Skeptical Thinking Essay example

1090 Words 5 Pages
Carl Sagan's The Fine Art of Baloney Detection depicts the importance of thinking skeptically before new ideas can be accepted (Sagan, 1997). Skeptical thinking pertains to our ability to distinguish what is true from what is false in some sort of logical argument or idea. Sagan promotes nine tools for this type of thinking, six of which I believe are the most useful will be discussed throughout this essay. The first tool that I found to be relatively effective in proving that an argument is truthful was Sagan's first tool of providing information that validates the facts (Sagan, 1997). In order to establish that the facts are honest, there must be evidence in the argument that confirms without a doubt that the facts are correct. This …show more content…
This is a great example of how people blindly trust authority figures, and how these authority figures may have no clue what they are talking about. Coming up with multiple hypotheses for an idea you have is a skeptical thinking tool that can be very helpful when it comes to trying to completely and accurately prove that your hypothesis is right (Sagan, 1997). This tool is useful because it helps you rule out other explanations for your argument (Railsback, 1990). Multiple hypotheses also make it so that you are more likely to gain significant results from your research. This way you are not wasting your time with one false hypothesis. It can also allow for multiple causes for an argument to be determined all at once. For example, let's say that I want to do a study on what causes weight loss. I come up with multiple hypotheses. One is that people exercise a lot. Another could be that people are losing weight because they are eating healthier, or maybe that they are taking diet pills. When I do the experiment, I find that all of these factors contribute to a person's weight loss. In this case, multiple hypotheses were correct and allowed for other factors to be identified as the cause of something. Tying in with the last tool, the next beneficial tool in Sagan's tools of skeptical thinking is to not focus just on your original hypothesis when there are other hypotheses that could be correct (Sagan, 1997). This is

Related Documents