Second twenty in twenty – Non thinkers

In earlier years of my life, I was under the impression that people would form alternative conclusions on topics based on different information or different values. However, I understand now, cognition is a core feature of our beliefs. In particular, lack of cognition appears to explain a substantial number of conclusions that I find to be mysterious. That is, people concluding believes that appear self-evidently wrong to me. I better note here that I know I am not infallible. I fully understand that I can be wrong and any particular ‘argument’ or belief I have, may be the wrong one. It is less likely to be based on lack of cognition though. I am typically willing to think through a topic until I feel I have a solid grasp of the topic. Just as importantly, I am comfortable with accepting I do not know about a topic to reach a solid conclusion.

I believe the problem with non-thinkers is rife. Even on topics where people are often forced to have an opinion of some sort (think political affiliation, views on climate change etc. ), I find a lot of people are unaware of the fundamental concepts. They use the opinions of those around them to form their own rather than thinking through a topic with the facts on hand and their own values. I remember this realisation hitting home when I took environment science as an elective subject at uni. I often found myself surrounded with people with a similar view point (ie we need to care for the environment) but were often ignorant of the underlying reasons for it.

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