Assumptions and Fallacies
An assumption is a belief or an idea that we create with little or no evidence. Many times we base our assumptions on knowledge of prior experiences in our lives. As we often learn the hard way, assumptions are not always correct, but they are not always incorrect either. In order to prove or disprove an assumption we must hone in our critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is a process of breaking down a topic and analyzing it to get a clearer picture of what we are seeing. Most importantly, it is about producing many ideas or solutions as possible, and then using evidence to either prove or disprove these possibilities. Assumptions can interfere with our critical thinking skills because rather than asking questions, gathering additional information, critiquing, and analyzing information we often assume we already know the outcome. Assumptions are more characteristic of a poor thinker rather than those of an experienced thinker. In order to avoid making assumptions in our thinking, we must remind ourselves that until we ask questions, we know nothing. We often hear that we cannot judge a book by its cover, yet we do this every day without as much as a second thought. I personally spent several years in a sales job, where I learned first hand how negatively assumptions can affect the outcome of a potential sale. It is easy to assume that a well groomed, sharp dressed businessman has more money to spend than the average, homely looking guy. My experience has taught me quite the opposite. Therefore I have learned to give everyone and every situation the same amount of attention and respect regardless of how they may appear. By approaching each situation with an open mind, we avoid resorting back to the same bad habits we have already overcome. Never take anything at face value, always ask questions, and then seek out evidence to prove or disprove this information. By seeking the truth and validity of an argument, we can...
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