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Critical Thinking and Ethics

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The Relationship between Critical Thinking and Ethics
Donald J. Poirier
Gen/201
February 2, 2016
Amy Gingrich

The Relationship between Critical Thinking and Ethics
When we begin to talk about the relationship between critical thinking and ethics, we must first have to understand the meaning of both. The Foundation for Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. That is a lot for me to comprehend, so I will state it in easier terms; it is the mental process of actively and skillfully evaluating information to reach an intelligent answer or conclusion. Ethics, on the other hand, is an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior or a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong.
So that we can more easily comprehend critical thinking, it is broken down into six steps. Step 1 is Remembering. Remembering is the basic level that requires that you be able to identify what is being said, such as the topic and main points. Step 2 is Understanding. Understanding means the comprehension of the material read, seen, or heard. The best way to know if you understand something is whether you can put in your own words what was read or heard. Step 3 is Applying. Applying the material entails that you know what you have read, seen, or heard and that you understand it as well. Step 4 is Analyzing. Analyzing encompasses breaking what you have read or hear into its different parts, to make clear how the ideas are ordered, related, or connected to other ideas. Analysis deals with both form and content. Step 5 is Evaluating. Once the problem is fully analyzed and all the information is measured, a decision should be formed about how to solve the problem and the initial directions to follow to take this decision into action. The final step, step 6, is Creating. The final step is to build a calculation about the problem that can be put into action.
Critical thinking is a great technique for solving any problem. It not only helps you gain knowledge, but it helps you look at both sides of an argument. It allows you to dig deep into both sides of the argument and to look at all of the evidence. Critical thinking also allows you to think independently about the issue at hand. Some of the benefits of using critical thinking when solving problems include:
1. Being able to bring new ideas to the table. It allows employees and managers to think outside of the box in order come up with solutions.
2. Saves time. With the critical thinking mindset, you will already know that not all information may be relevant, and you will be able to filter out the good information from the bad. It also will make you feel at ease knowing that your final decision will be a logical one.
3. It enhances communication skills. This is where you can build on your argument. Being able to articulate fully your thoughts and ideas and to broadcast that idea will make you a better communicator. If you know your stuff and explain it properly, others will understand it as well.
4. Promotes options. If working for a company, multiple viable solutions to any issue or problem can be attained which will greatly benefit the customer.
As I now shift over to the ethical side of this paper, I need to explain briefly my results on the ELI Ethical Lens Inventory that I took. My results were fairly surprising to me. My blind spot states that I sometimes fail to be accountable to those who are depending on me. It also states that once my needs are satisfied, I can become complacent and leave problems unresolved in the long run. I am surprised at these findings. I will have to look at this more carefully and try to figure out how I can overcome this weakness. I was pleased to discover that my preferred ethical lens was Results Lens and Reputation Lens, meaning I want the greater good for all and do what is best for the community.
As we dig further into the ethical side of things, I have to look deeper into myself. My personal ethics mean a great deal to me and it builds on the man that I have become. I try to be a good teacher and role model to my children, so they know right from wrong. I hope that I have taught them well. No, I know I have. I make decisions every day, actually quite a few, just as every person does. When I make a decisions I make sure that it is not illegal, immoral, or unethical. If you use this as a guiding tool, along with your critical thinking skills, you will always come up with a valid solution to any problem.
My profession as a police officer is based on the very concept of being ethical and trustworthy in every sense of the term. If you can’t trust a police officer, who can you trust? Society should also be held more accountable. If society was more ethical, crime as we know it would be nonexistent, but we all know that is not going to happen. Being ethical is the pinnacle of my profession, and I believe of every other profession as well. If you are ethically sound, the rest will fall into place.
As you can see, critical thinking and ethics are two totally separate items, but when used together to make a decision, the results can be even more logical. When people make decisions, they are held accountable for whatever consequences may arise from these decisions. When using the thought concept of critical thinking, along with using your ethical filter, the outcome of your decisions will be greatly enhanced as well as truly gratifying.

References
Glaser, E. (1941). An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking. Foundation for Critical Thinking. Retrieved from http//www.criticalthinking.org…...

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