especially personal experience and attitude. I think that the two most important elements in the mix are personal experience and attitude. When we study math we learn how to use various algorithms to facilitate our skill in dealing with quantities. If we never studied math we could deal with quantity on a primary level but our quantifying ability would be minimal. Likewise with making judgments; if we study the art and science of good judgment we can make better decisions and if we never study the art and science of judgment our decision ability will remain minimal. I am convinced that a fundamental problem we have in this country (USA) is that our citizens have never learned the art and science of good judgment. Before the recent introduction of CT into our schools and colleges our young people have been taught primarily what to think and not how to think. All of us graduated with insufficient comprehension of the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary for the formulation of good judgment. The result of this inability to make good judgment is evident and is dangerous. I am primarily interested in the judgment that adults exercise in regard to public issues. Of course, any improvement in judgment generally will affect both personal and community matters. To put the matter into a nut shell: Normal men and women can significantly improve their ability to make judgments. CT is the domain of knowledge that delineates the knowledge, skills, and intellectual character demanded for good judgment. CT has been introduced into our schools and colleges slowly in the last two or three decades. Few of today’s adults were ever taught CT. I suspect that at least another two generations will pass before our society reaps significant rewards resulting from teaching CT to our children. Can our democracy survive that long? I think that every effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they need to study and learn CT on their own. I am not suggesting that adults find a teacher but I am suggesting that adults become self-actualizing learners. I am convinced that learning the art and science of Critical Thinking is an important step toward becoming a better citizen in today’s democratic society.