I'm still in the midst of my online masters class and we've come to a section about critical thinking. This topic is quite intriguing to me as I've been so used to the confines of Middle Eastern society that limit such naughtiness and blasphemy.
Forget for a moment that Islamic scholars of the middle ages were perhaps the most enlightened of their time and instead, look to a modern Middle East where progress and religion seldom go hand in hand.
Take the situation involving a teenage, hormone driven, quiet adolescent version of me.
Teenage TeacherLady: Miss? I was wondering if I could start a club at the school.
Miss: What sort of club?
Teenage TeacherLady: Uh. A debate club.
Miss: No. Not a good idea. Not going to work.
Teenage TeacherLady: Wh... Why? (looking down at the extensive paperwork I had drawn up on topics I was going to have a room teaming with inquisitive, outspoken free minds discuss)
Miss: Well. What would you debate?
Teenage TeacherLady: Um. Abortion. Death penalty...
Teenage TeacherLady: Excuse me?
Miss: Someone will just say "God said this was wrong and that was right. End of discussion." It won't go anywhere.
Teenage TeacherLady: Oh. Yeah. Hadn't thought about that. I was hoping we could have two sides...
Miss: Won't happen. Sorry. I can see what you're trying to do, but any discussion you come up with, someone will stand up and say "God already gave us that answer" and stop the discussion there.
Teenage TeacherLady: Sigh.
I've noticed it's really hard to have discussions and debates with people who think there really is only one right answer to everything, regardless of whether or not religion is involved, and they always get so angry... I guess it's all down to the individual. I've known religious people to be able to discuss things without getting all hot under the collar, but I guess that comes with confidence and inquisitiveness combined and without quite so much egocentric thought processing.