Fresh insights about any ethical issues which divide us urgently need to be re-visited from the perspective of what distinguishes latent viruses of propaganda and ideology in these issues from critical thought and feeling.
Propaganda and self-deception exist among both extreme and moderate liberals and conservatives, as well as among some mainstream thinking, entertainment, and music which is intended not simply to move but to manipulate feelings.
Papers and articles in this short website search for clues to the often hidden presence of indoctrination and invite readers to add their own creative ideas about self- and other-deception.
Two styles of thinking face each other across a growing chasm.
- Authoritarians and ideologists, both conservative and liberal, function more emotionally than they realize. Authoritarians work from unexamined assumptions and sources more than from reason or direct evidence. They include well meaning fundamentalists or literalists who prefer “orderly error to complex truth.” They do not perceive how indoctrinated they have become.
- Critical thinkers, by contrast, question and test the certitude of their assumptions. They engage in competent reflection and unmanipulative appeals to emotion. They examine opposing positions fairly. Integrating their heads with their hearts, they have the courage to think for themselves and challenge the paradigms of those who control different fields and movements. They strive to distinguish reflections whose logic and evidence are critical from those which derive from ideology, indoctrination, and self-deception.
Roderick Hindery, retired professor in Comparative Religious and Social Ethics, Temple University, pictured with his wife and primary editor Sheila Ingoldsby Hindery, invites you to join the dialogue on which style of thinking you prefer and what kind of world you want to live in.
Visit my blog for further dialogue on these and related topics.
- My most recent paper, “
Comparative Ethics, Ideologies, and Critical Thought”,
- is the first paper that appears to the left. The other papers were recently published in the Humanist, CSSR Bulletin, and the Journal of Religious Ethics; delivered at ASU, SCE at LMU; or written for this website.
Again, each of these articles and papers imply that many other social and ethical issues can be fruitfully revisited in the context of what distinguishes propaganda and self-deception from critical thought. These papers are shared to invite exchanges about issues seen anew in the context of propaganda and self-deception as opposed to thinking critically for one’s self.
The issues in this website are so critical for readers in general, as well as for specialists, that new headings, highlights, and other changes have been implemented to guide readers to the most important details.
With prepaid college bookstore orders for either graduate or undergraduate courses, books can be obtained at discounts for only $30. Inquire about details at Customer Service, Mellen Press: U.S./Canada: (716) 754-2788 UK: (01570) 423-356 firstname.lastname@example.org
“Propaganda Vs Critical Thought” is the web site of Roderick Hindery, retired professor of social and comparative ethics, Temple University.
“Schooled by adversity, our empathy for others will grow more robust as we weather and withstand ideology, propaganda, and indoctrination.”
“Whenever we refuse to parrot ideological self-interested-ness and manipulation, we take up the best defense against them; and we exercise our own freedom to its fullest by a love which confirms the freedom of others.
“A second spring may yet arrive when religious and other humanistic traditions, new and old—radical, liberal, and conservative—shun thinking like robots, and proclaim from the rooftops the irreplaceable gift, grace, and adventure of thinking, not ideologically, but freely and critically for oneself.”
Updated Dec. 2, 2013