. Making decisions in everyday life seems like an automatic process however there are a number of judgments, opinions and knowledge that is required before one has the ability to have the free will to make decisions. The following essay asks to give examples of how one uses various methods and concepts to critically assess situations and to form thoughts or to make judgements between perception and reality.
Creative and Critical Thinking
The Rwandan Civil War is an issue of public interest in which creative and critical thinking could have resulted in a better outcome. The Rwandan President Paul Kagame had been portrayed as the president that saved the Tutsis and the country from genocide after his forces entered the country. The President has a close relationship with former President Tony Blair who is an unpaid advisor to the President. Blair has given praise to the President for bringing stability to Rwanda and the UK is one of the country’s main sources of aid. At the time of the war, Paul Kagame was the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and it is suspected that he knew about the plane crash that killed outgoing president Juvénal Habyarimana after being shot down. This incident was the beginning of a war where Hutus killed a huge number of Tutsi. It was widely believed that Kagame bought an end to the genocide with a military victory. However, evidence has shown that the RPC were responsible for killing of innocent civilians and refugees that were fleeing from the country. He has dealt with unfavourable criticism and research into the genocide during his presidency by accusing critics of ‘genocide denial’ which is a serious crime in the country and has given further legitimacy to his power and government.
Critical thinking by the UN and western powers at the early stages of the investigation of the president would have meant that a better assessment of laws created by the UN and the role of western leaders in the war. It may have prevented a close relationship with the west that would ensure a steady stream of aid to a dictatorship. Creative thinking would of generated alternative solutions that may have prevented the critical response of the media and the public to the UK’s aid program and Blaire’s relationship to the President.
Free will, truth, knowledge, and opinion.
‘Truth’ is a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle or the like. ‘Free will’ is free and independent choice and the ability to make voluntary decisions. ‘Knowledge’ is an acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles as from study or investigation; general erudition and ‘opinion’ is a personal view, attitude or appraisal. Our thoughts are formed by our ‘knowledge’ of an issue or facts and assessing ‘opinions’ to come up with statements of ‘truth’ or other ‘opinions’. The amount of ‘free will’ determines how well people critically assess situations. The less ‘free will’, the more distorted ‘truth’ and ‘opinions’ become resulting in ‘knowledge’ that is also distorted. The more ‘knowledge’ and ‘opinions’ that is ‘truth’; the more ‘knowledge’ that is acquired that is ‘truth’ and real not distorted.
Hindrances to Critical Thinking
A lack of ‘free will’ is one hindrance to critical thinking. If a person is unable to access ‘knowledge’ that is ‘truth’ or if they are forced to acquire alternative ‘knowledge’ or ‘truth’ than critical thinking will not be correct. The same happens if there is silence about the ‘truth’. One method is to ask oneself if ‘free will’ is an actual ‘truth’ and reality before critical thinking or to ask other opinions. A lack of ‘knowledge’ is another hindrance to critical thinking. If one does not have enough ‘knowledge’ then it is impossible to give an ‘opinion’ or to come to the ‘truth’. One must acquire more knowledge through research or opinions to solve such a hindrance. Too many ‘opinions’ are a hindrance to the critical thinking process because it can interrupt from finding true ‘knowledge’ or what is the real ‘truth’. Too many options can make it very difficult because it can take longer to make judgements.
As a student doing an essay there is too much knowledge and opinion to assess in the required word limit. One has to choose the opinion and knowledge that is the closest to the truth or thesis statement. Selecting such information requires objectivity by detaching from the opinion or knowledge and asking oneself “Is this knowledge or opinion bias, well researched and does it best explain the thesis”.
Perception and Reality of Advertising
A billboard has the message “share happiness” with a hand holding a two litre bottle of coke that is being poured into three Coca Cola glasses. A first reaction to the message of the billboard is acquiring ‘knowledge’ of the colour, product and how the product is poured to make a judgement that this billboard is Coca Cola. When looking at the words “share happiness” however, one has to be objective about the ‘truth’ of this statement and ask if this is really a good way to share happiness? One has to critically assess the product and use knowledge to determine if the product is bad for health and the environment but is a good social drink with friends occasionally. ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Free Will’ helps to make an ‘opinion’ about the reality of the message. The reality is that the health consequences of the product and the impact on the environment means that the statement “share happiness” must be questioned. I then make an ‘opinion’ that coke does not make me “share happiness” after prolonged usage and there are better ways to be happy from the ‘knowledge’ and ‘free will’ that I have at this moment.
The essay has given a number of examples of how to critically assess situations and make judgments by using a number of concepts. This assists with making thoughts about the reality of messages and judgements. It has demonstrated that the perception of president of Rwanda and the reality are two different things and that using creativity and critical thinking could have resulted in less criticism of the UK spending aid on a dictatorship. The essay has also explained the relationship between free will, truth, knowledge, and opinion in order to form thoughts and to critically assess situations. It has given an example of how too many opinions, a lack of knowledge and free will can often be hindrances and how to overcome them. Lastly looking at the messages of advertising and deciding what is reality and perception required another look at the relationship between ‘opinions’, knowledge’, ‘truth ‘and ‘free will’. The conclusion was that perception of the product was very different from the reality.
BBC (Director). (2014). Rwanda's Untold Story Documentary [Motion Picture].
Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Dictionary.com. Retrieved December 5th, 2014.