Saturday, May 2, 2009

What should an Educated Citizen Be Able to do? #1

An educated person should be able to do the following:
1. Be able to make conscious, informed decisions in the public sphere and in their private lives and be able to explain their reasons for the decisions.

Be able to make conscious, informed decisons...
A person needs to keep an open enough mind to hear all sides of an issue, make a decision based on his/her frame of reference, plus new evidence that your research has uncovered, and be able to formulate a decision backed up with well-thought out reasoning for your belief. the public sphere...
A person needs to be comfortable enough with that decision to discuss his/her belief so when "threatened" by outside critical opinions, that decision will stand the test of time. That would include being able to talk in public groups, such as a city council meeting, or a planning and zoning meeting. It would be up to you to convince the public entities that you are dealing with that your point of view has: Sound reasoning, the latest available data...that is researchable, and you do it in such a way that people want to be on your side...not against you. When you are talking in the public sphere, you are trying to convince someone to your way of thinking about an issue. their private lives...
Sometimes, there are private entities that need the benefit of your "research", that you need to bring on your side, or just explain, your point of view. All of the above would apply.

...and be able to explain their reasons for the decisions.
When a person "cries Wolf" too many times, people do not listen after being burned. If you tell data in a conversation/debate/ whatever, that is unsubstantiated, people will listen until they find out that it is unsubstantiated. After that, it will take many attempts to gain their "trust" in anything that you say. When you make a statement based on a newspaper/magazine, make sure you remember the date, issue, etc., so people can go back to it and look it up in total. They are entrenched in their own opinion/belief and it will take substantial evidence for them to come to your way of thinking. If you cannot deliver a date of the is the same as being without value.

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