Habits That Hinder Thinking

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Habits That Hinder Thinking

By | October 1999
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John and Julie, your two best friends, have just read an article about the death penalty. It explains the reasons why death by lethal injection is a legitimate punishment for certain crimes. As Julie reads the article, she strongly agrees with what the author has to say. "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," she imagines. Without examining the ideas that are involved, she's satisfied with everything the article says because, "It's only fair." John, on the other hand, is deeply offended before he's even finished reading the article. He leans heavily on the feeling that God has the only power to decide someone's fate, not man. "It's not right to interfere with another person's existence on Earth," he thinks to himself as he keeps reading. What Julie and John don't know is that they've both used some habits that hinder thinking to come up with their opinions. They both had strong initial feelings about the death penalty. And they both finished with those same feelings because they were the most satisfying. But Julie and John failed to try to learn about their opposing opinion. Without even realizing it, they both became victims of thobbing.

Henshaw Ward termed thobbing for considering and evaluating ideas. "The term combines the th from thinking, the o from opinion, and the b from believing" (qtd. in Ruggiero 53). You can be aware of when you are thobbing by paying close attention to your initial opinions, especially the ones that are very strong. There are many habits that can hinder one's thinking, causing their mind to fall victim to thobbing. Julie and John both used conformity and resistance to change, and rationalizing habits when coming up with an opinion about the death penalty article. In The Art of Thinking, Ruggiero states that "harmful conformity is what we do instead of thinking in order to belong to a group or to avoid the risk of being different. Such conformity is an act of cowardice, a sacrifice of independence

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