Here is a video on Critical Thinking vs Wishful Thinking. See below for the transcript. I found the video hard to watch with the distracting background, but the content is excellent so I wanted to share it with you both ways. The video is tagged as being comedy but it's quite educational as well.

Here is the transcript:

Critical Thinker (CT): When something happens I like to think of the likely cause instead of the most emotionally rewarding.

Wishful Thinker (WT): I like to think the most likely cause is the one that makes me feel more powerful, important and safe.

CT: It's possible, but is it probable?

WT: Critical thinkers are too afraid to believe in the wonders and improbable.

CT: I try to avoid wishful thinking and self deception when coming to a conclusion.

WT: Avoiding self deception is impossible so I don't fight it in my pursuit of truth.

How Not To Be Stupid: A Guide To Critical Thinking

Are you stupid? If you answered yes, odds are you're really smart. Smart enough to know how stupid you are, and that's a very good start. There's hope for you. Here's some tips to sharpen your thinking.

Who is Critical Thinking for? Everyone? Not by a long shot. Critical thinking is for the elite few who choose to use the tools of critical thinking. It's not for pussies, not for intellectual cowards. It's for truth seekers as opposed to personal comfort seekers or right fighters.

Critical thinking is for people who want to be adults as opposed to children, want to be sober as opposed to drunk, and seek clarity and understanding rather than wallow in an intellectual fog.

Basically critical thinking is for responsible people. People who fly our planes, drive our buses, write our laws, run our country, run our businesses, teach our children, raise our children, vote. In short, everyone. You!

WT: I am skeptical, I don't know! Being stupid is fun and easy.

CT: Critical thinking is no fun. It's hard. It's lonely.

WT: But being stupid makes me feel better.

WT: But I love the easy, feel-good answers that stupidity provides.

CT: Critical thinking is unnatural.

You're right, but, man in his "natural" state is lazy, self-centered, illogical, unreasonable, selfish, prone to delusion, magical thinking, wishful thinking, self-deception.

Critical thinkers are aware of these pitfalls of human fallibility and battle against their natural shortcomings and bad habits.

The enemies of clear thinking are:

Confirmation Bias:
WT: I like to gather only the data that agrees with and supports my conclusions.

CT: I like to get all relevant sides of an issue before making a conclusion.

WT: Hearing other sides makes me confused, frustrated and angry.

CT: I enjoy hearing new points of view because my ultimate intention is to get to the truth.

WT: I find new and conflicting evidence threatening and tedious. Once I believe something, I stick to it. That's strength.

Conclusion Before Evidence:

CT: I like to hear and examine all relevant sides before I draw a conclusion.

WT: I like to come to a conclusion first, and then gather only the evidence that supports my conclusion.


CT: My memory can be unreliable.

WT: My memory is totally reliable.


WT: Research is difficult, and a downer.

WT: I'd rather stay in the comfort of what I already believe.

WT: Researching other points of view is a waste of time. It makes me feel uncomfortable and scared.

CT: I love to do research and adapt my conclusions as new facts are presented.

WT: I find ignorance comforting.


WT: If I've seen it, I believe it. And that's that.

CT: I will not rely on any one person's testimony.

WT: I saw what I saw, and that's what I saw.

CT: This is what I saw, but I could be wrong.

Personal Bias:

CT: I make an effort to remove my emotions and bias when evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions.

WT: My feelings are the closest to the facts.

CT: I try to be as objective as I can, and keep my personal bias at bay.

CT: Feelings are not facts.

WT: Yes they are!

WT: They're better than facts.

CT: My personal feelings are not relevant here.


CT: I like to be well rested and alert before I make crucial decisions.

WT: I think I make the wisest decisions when I'm exhausted and stressed out.

Testimonial Evidence:

WT: I like to make generalizations, judgments and conclusions based on my own personal experiences, or those of my friends.

WT: Or my favorite celebrities

Extraordinary Claims:

CT: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

WT: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary people to believe them.


CT: If words or expressions are ambiguous or confusing, I hold off on making judgments or conclusions.

WT: I see clarity as a threat to my sense of power and importance in this world.

WT: Clarity makes me feel small and insignificant, so therefore I avoid it.

WT: I prefer my reality to be foggy and mysterious.

Assuring Expressions:

WT: I agree with facts that make me feel better and more powerful.

WT: If the conclusion is comforting, it's most likely true.

CT: Just because an argument favors me, doesn't make it true.

Emotional Content:

WT: Emotionally moving testimonies are the most convincing.

CT: Emotions muddy the waters of finding the validity of an argument.

WT: Facts get in the way of the fun.

CT: I like to focus on the relevant facts to get to get a clear picture of reality.

WT: I like to live in a magical land of candy and unicorns.

Fact vs. Opinion:

WT: There is no such thing as facts, just beliefs and opinions.

CT: There is a difference between facts and opinions.


WT: If I can't understand it, it doesn't exist.

WT: My opinions are more important than your facts because they're mine.

WT: Like in quantum physics, I play an important role in how reality is shaped.

CT: There is an objective reality separate from me.

WT: I am intimately involved in how reality is shaped.

WT: I am responsible for everything that happens to me.

Suspending Judgment:

WT: Suspending judgment is a practice of the weak-minded.

CT: Suspending judgment is a practice of the strong-minded.

WT: I like to come to a quick conclusion and stick to it. That's what's called being strong.

CT: I love suspending judgment and staying flexible.

WT: Uncertainty is painful, so I like to eliminate it as soon as possible.

CT: I'm comfortable suspending judgment.

CT: I'm going to wait till all the facts are in.

WT: Uncertainty is for losers.

Independent Testing:

CT: I would like this to be independently tested before I make a judgment.

WT: I don't need independent testing of my beliefs. I would not believe those testings to be objective anyway. Especially if they don't agree with me.

CT: I like to test theories scientifically.

WT: Objective testing is impossible.

Apophenia or Superstition:

CT: Just because one event preceded the second event doesn't mean the first caused the second.

WT: Yes, it does. Duh!

WT: There is no such thing as a coincidence.

WT: Everything happens for a reason, and the reason that benefits me is the correct one.

WT: Event B happened after event A therefore A caused B. Duh!

Either/Or Fallacy:

WT: The world is very simple. Things are either one way or the other. It's either A or B. Anybody who says different is just trying to deceive you and muddy the waters.

CT: The world is complex. It's not always either A or B. Sometimes it's both, or something completely different.

Ad Hominem Fallacy:

WT: I like to make personal attacks, and discredit the source of information.

CT: It's about evidence, relevance and clarity, and sticking to the facts.

WT: When I feel I'm losing an argument, I like to make personal attacks on my adversary.

WT: My enemy is a bad man.

Red Herring:

WT: I like to bring relevant stuff up to avoid facing an issue.

WT: I find that evading the issue is a powerful tool to defend my position.

WT: The point is to defend my position. It's about survival.

CT: I'm more interested in finding truth and reaching clarity, rather than defending a previously held position.

Critical thinker or intellectual coward. Which one are you?

Video by Carey Burtt

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